Geraint Thomas moves up in Tour de France top five shakeup

1 Comment

ALBI, France (AP) — Tour de France rookie Wout Van Aert won a sprint to the line while Julian Alaphilippe kept the yellow jersey after contenders got trapped in an echelon in the final kilometers of Stage 10 on Monday.

Crosswinds caused the peloton to stretch and break up during the last 35 kilometers of the 217.5-kilometer trek from Saint-Flour to Albi. Defending champion Geraint Thomas reached the finish line in the main pack but Frenchman Thibaut Pinot and other favorites were caught off guard and lost time.

Pinot was in a group also including Rigoberto Uran and Richie Porte that lost 1 minute, 39 seconds, according to provisional results.

TOUR DE FRANCE: TV Schedule | Full Standings

The peloton split into three groups on a long section of road opened to the wind when Alaphilippe’s Deceuninck Quick Step teammates sped up the pace at the front to close the gap with six breakaway riders.

The fugitives were brought in with 25 kilometers left before Thomas’ Ineos teammates, working well with Alaphilippe’s team, pushed harder in an impressive display of collective strength.

Pinot used an expletive to describe his day.

“What do you want me to say? There’s nothing to say,” he said, looking absolutely disgusted.

Thomas moved to second place overall, 1:12 behind Alaphilippe, with teammate Egan Bernal in third place.

A three-time cyclo-cross world champion, Van Aert is riding his first Grand Tour after claiming two stage wins — a sprint and a time trial — at the prestigious Criterium du Dauphine in June.

“The last 70 kilometers were very nervous,” Van Aert said after edging Italian rider Elia Viviani by just a few inches. Australian Caleb Ewan ended third.

The up and coming Belgian said he got the OK from his team bosses to race for the win because his team leaders were in the group behind. But even then he didn’t expect to beat recognized sprinters such as Viviani and Sagan in a photo finish by inches.

“It’s crazy,” he said.

Watch world-class cycling events throughout the year with the NBC Sports Gold Cycling Pass, including all 21 stages of the Tour de France live & commercial-free, plus access to renowned races like La Vuelta, Paris-Roubaix, the UCI World Championships and many more.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

12-year-old skateboarders earn medals at world championships

Chloe Covell
Getty
0 Comments

At the world skateboarding championships, 12-year-olds Chloe Covell from Australia and Onodera Ginwoo from Japan earned silver and bronze medals, respectively, in Sunday’s street finals.

In the women’s event, Covell took silver behind Brazilian 15-year-old Rayssa Leal, who was a silver medalist herself at the Tokyo Games.

Frenchman Aurélien Giraud, a 25-year-old who was sixth in skateboarding’s Olympic debut in Tokyo, won the men’s final in the United Arab Emirates. Ginwoo was third behind Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro.

The top Americans were Olympic men’s bronze medalist Jagger Eaton in sixth and 15-year-old Paige Heyn in seventh in the women’s event.

Nyjah Huston, a six-time world champion who placed seventh in Tokyo, missed worlds after August surgery for an ACL tear.

Up to three men and three women per nation can qualify per event (street and park) for the 2024 Paris Games. World rankings come June 2024 determine which Americans qualify.

In Tokyo, four of the 12 skateboarding medalists were ages 12 or 13.

Japan’s Kokona Hiraki, then 12, won silver in women’s park to become the youngest Olympic medalist since 1936, according to Olympedia.org. Japan’s Momiji Nishiya, then 13, won women’s street and became the youngest gold medalist in an individual event since 1936.

Worlds conclude this week with the men’s and women’s park events. The finals are Saturday.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

Francesco Friedrich
Getty
0 Comments

A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. It marked Great Britain’s first world championships men’s bobsled medal since 1966.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!