USA women's volleyball
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U.S. women’s volleyball can clinch Olympic berth this week

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The U.S. women’s volleyball team gets its second crack at earning a spot in the Rio Olympic tournament in Lincoln, Neb., from Thursday through Saturday, with the final match on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.

The U.S., the top-ranked team in the world and reigning World champion, faces the Dominican Republic (No. 7 in the world), Puerto Rico (No. 16) and Canada (No. 17) in a round-robin tournament.

The winner clinches a spot in the 12-team Olympic field. The second- and third-place nations can still earn an Olympic spot in the spring.

The U.S., the 2008 and 2012 Olympic silver medalist but never an Olympic champion, just missed Olympic qualification at the FIVB World Cup in September in Japan, placing third behind China and Serbia.

The top two nations at the World Cup joined host and two-time reigning Olympic champion Brazil in the Olympic field.

The 14-player U.S. roster this week includes five Olympians, led by USA Volleyball Player of the Year and outside hitter Jordan Larson. The potential first-time Olympians include outside hitter Kim Hill, MVP of the 2014 World Championship.

The U.S. Olympic team of 12 players will be named later this year. It is coached by Karch Kiraly, an Olympic indoor and beach volleyball champion.

The U.S. men clinched an Olympic berth at the FIVB World Cup in September.

Here’s this week’s match schedule (all times Eastern):

Thursday
Dominican Republic vs. Puerto Rico, 6 p.m. — Stream
USA vs. Canada, 8 p.m. — Stream

Friday
Canada vs. Dominican Republic, 6 p.m. — Stream
USA vs. Puerto Rico, 8 p.m. — Stream

Saturday
Canada vs. Puerto Rico, 6 p.m. — Stream
USA vs. Dominican Republic, 9 p.m. — live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra

MORE VOLLEYBALL: U.S. men qualify for Rio Olympics

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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