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Will Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir bid farewell at Olympics?

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Most believe PyeongChang will mark the final Olympics for Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. But will it be their final competition period?

“We’re quick to say we don’t know because we thought for sure we were done in 2010, and we really thought for sure we were done after Sochi,” Moir said Monday. “We used to laugh at the idea of going to the Olympics in Korea. Look where we are.

“We’re not going to say that we’re done for sure, but when Tessa and I talk about it and look at each other, the feeling is that this is it. You never know, obviously, and we won’t have to make that decision until we’re there. So, that’s the good part about it. But this kind of feels like it.”

Virtue, 28, and Moir, 30, took gold at the 2010 Vancouver Games and silver in Sochi in 2014. They sat out the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons before coming back for one more Olympic run.

They went undefeated last year, capped by a third world title in April and first since 2012.

Virtue and Moir head into the fall Grand Prix season — starting, for them, with next week’s Skate Canada — as favorites to become the second couple to win multiple Olympic ice dance titles come February.

The other was Russians Oksana Grishuk and Yevgeny Platov in 1994 and 1998.

France’s two-time world champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron and three American couples will attempt to send Virtue and Moir out of the Olympic arena in defeat.

Moir, meanwhile, could seal his Olympic career with a kiss on the ice as he did in Vancouver and Sochi. Or, he could go bigger.

“You think I gotta take a step up? I don’t know,” he joked. “I’ll probably do it. I’ll probably just pick a point where hopefully nobody’s watching me, but there always seems to be somebody around.”

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

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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.

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

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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.

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