Primoz Roglic, paced by American, wins first summit finish of Tour de France

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The first (mini) round of the Tour de France’s general classification bout went to Slovenian Primoz Roglic, the man looking to derail the Ineos Grenadiers train that won seven of the last eight Tours.

Roglic, a 2007 World junior ski jumping team champion, has, at 30, blossomed into the leader of an emerging and loaded Jumbo-Visma team. The Dutch outfit pulled the leading group up the last of four climbs to the first summit finish of the Tour in just the fourth stage on Tuesday.

The Jumbo depth and youth was on display, with a pair of 25-year-olds taking turns at the front. First, Belgian Wout van Aert, in his second Tour. Then, Tour rookie Sepp Kuss, the most promising American climber in years, who gave way with 500 meters left.

Roglic won the stage with a punchy sprint in the last 100 meters. And though defending champion Egan Bernal of Ineos finished in the same time (minus Roglic’s 10-second winning bonus), it was clear which team ruled the day.

“It’s not good when another GC rider gets some seconds, but I think we need to be patient and know that our best scenario is to arrive in the third week without losing too much time and then trying to recover time on the long climbs,” Bernal said, according to Cyclingnews.com. “We want to arrive as fresh as we can in the final week.”

TOUR DE FRANCE: Standings | TV, Stream Schedule | Stage By Stage

Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe remained in the yellow jersey, still four seconds ahead of Brit Adam Yates. Alaphilippe’s days in the lead appear numbered, though he overcame similar doubts a year ago to hold the maillot jaune for 14 days before finishing fifth.

If Alaphilippe keeps yellow through Wednesday’s flat stage five (7 a.m. ET, NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold), stage six with late climbs and through the Pyrenees this weekend, he will have more career days in the maillot jaune than all but two other men who haven’t won a Tour.

“We’re not here to control the race for three weeks,” Alaphilippe said, according to Cyclingnews.com, reiterating his stance that becoming the first Frenchman to win the Tour since 1985 is not a goal.

While Alaphilippe was the enduring story of last year’s Tour, Jumbo-Visma may have started putting pen to paper on Tuesday.

Kuss’ presence at the front in the final half-mile of a mountain stage was a welcomed sight for U.S. cycling fans who haven’t seen an American finish in the top 30 of the Tour in this Olympic cycle. An American last won an individual stage in 2011 (sprinter Tyler Farrar).

“On a stage like this, I’m definitely more switched on, and I know that I have a real job to help the guys,” said Kuss, a native of Durango, Colo., who turned heads by winning a stage in the premier Tour prep race, the Criterium du Dauphine.

Kuss also worked for Roglic in the Dauphine before the Slovenian withdrew while leading the race after crashing. Roglic’s performance Tuesday put to bed doubts about his health and form.

Jumbo also has the 2018 Tour runner-up in Tom Dumoulin, while his Scottie Pippen-role counterpart at Ineos Grenadiers, 2019 Giro d’Italia winner Richard Carapaz, lost 28 seconds on Tuesday to the men who are contenders to stand on the podium in Paris in nearly three weeks.

A few minutes after Tuesday’s win, Roglic declared he didn’t care that he didn’t take over the yellow jersey. Roglic, and Jumbo-Visma, look like they will have plenty more opportunities to show that this is their Tour.

“I’m coming back now,” he said about the return from the Dauphine crash. “Every day I feel a little better. It’s nice to ride a bike again.”

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MORE: USA Cycling names Olympic team finalists

In a tie, Wendy Holdener puts to rest a remarkable stat in Alpine skiing

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Swiss Wendy Holdener ended one of the most remarkable victory droughts in sports by tying for the win with Swede Anna Swenn Larsson in a World Cup slalom in Killington, Vermont, on Sunday.

Holdener, after 15 second-place finishes and 15 third-place finishes in her career, stood on the top step of a World Cup slalom podium for the first time. She shared it with Swenn Larsson, who had six World Cup slalom podiums before Sunday and also earned her first win.

They beat Austrian Katharina Truppe by .22 of a second combining times from two runs.

ALPINE SKIING: Full Results | Broadcast Schedule

Holdener, 29, previously won three World Cups in other disciplines, plus two world championships in the combined and Olympic and world titles in the team event.

“To be tied first when I came into the finish was such a relief,” Holdener said while shoulder to shoulder with Swenn Larsson. “On the end, it’s perfect, because now we can share our first win together.”

Mikaela Shiffrin had the best first-run time but lost her lead midway through the second run and finished fifth. Shiffrin, who won the first two slaloms this season last weekend, was bidding for a 50th World Cup slalom victory and a sixth win in six slaloms in Killington.

“I fought. I think some spots I got a little bit off my timing, but I was pushing, and that’s slalom,” she said before turning her attention to Holdener and Swenn Larsson. “It’s a pretty special day, actually.”

The women’s Alpine skiing World Cup moves next weekend to Lake Louise, Alberta, with two downhills and a super-G.

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Injured Ilia Malinin wins Grand Prix Finland, qualifies for Grand Prix Final

Ilia Malinin
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Ilia Malinin, competing “a little bit injured” this week, still won Grand Prix Finland and goes into the Grand Prix Final in two weeks as the world’s top-ranked male singles skater.

Malinin, who was second after Friday’s short program, landed four clean quadruple jumps in Saturday’s free skate to overtake Frenchman Kevin Aymoz.

Malinin, who landed a quad flip in competition for the first time, according to SkatingScores.com, also attempted a quad Axel to open his program, but spun out of the landing and put his hand down on the ice.

Malinin also won his previous two starts this season in come-from-behind fashion. The 17-year-old world junior champion became the first skater to land a clean, fully rotated quad Axel in September, then did it again in October at Skate America, where he posted the world’s top overall score this season.

Next, Malinin can become the second-youngest man to win the Grand Prix Final after Russian Yevgeny Plushenko. His biggest competition is likely to be world champion Shoma Uno of Japan, who like Malinin won both of his Grand Prix starts this fall. Malinin and Uno have not gone head-to-head this season.

Grand Prix Finland highlights air on NBC, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

FIGURE SKATING: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Earlier, Japan’s Mai Mihara overtook world silver medalist Loena Hendrickx of Belgium to become the only woman to win both of her Grand Prix starts this season. Mihara prevailed by .23 of a point. The top three women this season by best total score are Japanese, led by a junior skater, 14-year-old Mao Shimada, who isn’t Olympic age-eligible until 2030.

Mihara and Hendrickx qualified for the Grand Prix Final, joining world champion Kaori Sakamoto and Rinka Watanabe, both of Japan, South Korean Yelim Kim and American Isabeau Levito, the world junior champion.

Italians Rebecca Ghilardi and Filippo Ambrosini won both pairs’ programs and qualified for their first Grand Prix Final.

Japan’s Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara and Americans Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier headline the Final. Both pairs won each of their Grand Prix starts earlier this fall. The Japanese have the world’s two best scores this season. The Americans are reigning world champions.

At least one Russian or Chinese pair made every Grand Prix Final podium — usually pairs from both countries — but neither nation competed in pairs this Grand Prix season. All Russian skaters are banned due to the war in Ukraine. China’s lone entry on the Grand Prix across all disciplines was an ice dance couple.

Canadians Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier improved on their world-leading score for this season in winning the ice dance by 17.03 points over Americans Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker. Both couples qualified for the Grand Prix Final in the absence of all three Olympic medalists this fall.

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