Steve Holcomb

Steven Holcomb snaps European drought in bobsled

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Steven Holcomb ended a four-year drought, winning a World Cup bobsled race outside of North America for the first time since before the 2010 Olympics on Saturday.

Holcomb and push athlete Steve Langton set a track record in Igls, Austria, in the first two-man bobsled run and prevailed in a two-run time of 1 minute, 43.72 seconds. Swiss Beat Hefti was second in 1:43.95, followed by Russian Alexander Zubkov.

“This season we’ve been really tweaking the sled, looking to get it faster,” Holcomb said of the one-year-old BMW-designed sled. “I think we showed that this sled can be really fast.”

It marked Holcomb’s first World Cup victory in Europe since Dec. 13, 2009, in Winterberg, Germany. That was a four-man race.

His last two-man World Cup win in Europe was on Feb. 10, 2007.

This is key for Holcomb’s Olympic medal hopes in Sochi, where he will attempt to win his first major international race outside of North America.

Holcomb has long been dominant on North American tracks, where he has more experience. His biggest victories — the 2010 Olympics four-man and 2009 and 2012 World Championships — were in Canada and the U.S.

Holcomb was 11th and 12th in two- and four-man World Cup races at the Sochi Olympic track last season.

The other U.S. sleds, driven by Cory Butner and Nick Cunningham, were ninth and 15th on Saturday.

The U.S. Olympic Bobsled Team is scheduled to be named Sunday after a four-man World Cup race in Igls.

Holcomb, Butner and Cunningham will almost surely be the three two-man drivers named for Sochi.

Igls Two-Man
1. Steven Holcomb/Steve Langton (USA) 1:43.72
2. Beat Hefti/Thomas Amrhein (SUI) 1:43.95
3. Aleksander Zubkov/Dmitry Trunenkov (RUS) 1:44.00
9. Cory Butner/Chuck Berkeley (USA) 1:44.36
15. Nick Cunningham/Andreas Drbl (USA) 1:44.95

Who is greatest U.S. Winter Olympian of all time?

Mikaela Shiffrin returns with mantra, stuck to her helmet, to carry forever

Mikaela Shiffrin
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Look close at Mikaela Shiffrin as she steps into a race start gate for the first time in eight months on Oct. 17.

Shiffrin, the two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Cup overall champion, plans to wear a helmet with two special stickers on the back.

She’s donned the first decal for years — the initials ABFTTB, which stand for “Always Be Faster Than The Boys,” a personalized autograph motto from retired Olympic Alpine skier Heidi Voelker.

The new sticker reads, Be nice. Think first. Have fun.

Those lines came from Shiffrin’s father, Jeff — the mantra instilled in her and older brother Taylor, also a young ski racer at the time.

After Jeff died on Feb. 2, Shiffrin regularly remembered the question that Jeff posed years ago: “What are the golden rules?”

Be nice. Think first.

When the Shiffrin siblings were old enough, Jeff added the third rule.

“He felt like we could understand that having fun wasn’t just about going and doing whatever you want because it’s instantly gratifying,” Shiffrin told NBC Sports’ Alex Azzi in an On Her Turf interview. “Fun is doing something well and the satisfaction you get from sticking to something.”

She plans to race all season with the golden rules sticker on her helmet, right next to ABFTTB.

Shiffrin detailed more about her prep for a very different World Cup campaign, in conjunction with a new fund in honor of her late father, in this On Her Turf report.

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2020 Tour de France results

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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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