Peter Sagan celebrates green jersey record with Tour de France stage win

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Slovakian Peter Sagan won his 10th career Tour de France stage on the day he wore the green sprinter’s jersey for a record 89th time in Tour history.

Sagan, the three-time world road race champion, beat Italian Sonny Colbrelli to the uphill finish of stage five on Wednesday. It’s Sagan’s second stage win of this year’s Tour.

“It was a little bit lucky because Colbrelli was coming close again,” said Sagan, who also relegated Colbrelli to runner-up in stage two Sunday.

German Erik Zabel wore the green jersey as the top sprinter 88 times in the 1990s and 2000s as he won a record six points classifications, according to Gracenote. Sagan will match Zabel’s record six titles if he’s in green in Paris on July 29.

In the yellow jersey race, Belgian Greg Van Avermaet increased his overall standings lead from zero to two seconds by earning a time bonus with seven miles left on Wednesday.

But Van Avermaet, the Rio Olympic road race champion, mistimed his sprint, helping allow Sagan to win.

“I don’t know if he did it on purpose or if he wanted to drop everybody but I have to say thanks,” Sagan said.

After a move from Philippe Gilbert, Van Avermaet accelerated out of the final turn with 300 meters to go but couldn’t maintain his pace.

“I tried to win the stage, but it was pretty complicated,” Van Avermaet said. “Phil went early, and he’s still pretty close on GC (general classification) so I couldn’t let him go. I think I went too early in the sprint. I thought the corner was closer to the finish than it really was.”

Van Avermaet, the Rio Olympic road race champion, had been tied with BMC teammate Tejay van Garderen for the overall race lead, but van Garderen did not become the second (or sixth) American to wear the yellow jersey due to a tiebreaker.

Van Avermaet is expected to cede the lead in upcoming cobblestone or mountain stages. He hopes the man to take it is BMC team leader Richie Porte.

Porte and the rest of the overall contenders for the title finished in the same time with the peloton on Wednesday,

The Tour de France continues Thursday with stage six, live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold (full broadcast schedule here).

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Teri McKeever fired by Cal as women’s swimming coach after investigation

Teri McKeever
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Teri McKeever, the first woman to serve as a U.S. Olympic swimming head coach, was fired by the University of California at Berkeley after an investigation into alleged verbal and emotional abuse of swimmers that she denied.

McKeever was put on paid administrative leave from her job as head women’s swimming coach in May after an Orange County Register report that 20 current or former Cal swimmers said McKeever verbally and emotionally bullied her swimmers.

Cal athletics director Jim Knowlton wrote in a letter to the Cal team and staff that a resulting independent law firm report detailed “verbally abusive conduct that is antithetical to our most important values.”

“I strongly believe this is in the best interests of our student-athletes, our swimming program and Cal Athletics as a whole,” Knowlton said of McKeever’s firing in a press release. “The report details numerous violations of university policies that prohibit race, national origin and disability discrimination.”

The Orange County Register first published what it says is the full independent report here.

“I deny and unequivocally refute all conclusions that I abused or bullied any athlete and deny any suggestion I discriminated against any athlete on the basis of race, disability or sexual orientation,” McKeever said in a statement Tuesday confirming her firing and expressing disappointment in how the investigation was conducted. “While I am disappointed in the way my CAL Career will conclude, I wish to thank and celebrate the many student-athletes and staff that made my time in Berkeley a true blessing and gift.”

McKeever’s lawyer wrote that McKeever “will be filing suit to expose the manner in which gender has affected not only the evaluation of her coaching but harmed and continues to harm both female and male athletes.”

McKeever led Cal women’s swimming and diving for nearly 30 years, winning four NCAA team titles and coaching Olympic champions including Missy FranklinNatalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer.

In 2004, she became the first woman to be on a U.S. Olympic swim team coaching staff, as an assistant. In 2012, she became the first woman to be head coach of a U.S. Olympic swim team. She was an assistant again for the Tokyo Games.

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Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

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Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Olympedia.org. Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

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