Ashton Eaton leads Olympic Trials decathlon; Trey Hardee hobbling

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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Decathlete Trey Hardee will have a front-row seat even if he may not be able to compete.

The 2012 Olympic silver medalist aggravated a left hamstring injury on Day 1 of the event Saturday at the U.S. Track and Field Trials.

Instead of withdrawing, he’s going to remain in the competition so that he can watch Ashton Eaton and his decathlon buddies from the infield on the final day.

“This is my last Olympic Trials. I’m not going to watch it from the stands,” Hardee said.

Eaton, the reigning Olympic champion and record holder, is leading the event with 4,560 points. Hardee was in the mix until his hamstring began to bother him in the high jump — then really bother him during the day’s final event, the 400. He had to limp to the finish line in a time of 1 minute, 12.49 seconds.

He’s 1,231 points behind his good friend, Eaton.

“My heart wants to be out there,” said Hardee, a two-time world champion.

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It’s been an injury-filled season for Hardee, who dislocated his left foot stepping out of the pole vault area in January. He was still hobbled in May and didn’t think he would be able to compete.

But his wife encouraged him to give it a shot and he turned in some good training days in the lead-up to trials. About 10 days ago, he hurt his hamstring while pole vaulting.

Still, he tried to give it a go.

“I don’t have the fitness that I’m used to at this part of the season because haven’t been able to run,” Hardee said. “I’m way too rested. I’m not in decathlon shape.”

While he iced his hamstring after a painful 400, many of his fellow decathletes approached him to show their appreciation for all he’s meant in the event.

“That meant a lot,” said the 32-year-old Hardee, who has no plans to retire.

He shared a moment with Eaton as well — just a look that conveyed his thoughts.

“He knows what it takes. Just get on the team,” Hardee said.

Seeing a hobbled Hardee was difficult for Eaton.

“Trey is one of the guys who motivated me to be here. But this is life. This is sport,” said Eaton, who’s dealing with a sore hamstring as he leads Jeremy Taiwo by 82 points with five events to go. “He said he’s going to come out here (Sunday).”

That’s the plan, no matter how painful it might be. If Hardee feels good, though, he may just give it a try.

“I just want to be out there with the guys,” Hardee said.

MORE: U.S. sprinters not looking at Usain Bolt’s injury as equalizer

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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