Norway goes 1-2 in Beaver Creek downhill; American surprise

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Aksel Lund Svindal won his third straight World Cup race as part of Norway’s first one-two downhill finish since 1999 in Beaver Creek, Colo., on Friday.

Svindal, the three-time 2010 Olympic medalist, beat countryman Kjetil Jansrud by three tenths of a second on the Birds of Prey course.

The last time Norway went one-two in a World Cup downhill was 1999, when Kjetil Andre Aamodt and Lasse Kjus did so in Kitzbühel, Austria.

“Kjetil [Jansrud] came pretty close in the end … got to respect that,” Svindal said on NBCSN. “If he was a touch faster on the top, then he would probably have had me. … I pulled it off nicely.”

France’s Guillermo Fayed was third. Full results are here.

The top American was two-time Olympic super-G medalist Andrew Weibrecht in fifth, matching his best World Cup finish and his first World Cup downhill top-10 in eight years.

Svindal’s 28th career World Cup win added to his downhill and super-G victories from Lake Louise, Alberta, last weekend.

Jansrud pulled off the same three-peat last season, a campaign Svindal missed after rupturing an Achilles tendon playing soccer in October 2014.

“I knew I was good enough to win races [coming back from the injury], but it’s a big difference between being able to win and actually pulling it off,” Svindal said on NBCSN. “[Jansrud and I] are neck to neck in training all the time.”

The last man to win four straight World Cup races was Austrian legend Hermann Maier, one month before his epic crash at the Nagano 1998 Winter Olympics and recovery to win two golds later in those Winter Games.

Svindal padded his World Cup overall standings lead as he tries to unseat four-time reigning World Cup overall champion Marcel Hirscher, a slalom and giant slalom specialist from Austria.

Racing continues on Saturday with a super-G and Sunday with a giant slalom in Beaver Creek, with both events live on NBC Sports.

MORE ALPINE: Bode Miller says ‘good likelihood’ of comeback

Norway doing alright Beaver Creek!!!

A photo posted by Aksel Lund Svindal (@asvindal) on

Incredible 360° video – step into Bode Miller's skis as he takes on the 'Birds of Prey' World Cup downhill course.For the full experience, click and drag, or move your iOS device in any direction.The entire Wintersport season is live on Eurosport!

Posted by Eurosport on Friday, December 4, 2015

Tadej Pogacar stuns Primoz Roglic, set to win Tour de France

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Tadej Pogacar overtook countryman Primoz Roglic and is set to become the youngest Tour de France champion since 1904, the second-youngest in history and the first Slovenian champion.

Pogacar, who turns 22 on Monday, overcame a 57-second deficit to Roglic and won Saturday’s penultimate stage, a 22-mile time trial with a finishing four-mile climb. He is 59 seconds ahead of Roglic after three weeks and 84 hours of total racing.

“Actually, my dream was just to be [in] the Tour de France,” Pogacar said. “I cannot believe it, and if you ask me in one week, one month, I will still not believe it, probably.”

Pogacar won the stage by 81 seconds, greater than the margin separating second place from eighth place after 55 minutes on the roads. Roglic was fifth.

It’s reminiscent of American Greg LeMond surpassing Frenchman Laurent Fignon in the time trial finale of the 1989 Tour.

That final margin was the closest in Tour history — eight seconds. This one would be the 11th time in Tour history that the difference is less than a minute, according to ProCyclingStats.com.

“I struggled with everything, just not enough power,” Roglic said. “I was just more and more without the power that I obviously needed. I was just really giving everything till the end.”

Australian Richie Porte will join Pogacar and Roglic on the podium after moving up from fourth place going into the time trial. Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez, who came into the day in third, dropped to sixth.

It’s the first time since 2007 that everybody on the final Tour de France podium will be there for the first time.

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Sunday’s finale is the traditional ceremonial ride into Paris where the overall leaders don’t attack each other.

Pogacar is riding his first Tour de France and in his second season as a professional cyclist with a World Tour team.

Last September, he finished third in the Vuelta a Espana, one of three Grand Tours, which Roglic won. At the time, Pogacar became the youngest Grand Tour podium finisher since 1974.

“I knew that I can be with the best, that I can follow,” after the Vuelta, Pogacar said, “but I never thought that I would win already this year, especially in this season that was really strange.”

UAE Team Emirates initially planned to use Pogacar to support Fabio Aru, but the Slovenian’s continued emergence changed the plan.

“I’m going [to the Tour] firstly to learn,” Pogacar said in May. “But if I have a chance to show what I can do, I will.”

Pogacar was Robin to Roglic’s Batman for most of this Tour.

Roglic wore the yellow jersey as race leader the last two weeks. heading the dominant Jumbo-Visma team. Pogacar donned the white jersey for the highest-placed rider 25 and under, though he was on a weaker team.

But when they went head-to-head on climbs, Pogacar usually stuck with Roglic, sometimes riding away from him.

When it came down to the final climb on Saturday, with no team support in what they call the race of truth, Pogacar showed who was the strongest Slovenian.

“[Roglic] was really superior through the whole Tour,” Pogacar said. “He must be devastated, but that’s bike racing, I guess. Today I beat him, and that was it.”

MORE: USA Cycling names Olympic team finalists

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2020 Tour de France standings

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2020 Tour de France standings for the yellow jersey, green jersey, white jersey and polka-dot jersey through stage 20 of 21 …

Overall (Yellow Jersey)
1. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) — 84:26:33
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) — +24:44
15. Sepp Kuss (USA) — +42:20
17. Nairo Quintana (COL) — +1:02:46
29. Thibaut Pinot (FRA) — +1:59:33
36. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) — +2:17:41
DNF. Egan Bernal (COL)

Sprinters (Green Jersey)
1. Sam Bennett (IRL) — 319 points
2. Peter Sagan (SVK) — 264
3. Matteo Trentin (ITA) — 250
4. Bryan Coquard (FRA) — 173
5. Caleb Ewan (AUS) — 158

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) — 84:26:33
2. Enric Mas (ESP) — +6:07
3. Valentin Madouas (FRA) — +1:42:22
4. Dani Martinez (COL) — +1:54:51
5. Lennard Kamna (GER) — +2:14:33

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