Kerri Walsh Jennings
FIVB World Tour

Kerri Walsh Jennings to miss world championships

Leave a comment

Kerri Walsh Jennings will miss the world beach volleyball championships that start this weekend after dislocating her five-times surgically repaired right shoulder in a match last Saturday, according to the FIVB.

Walsh Jennings, 38 and a three-time Olympic champion, and new partner Nicole Branagh had their best tournament of the year before Walsh Jennings went down in Olsztyn, Poland, last week (video here).

They were in a third-set semifinal battle with Canadians Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan when Walsh Jennings suffered the injury digging a ball.

Walsh Jennings won three straight world titles with Misty May-Treanor in 2003, 2005 and 2007, in addition to her record four Olympic beach volleyball medals.

Walsh Jennings and Rio Olympic partner April Ross were bounced in the round of 16 at the last worlds in 2015. Walsh Jennings played that tournament one month after dislocating her right shoulder in a match. She missed the 2013 Worlds after giving birth to her third child.

Walsh Jennings and Ross split three months ago after Walsh Jennings decided not to sign a contract with the domestic AVP league.

Ross is slated to play with Rio Olympian Lauren Fendrick at worlds in Vienna starting Friday. The other U.S. teams include Sara Hughes and Kelly Claes and Brooke Sweat and Summer Ross. Branagh will now pair with Emily Day at worlds.

Olympic champions Kira Walkenhorst and Laura Ludwig of Germany and top Brazilians Larissa and Talita headline the women’s field.

The top U.S. medal hope is on the men’s side with 2008 Olympic champion Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena, but Rio gold medalists Alison and Bruno of Brazil loom.

MORE: April Ross discusses playing without Kerri Walsh Jennings

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Annemiek van Vleuten wins La Course with epic comeback (video)

AP
Leave a comment

Annemiek van Vleuten, the cyclist who returned from a horrific Rio Olympic road race crash to become world champion, repeated as La Course winner with an epic last-kilometer comeback on Tuesday.

Van Vleuten sprinted from several seconds behind countrywoman Anna van der Breggen to win the one-day race, including four categorized climbs, contested on part of the Tour de France stage 10 course later that day.

“With 300 meters to go, I still thought I got second, and then I saw her dying,” Van Vleuten said, adding later, according to Cyclingnews.com, “With 500 meters to go my team director in the car gave up and stopped cheering for me.”

In Rio, van Vleuten suffered three small spine fractures and a concussion when her brakes appeared to lock, and she flipped over into a ditch during the road race. Van Vleuten was alone in the lead at the time with about seven miles to go of the 87-mile course.

She was eventually hospitalized in intensive care.

Van der Breggen went on to win the Olympic title, while van Vleuten returned quick enough to race at the October 2016 World Championships.

Van Vleuten, 35, won her first world title 13 months after the Rio Games, taking the time trial crown ahead of van der Breggen by 12 seconds. She also won the 10-stage Giro Rosa that concluded on Sunday.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

TOUR DE FRANCE: StandingsTV Schedule | Riders to Watch

Greg Van Avermaet triples Tour de France lead in first mountain stage

Leave a comment

Belgian Greg Van Avermaet more than tripled his Tour de France overall lead in the first day in the mountains on Tuesday, but Wednesday may be his last day in the yellow jersey.

Julian Alaphilippe became the first Frenchman to win a stage in this year’s Tour, claiming the 10th stage that included three first-category climbs and a beyond-category climb but ended with a descent and the contenders together in the peloton.

Van Avermaet finished fourth, 1:44 behind Alaphilippe. More importantly, Van Avermaet crossed the Grand-Bornand finish line 1:39 ahead of a group that included most of the main contenders to top the podium in Paris on July 29.

The Olympic road race champion increased his overall lead from 43 seconds to 2:22.

Van Avermaet has worn the maillot jaune for a week straight, but he is not a climber, and the biggest test of the Tour thus far is imminent.

“No disrespect, but he’s not going to win the Tour,” said Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas, who is in second place.

The Tour continues with stage 11, live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold on Wednesday (full broadcast schedule here). The 67-mile stage starts in the 1992 Winter Olympic host Albertville and includes two beyond-category climbs. It concludes with a category-one summit at La Rosière.

“Tomorrow’s a climber’s day,” Van Avermaet said. “It will be super hard to keep [the yellow jersey]. … Tomorrow it will be over.”

Chris Froome, eyeing a record-tying fifth Tour de France title, is best placed of the pre-Tour favorites.

Froome is in sixth place and 3:21 behind Van Avermaet. Froome is followed by Spaniard Mikel Landa in the same time and 2014 Tour winner Vincenzo Nibali another six seconds back.

Colombian Rigoberto Uran, the 2017 Tour runner-up, finished 2:36 behind the group with Froome, Landa and Nibali.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

TOUR DE FRANCE: StandingsTV Schedule | Riders to Watch