Egan Bernal, injured, plummets further as Tour de France enters decisive days


An injured Egan Bernal, his Tour de France title defense already extinguished, lost even more time in the 16th stage on Tuesday as the overall leaders prepared for the event’s highest summit finish on Wednesday.

Bernal, a Colombian who last year became the first South American to win the Tour, dropped off the back of peloton near the start of the day’s penultimate climb.

He fell from eight minutes behind in the overall standings to 19:04 back of leader Primoz Roglic, reportedly citing knee and back problems.

“It’s a bit of a test of pride, passion, and character now,” Ineos team manager Dave Brailsford said, according to “As far as we are concerned, this is the first day of trying to win the Tour next year.”

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

Ineos Grenadiers’ streak of five straight Tour crowns dating to 2015 — when it was Team Sky led by Chris Froome — will end when the three-week race finishes in Paris on Sunday. Froome, a four-time Tour winner leaving for a new team next season, and 2018 Tour champion Geraint Thomas were both left off the Ineos Tour squad.

The justification was that neither was physically ready for a three-week Grand Tour, especially Froome, coming back from a June 2020 crash into the wall of a house that nearly ended his career.

“People are entitled to their opinions, but I didn’t gamble with the selection,” Brailsford said, according to “They were big decisions. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. I’m sure that people have a lot to say, but they’re not privy to the facts that I’ve got.”

In the four remaining competitive stages, Roglic and Tadej Pogacar are expected to duel to become the first Slovenian to win the Tour.

Roglic, of the new dominant team Jumbo-Visma, kept his 40-second lead over younger Pogacar on Tuesday. Pogacar attacked twice in the last two kilometers of the minor finishing climb, but Roglic followed him each time.

Sixteen minutes earlier, German Lennard Kämna of Bora-Hansgrohe won the stage from a breakaway, but he has no hope of making the overall podium.

The Tour continues Wednesday with the 17th stage, a more daunting mountain day starting at the 1968 Winter Olympic host of Grenoble and finishing at Meribel, a site of 1992 Olympic Alpine skiing, with the highest summit finish of the Tour.

NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold coverage starts at 6 a.m. ET.

Roglic and Pogacar both called Wednesday the “Queen Stage,” or the most demanding.

“Tadej is the closest rival, and I expect he’ll try to attack,” Roglic said, according to “The other guys will probably look after each other.”

MORE: How Roglic beat Luka Doncic in Slovenia

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Germany goes 1-2 at bobsled worlds; Kaillie Humphries breaks medals record

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Kim Kalicki and Lisa Buckwitz gave Germany a one-two in the world bobsled championships two-woman event, while American Kaillie Humphries earned bronze to break the career medals record.

Kalicki, who was fourth at last year’s Olympics and leads this season’s World Cup standings, edged Buckwitz by five hundredths of a second combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Humphries, with push athlete Kaysha Love, was 51 hundredths behind.

Olympic champion Laura Nolte was in third place after two runs but crashed in the third run.

Humphries, 37 and a three-time Olympic champion between two-woman and monobob, earned her eighth world championships medal in the two-woman event. That broke her tie for the record of seven with retired German Sandra Kiriasis. Humphries is also the most decorated woman in world championships monobob, taking gold and silver in the two times it has been contested.

Humphries rolled her ankle after the first day of last week’s monobob, plus took months off training in the offseason while also doing two rounds of IVF.

“I chose to continue the IVF journey through the season which included a Lupron Depot shot the day before this race began,” she posted after her monobob silver last weekend. “My weight and body fluctuating all year with hormones, it was a battle to find my normal while competing again. I’m happy with this result, I came into it wanting a podium and we achieved it as a team.”

Love, who was seventh with Humphries in the Olympic two-woman event, began her transition to become a driver after the Games.

Worlds finish Sunday with the final two runs of the four-man event.

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Snowboarders sue coach, USOPC in assault, harassment case

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Olympic bronze medalist Rosey Fletcher has filed a lawsuit accusing former snowboard coach Peter Foley of sexually assaulting, harassing and intimidating members of his team for years, while the organizations overseeing the team did nothing to stop it.

Fletcher is a plaintiff in one of two lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Thursday. One names Foley, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, the U.S. Ski & Snowboard team and its former CEO, Tiger Shaw, as defendants. Another, filed by a former employee of USSS, names Foley, Shaw and the ski federation as defendants.

One of the lawsuits, which also accuse the defendants of sex trafficking, harassment, and covering up repeated acts of sexual assault and misconduct, allege Foley snuck into bed and sexually assaulted Fletcher, then shortly after she won her bronze medal at the 2006 Olympics, approached her “and said he still remembered ‘how she was breathing,’ referring to the first time he assaulted her.”

The lawsuits describe Foley as fostering a depraved travel squad of snowboarders, in which male coaches shared beds with female athletes, crude jokes about sexual conquests were frequently shared and coaches frequently commented to the female athletes about their weight and body types.

“Male coaches, including Foley, would slap female athletes’ butts when they finished their races, even though the coaches would not similarly slap the butts of male athletes,” the lawsuit said. “Physical assault did not stop with slapping butts. Notably, a female athlete once spilled barbeque sauce on her chest while eating and a male coach approached her and licked it off her chest without warning or her consent.”

The USOPC and USSS knew of Foley’s behavior but did nothing to stop it, the lawsuit said. It depicted Foley as an all-powerful coach who could make and break athletes’ careers on the basis of how they got along off the mountain.

Foley’s attorney, Howard Jacobs, did not immediately return requests for comment from The Associated Press. Jacobs has previously said allegations of sexual misconduct against Foley are false.

In a statement, the USOPC said it had not seen the complaint and couldn’t comment on specific details but that “we take every allegation of abuse very seriously.”

“The USOPC is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of Team USA athletes, and we are taking every step to identify, report, and eliminate abuse in our community,” the statement said.

It wasn’t until the Olympics in Beijing last year that allegations about Foley’s behavior and the culture on the snowboarding team started to emerge.

Allegations posted on Instagram by former team member Callan Chythlook-Sifsof — who, along with former team member Erin O’Malley, is a plaintiff along with Fletcher — led to Foley’s removal from the team, which he was still coaching when the games began.

That posting triggered more allegations in reporting by ESPN and spawned an AP report about how the case was handled between USSS and the U.S. Center for SafeSport, which is ultimately responsible for investigating cases involving sex abuse in Olympic sports. The center has had Foley on temporary suspension since March 18, 2022.

The AP typically does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault unless they have granted permission or spoken publicly, as Fletcher, Chythlook-Sifsof and O’Malley have done through a lawyer.

USSS said it was made aware of the allegations against Foley on Feb 6, 2022, and reported them to the SafeSport center.

“We are aware of the lawsuits that were filed,” USSS said in a statement. “U.S. Ski & Snowboard has not yet been served with the complaint nor has had an opportunity to fully review it. U.S. Ski & Snowboard is and will remain an organization that prioritizes the safety, health and well-being of its athletes and staff.”

The lawsuits seek unspecified damages to be determined in a jury trial.