Lindsey Vonn wins fourth straight race after Mikaela Shiffrin injures knee

Leave a comment

Lindsey Vonn won her first giant slalom since her career-altering 2013 World Championships crash, proving Saturday (against an unaccomplished field) that she’s the world’s best healthy and active skier.

Vonn captured her fourth straight victory and 71st overall, prevailing by .07 of a second over two runs in Åre, Sweden (full results). Once before has Vonn won four straight World Cup races, in December 2011.

It came hours after countrywoman Mikaela Shiffrin suffered a knee injury in warm-ups.

Vonn padded her standings lead for the World Cup overall title, the top prize this season with no Olympics or World Championships.

“The old woman still has some tricks up her sleeve,” Vonn, 31, told media in Åre. “I’m not maybe as agile as I used to be. I’m not maybe as explosive. … My experience paid off.”

Shiffrin stands in second place — 104 points behind — but is now very much in doubt to rival Vonn’s quest for a fifth overall title the rest of the season.

Vonn, whose best disciplines are the faster downhill and super-G, last won a giant slalom on Jan. 26, 2013.

Ten days later, she crashed at the World Championships, causing the first of two major knee surgeries that forced her out of the Sochi Olympics.

“I’m surprised because I haven’t skied very much [giant slalom],” Vonn told media in Åre after her leading first run Saturday. “I was hoping to be in the top three, but at the same time I knew that if I could arc and ski aggressively that I could win, because I’ve done it here before.”

Vonn skipped the season-opening giant slalom Oct. 24, recovering after suffering an ankle fracture in an Aug. 13 crash, and then skied off the course in the last giant slalom Nov. 27.

The bulk of her preparation for Saturday came Friday night and ski-less, when Vonn watched video of her Åre giant slalom victory from March 9, 2012.

“I haven’t done really any GS training,” Vonn said, laughing, after her first run. “It’s basically just going off confidence.”

Vonn was adamant that she would not race Sunday’s slalom.

“I’m young enough to still be able to ski well in GS, but not young enough to still be good at slalom,” she said, laughing.

The women’s tour this season is already missing the last two World Cup overall champions — Anna Fenninger (knee surgery) and Tina Maze (break). Injuries to Shiffrin and Swedish technical skier Sara Hector on Saturday concerned Vonn.

“Ski racing needs Mikaela and Sara,” she said. “We can’t afford to lose any more athletes.”

Vonn, though, was unaffected by the sport’s mounting crashes in regard to her own skiing, despite her own injury-filled past.

“I have nothing to lose,” Vonn said. “I think that makes me a dangerous competitor, because I’m not afraid of falling or losing. … That’s how I roll. I take risk, and that’s what makes me fast. It’s what makes me fall, sometimes, but that’s the part of the game. I’d rather fall and be going fast than be safely in the finish and be really slow. I’m always going to push myself to the limit.”

MORE: Ted Ligety struggles as Marcel Hirscher wins again

Anna van der Breggen is first cyclist to sweep road world titles in 25 years

Anna van der Breggen
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Dutchwoman Anna van der Breggen added the road race crown to her time trial victory at the world road cycling championships, becoming the second rider in history to win both events at the same edition.

“This is, for me, pretty good so far,” she said.

Van der Breggen, the Rio Olympic road race champion, won after a solo attack with more than 25 miles left of an 89-mile course in Imola, Italy, on Saturday.

She prevailed after more than four hours of racing by 80 seconds over countrywoman Annemiek van Vleuten, the 2019 champion. Van Vleuten raced nine days after breaking her left wrist in a Giro Rosa crash.

Italian Elisa Longo Borghini took bronze in the same time as van Vleuten after losing a photo-finish sprint. Lauren Stephens was the top American in 11th.

Full results are here.

The race lacked American standout Chloé Dygert, who crashed out of the time trial while leading on Thursday and required leg surgery.

Van der Breggen joined Frenchwoman Jeannie Longo as the only male or female cyclists to sweep the time trial and road race at a single worlds. Longo did so in 1995 at age 36.

Van der Breggen, 30, said in May that she will retire after the 2021 Olympic season.

It will be the end of one of the great cycling careers. She is now a three-time world champion and nine-time world medalist to go along with her road race gold and time trial bronze in her Olympic debut in Rio.

Worlds conclude Sunday with the men’s road race. A TV and stream schedule is here.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: A more equal future for women’s cycling? Lizzie Deignan has high hopes

2020 French Open TV, live stream schedule

Leave a comment

Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams can each tie Grand Slam singles titles records at the French Open, with daily live coverage among NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel.

NBC coverage starts Sunday with first-round action at Roland Garros, its 38th straight year covering the event. Tennis Channel airs the majority of weekday coverage. Peacock, NBC Universal’s new streaming service, has middle weekend broadcasts.

All NBC TV coverage alo streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app.

Nadal is the primary men’s storyline, favored to tie Roger Federer‘s male record of 20 major titles and extend his own record of 12 French Open crowns. Federer is absent after knee operations earlier this year.

The Spaniard’s primary competition is top-ranked Novak Djokovic, the 2016 French Open champion whose only defeat in 2020 was a U.S. Open default for hitting a ball that struck a linesperson in the throat.

Williams bids again to match the overall Grand Slam singles mark of 24 held by Australian Margaret Court. Williams, a three-time French Open champion, lost in the third and fourth round the last two years and is coming off a U.S. Open semifinal exit.

The women’s field is led by 2018 champion Simona Halep but lacks defending champion Ash Barty of Australia, not traveling due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also out: U.S. Open winner Naomi Osaka, citing a sore hamstring and tight turnaround from prevailing in New York two weeks ago.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: How Jay-Z, Beyonce helped Naomi Osaka come out of her shell

French Open TV Schedule

Date Time (ET) Network Round
Sunday, Sept. 27 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
12-3 p.m. NBC
Monday, Sept. 28 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
Tuesday, Sept. 29 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
Wednesday, Sept. 30 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Thursday, Oct. 1 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Friday, Oct. 2 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
Saturday, Oct. 3 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Sunday, Oct. 4 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Monday, Oct. 5 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Tuesday, Oct. 6 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
Wednesday, Oct. 7 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
Thursday, Oct. 8 5 a.m.-2 p.m. Tennis Channel Women’s Semis
11 a.m. NBC, NBCSN
Friday, Oct. 9 5 a.m.-4 p.m. Tennis Channel Men’s Semis
11 a.m. NBC, NBCSN
Saturday, Oct. 10 9 a.m. NBC Women’s Final
Sunday, Oct. 11 9 a.m. NBC Men’s Final