Lindsey Van

Lindsey Van, Bill Demong, Nick Alexander win Nordic Skiing National Championships

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In the absence of the injured Sarah HendricksonLindsey Van soared to her 16th national ski jumping title Sunday, while Olympic champion Bill Demong scored his ninth national Nordic combined title.

2010 Olympian Nick Alexander took the men’s ski jumping normal hill championship. All of the Nordic skiing events were held in Lake Placid. Hendrickson and Nick Fairall won the large hill national titles there in August.

Van, 28, tallied 250 points with jumps of 92 meters and 96.5 meters on the normal hill.

“It’s nice as I was struggling a couple of years,” said Van, the 2009 world champion who placed 16th at worlds Feb. 22, said according to a U.S. Ski Team press release. “It was nice to feel the rhythm of ski jumping again.”

Reigning world champion Hendrickson, meanwhile, is still on the road to recovery.

Hendrickson said two weeks ago that her goal was to be back ski jumping in January. If she makes the Olympic team, Hendrickson, 19, will be somewhat of a co-favorite for gold with Japan’s Sara Takanashi, the reigning World Cup champion.

Takanashi, 17, dominated an event at the Sochi Olympic hill on Sunday, scoring 252.5 points with both jumps over 100 meters. The second-place finishers had 218 points.

“To get to Takanashi’s level, you have to work a lot,” Russian Anastasia Gladysheva said.

Van is expected to make a four-woman U.S. Olympic team regardless of Hendrickson’s condition. As is Jessica Jerome, who placed second to Van on Sunday with 223.5 points. Alissa Johnson, third Sunday, and Abby Hughes are the other contenders to make the team for the first U.S. Olympic women’s ski jumping team.

In Nordic combined, Demong came back to win in his hometown. The four-time Olympian was third after the morning ski jump and recorded the third-fastest 10km cross-country roller ski time to hold off brothers Bryan and Taylor Fletcher by 11 seconds. Todd Lodwick, first in the ski jump and aiming to make his sixth Olympic team, was fifth.

“The biggest threat today was either Todd, sprinting to the finish, or Taylor, who if he catches you, the chances are he’s just going to ski away from you on the bigger hills, especially lately, because he’s been training  so well,” Demong said.

In the men’s ski jumping competition, Alexander registered a pair of 99-meter jumps for 263.5 points. Fairall placed second with 242.5. 2010 Olympians Anders Johnson and Peter Frenette were third and fourth with 242 and 241 points, respectively.

“This validates all of the hard work that I’ve been putting in all this summer,” Alexander said. “So now I just have to appreciate today and work even harder heading into the wintertime.”

Took the national title on the normal hill today! Headed to Slovenia and Germany on Thursday for wind tunnel work and some jumps on an ice track.

Posted by Nick Alexander on Sunday, October 13, 2013

The men’s ski jumping World Cup begins Nov. 23 in Klingthenal, Germany. The Nordic combined World Cup starts Nov. 30 in Kuusamo, Finland. The first women’s ski jumping World Cup stop is Dec. 6 in Lillehammer, Norway.

How U.S. Olympic bobsled teams are shaping up

2020 Tour de France standings

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2020 Tour de France results for the yellow jersey, green jersey, white jersey and polka-dot jersey …

Overall (Yellow Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 87:20:05
2. Primoz Roglic (SLO) — +:59
3. Richie Porte (AUS) — +3:30
4. Mikel Landa (ESP) — +5:58
5. Enric Mas (ESP) — +6:07
6. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL) — +6:47
7. Tom Dumoulin (NED) — +7:48
8. Rigberto Uran (COL) — +8:02
9. Adam Yates (GBR) — +9:25
10. Damiano Caruso (ITA) — +14:03
13. Richard Carapaz (ECU) — +25:53
15. Sepp Kuss (USA) — +42:20
17. Nairo Quintana (COL) — +1:03:07
29. Thibaut Pinot (FRA) — +1:59:54
36. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) — +2:19:11
DNF. Egan Bernal (COL)

Sprinters (Green Jersey)
1. Sam Bennett (IRL) — 380 points
2. Peter Sagan (SVK) — 284
3. Matteo Trentin (ITA) — 260
4. Bryan Coquard (FRA) — 181
5. Wout van Aert (BEL) — 174

Climbers (Polka-Dot Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 82 points
2. Richard Carapaz (ECU) — 74
3. Primoz Roglic (SLO) — 67
4. Marc Hirschi (SUI) — 62
5. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL) — 51

Young Rider (White Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 87:20:13
2. Enric Mas (ESP) — +6:07
3. Valentin Madouas (FRA) — +1:42:43
4. Dani Martinez (COL) — +1:55:12
5. Lennard Kamna (GER) — +2:15:39

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TOUR DE FRANCE: TV, Stream Schedule | Stage By Stage | Favorites, Predictions

Tadej Pogacar, Slovenia win Tour de France for the ages

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A Tour de France that almost didn’t happen ended up among the most exciting in the race’s 117-year history.

Tadej Pogacar, a 21-year-old Slovenian, rode into Paris on Sunday as the first man in more than 60 years to pedal in the yellow jersey for the first time on the final day of a Tour.

Let’s get the achievements out of the way: Pogacar is the first Slovenian to win the Tour, finishing with the other overall leaders behind stage winner Sam Bennett on the Champs-Elysees.

“Even if I would come second or last, it wouldn’t matter, it would be still nice to be here,” Pogacar said. “This is just the top of the top. I cannot describe this feeling with the words.”

He is the second-youngest winner in race history, after Henri Cornet in 1904. (Cornet won after the first four finishers were disqualified for unspecified cheating. The 19-year-old Frenchman rode 21 miles with a flat tire during the last stage after spectators reportedly threw nails on the road.)

Pogacar is the first man to win a Tour in his debut since Frenchman Laurent Fignon in 1983.

And he’s part of a historic one-two for Slovenia, a nation with the population of Houston.

Countryman Primoz Roglic, who wore the yellow jersey for nearly two weeks before ceding it after Saturday’s epic time trial, embraced Pogacar after a tearful defeat Saturday and again during Sunday’s stage.

Tasmanian Richie Porte, who moved from fourth place to third on Saturday, made his first Tour podium in his 10th start, a record according to ProCyclingStats.com. The age range on the Paris gloaming podium — more than 13 years — is reportedly the largest in Tour history.

TOUR DE FRANCE: Standings | TV, Stream Schedule | Stage By Stage

Three men on a Tour de France podium in the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe, each for the first time. Hasn’t been done since 2007, arguably the first Tour of a new era.

This Tour feels similarly guard-changing.

It barely got off, delayed two months by the coronavirus pandemic. Two days before the start, France’s prime minister said the virus was “gaining ground” in the nation and announced new “red zones” in the country, including parts of the Tour route.

Testing protocols meant that if any team had two members (cyclists or staff) test positive before the start or on either rest day, the whole team would be thrown out.

It never came to that. Yet the Tour finishes without 2019 champion, Colombian Egan Bernal, who last year became the first South American winner and, at the time, the youngest in more than 100 years.

Bernal abandoned last Wednesday after struggling in the mountains. His standings plummet signaled the end, at least for now, of the Ineos Grenadiers dynasty after five straight Tour titles dating to Chris Froome and the Team Sky days.

Jumbo-Visma became the new dominant team. The leader Roglic was ushered up climbs by several Jumbo men, including Sepp Kuss, the most promising American male cyclist in several years.

What a story Roglic was shaping up to be. A junior champion ski jumper, he was concussed in a training crash on the eve of what would have been his World Cup debut in 2007. Roglic never made it to the World Cup before quitting and taking up cycling years later.

As Roglic recovered from that spill in Planica, Pogacar had his sights on the Rog Ljubljana cycling club about 60 miles east. Little Tadej wanted to follow older brother Tilen into bike racing, but the club didn’t have a bike small enough.

The following spring, they found one. Pogacar was off and pedaling. In 2018, at age 18, he was offered a contract and then signed with UAE Team Emirates, his first World Tour team. The next year, Pogacar finished third at the Vuelta a Espana won by Roglic, becoming the youngest Grand Tour podium finisher since 1974.

Pogacar was initially slated to support another rider, Fabio Aru, for UAE Emirates at this year’s Tour. But his continued ascent propelled him into a team leader role.

Bernal and Roglic entered the Tour as co-favorites. After that, Pogacar was among a group of podium contenders but perhaps with the highest ceiling.

He stayed with the favorites for much of the Tour, save losing 81 seconds on the seventh stage, caught on the wrong end of a split after a crash in front of him.

“I’m not worried,” Pogacar said that day. “We will try another day.”

The next day, actually. He reeled back half of the lost time, putting him within striking distance of Roglic going into Saturday’s 22-mile time trial, the so-called “race of truth.”

Pogacar put in a performance in the time trial that reminded of Greg LeMond‘s epic finale in 1989. Pogacar won the stage by 81 seconds, greater than the margin separating second place from eighth place. Roglic was a disappointing fifth on the day, but he could have finished second and still lost all of his 57-second lead to Pogacar.

Pogacar turns 22 on Monday, but that might not add much to the celebration.

“Sorry,” he said, “but I’m not really a fan of my birthdays.”

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