Dan Martin wins Tour de France stage 6; contenders lose time

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Ireland’s Dan Martin won the Tour de France’s sixth stage, while overall contenders Romain Bardet and Tom Dumoulin lost time in the final miles due to mechanical issues on Thursday.

Martin, who placed sixth in the 2017 Tour, held off Frenchman Pierre Latour for the stage victory by one second, with Spaniard Alejandro Valverde in third.

Belgian Greg Van Avermaet extended his overall race lead from two to three seconds, with Great Britain’s Geraint Thomas overtaking American Tejay van Garderen for second place.

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Van Avermaet, the Rio Olympic road race champion, is expected to cede the yellow jersey by the end of next week, when the three-week tour tackles cobblestones and the Alps.

He hopes BMC teammate Richie Porte will take it over. Porte finished with 2014 Tour winner Vincenzo Nibali on Thursday, three seconds behind Martin.

Four-time Tour winner Chris Froome lost five seconds to Porte and Nibali. Rigoberto Uran, runner-up last year, lost eight seconds to Porte and Nibali but remains the best-placed of the contenders to top the podium in Paris on July 29.

Dumoulin, the time trial world champion and 2017 Giro d’Italia winner, was slowed by a tire puncture at the foot of the final ascent and lost 53 seconds. He had entered the stage in seventh place and finished it 15th and one second behind Froome.

Bardet was left 1:45 back in 23rd overall after a spoke on his bike broke.

“Then I had to chase and that effort was fatal. It’s never good to lose time,” said Bardet, who has finished on the podium in the past two Tours. “There are a lot of twists on the Tour and this time luck was not on our side.”

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

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Olympian Derrick Mein ends U.S. men’s trap drought at shotgun worlds

Derrick Mein
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Tokyo Olympian Derrick Mein became the first U.S. male shooter to win a world title in the trap event since 1966, prevailing at the world shotgun championships in Osijek, Croatia, on Wednesday.

Mein, who grew up on a small farm in Southeast Kansas, hunting deer and quail, nearly squandered a place in the final when he missed his last three shots in the semifinal round after hitting his first 22. He rallied in a sudden-death shoot-off for the last spot in the final by hitting all five of his targets.

He hit 33 of 34 targets in the final to win by two over Brit Nathan Hales with one round to spare.

The last U.S. man to win an Olympic trap title was Donald Haldeman in 1976.

Mein, 37, was 24th in his Olympic debut in Tokyo (and placed 13th with Kayle Browning in the mixed-gender team event).

The U.S. swept the Tokyo golds in the other shotgun event — skeet — with Vincent Hancock and Amber English. Browning took silver in women’s trap.

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Mo Farah withdraws before London Marathon

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British track legend Mo Farah withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon, citing a right hip injury before what would have been his first 26.2-mile race in nearly two years.

Farah, who swept the 2012 and 2016 Olympic track titles at 5000m and 10,000m, said he hoped “to be back out there” next April, when the London Marathon returns to its traditional month after COVID moved it to the fall for three consecutive years. Farah turns 40 on March 23.

“I’ve been training really hard over the past few months and I’d got myself back into good shape and was feeling pretty optimistic about being able to put in a good performance,” in London, Farah said in a press release. “However, over the past 10 days I’ve been feeling pain and tightness in my right hip. I’ve had extensive physio and treatment and done everything I can to be on the start line, but it hasn’t improved enough to compete on Sunday.”

Farah switched from the track to the marathon after the 2017 World Championships and won the 2018 Chicago Marathon in a then-European record time of 2:05:11. Belgium’s Bashir Abdi now holds the record at 2:03:36.

Farah returned to the track in a failed bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, then shifted back to the roads.

Sunday’s London Marathon men’s race is headlined by Ethiopians Kenenisa Bekele and Birhanu Legese, the second- and third-fastest marathoners in history.

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