Slovenia’s Matej Mohoric earns first Tour stage win; Roglic out of contention

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LE CREUSOT, France — On the eve of the Tour de France’s first Alpine stage, the standings were given a serious shakeup.

After the longest stage on the Tour in 21 years on Friday, 2020 runner-up Primoz Roglic was out of contention.

Slovenian countryman Tadej Pogacar, the defending champion, lost a big chunk of the time he gained earlier this week in the individual time trial.

And Belgian star Wout van Aert positioned himself as Pogacar’s most dangerous rival.

With its hilly profile, the 249-kilometer (155-mile) Stage 7 from Vierzon to Le Creusot produced a Tour de France classic as another Slovenian, Matej Mohoric, earned his first stage win on the Tour following a long breakaway.

Mohoric was part of a group that formed more than 200 kilometers before the finish line. He went solo in the finale, using a tough climb to drop his remaining breakaway companions and reach the finish line alone.

Mathieu van der Poel looked exhausted when he crossed 1 minute, 40 seconds behind but he kept the yellow jersey with a 30-second advantage over Van Aert.

“It was 250 kilometers full gas,” Van der Poel said. “It went really fast and we managed to break away with a really strong group, it was really hard. I went to the limit to keep this jersey, which is really special.”

TOUR DE FRANCE: Standings | TV, Live Stream Schedule

Pogacar could not get into the breakaway and rode at the back with other top contenders after his UAE Team Emirates reacted too late and could not bridge the gap. Pogacar lost more than five minutes and dropped to fifth overall, 3:43 off the pace.

“We tried to close really fast … but they were pulling like crazy from the beginning” Pogacar said.

Despite big efforts deployed throughout the day by his teammates to limit the damage, Pogacar remained confident they will recover in time for Saturday’s first Alpine stage to Le Grand-Bornand.

“I know my team and I know they are strong,” he said.

The day’s biggest loser was Roglic, who crashed earlier in the race. Roglic struggled in the climb on Friday. He managed to get to the finish with a deficit exceeding nine minutes and his hopes of winning the three-week race were effectively over, barring an incredible comeback.

Roglic will likely abandon the Jumbo-Visma leadership and work in support of Van Aert. While Van der Poel is expected to struggle in the high mountains, Van Aert has proved in the past he can climb with the best. His phenomenal turns in the big climbs during last year’s race were crucial to lifting Roglic onto the podium.

Van Aert is also an excellent time trialist and should have a shot at the yellow jersey despite his claims he is “too heavy” to perform well in the mountains.

“But for now I’m still in a good position and it’s nice to give it a go like this,” he said. “Also, today was really, really hard, I first need to recover and see what I can do tomorrow when the real mountain starts.”

Mohoric, who rides for the Bahrain Victorious team, has stage wins now at all three Grand Tours. He seized the best climber’s polka-dot jersey.

“The stage I won in the Vuelta was also the longest stage in the race that year, and the same goes for the stage in the Giro,” he said. “I’m good in these super long, not so brutal efforts. I can keep up with a good pace for a very long time.”

The strong headwind made it difficult for riders to jump out of the pack in the early stages. After many unsuccessful attempts, a group of 29 including Van der Poel and Van Aert managed to get away.

Pogacar’s UAE Team Emirates teammates were caught off guard. When they finally moved to the front of the peloton to organize the chase, it was too late. They tried to set up a sustained tempo but were left to do all of the work as rival teams did not move.

The leading group collaborated well and quickly built a one-minute lead. Van der Poel took long turns at the front of a bunch which included former Grand Tours champions Vincenzo Nibali and Simon Yates and 10 former Tour stage winners. They rode at an impressive average speed of more than 51 kph in the first hour of racing and the time gap gradually increased to reach more than 6:30 with 90 kilometers left.

Behind them, the peloton upped the pace with more teams working at the front. The gap started to decrease when Mohoric and Brent Van Moer dropped their breakaway companions.

With 78 kilometers to go, the pair created a consistent gap as previously effective cooperation in the group including Van Aert and Van der Poel made way for a series of disorganized attacks.

Mohoric went solo in the tough climb of the Signal d’Uchon, an ascent with an average gradient of 11.5% in its last 1,500 meters. The Slovenian rider crossed first at the top and prolonged his impressive effort until the finish line.

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Eliud Kipchoge breaks marathon world record in Berlin

Eliud Kipchoge Berlin Marathon
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Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge broke his own world record in winning the Berlin Marathon, clocking 2:01:09 to lower the previous record time of 2:01:39 he set in the German capital in 2018.

Kipchoge, 37 and a two-time Olympic champion, earned his 15th win in 17 career marathons to bolster his claim as the greatest runner in history over 26.2 miles.

His pacing was not ideal. Kipchoge slowed in the final miles, running 61:18 for the second half after going out in an unprecedented 59:51 for the first 13.1 miles. He still won by 4:49 over Kenyan Mark Korir.

“I was planning to go through it [the halfway mark] 60:50, 60:40,” Kipchoge said. “My legs were running actually very fast. I thought, let me just try to run two hours flat, but all in all, I am happy with the performance.

“We went too fast [in the first half]. It takes energy from the muscles. … There’s still more in my legs [to possibly lower the record again].”

MORE: Berlin Marathon Results

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa won the women’s race in 2:15:37, the third-fastest time in history for somebody who ran one prior marathon in 2:34:01. Only Brigid Kosgei (2:14:14 in Chicago in 2019) and Paula Radcliffe (2:15:25 in London in 2003) have gone faster.

American record holder Keira D’Amato, who entered as the top seed, was sixth in 2:21:48. D’Amato, who went nearly a decade between competitive races after college, owns the American record of 2:19:12 and now also the 10th-best time in U.S. history.

“Today wasn’t my best day ever, but it was the best I could do today,” she said in a text message, according to Race Results Weekly, adding that she briefly stopped and walked late in the race.

The last eight instances the men’s marathon world record has been broken, it has come on the pancake-flat roads of Berlin. It began in 2003, when Kenyan Paul Tergat became the first man to break 2:05.

The world record was 2:02:57 — set by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014 — until Kipchoge broke it for the first time four years ago.

The following year, Kipchoge became the first person to cover 26.2 miles in under two hours, clocking 1:59:40 in a non-record-eligible showcase rather than a race.

Kipchoge’s focus going forward is trying to become the first runner to win three Olympic marathon titles in Paris in 2024. He also wants to win all six annual World Marathon Majors. He’s checked off four of them, only missing Boston (run in April) and New York City (run every November).

Kipchoge, the 2003 World 5000m champion at age 18, moved to the marathon after failing to make the 2012 Olympic team on the track.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup schedule, results

FIBA Women's World Cup
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The U.S. goes for its fourth consecutive title at the FIBA World Cup in Sydney — and eighth global gold in a row overall when including the Olympics.

A’ja Wilson, a two-time WNBA MVP, and Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP, headline a U.S. roster that, for the first time since 2000, includes neither Sue Bird (retired) nor Diana Taurasi (injured).

The new-look team includes nobody over the age of 30 for the first time since 1994, before the U.S. began its dynasty at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Americans have won 52 consecutive games between worlds and the Olympics dating to the 2006 Worlds bronze-medal game.

The field also includes host Australia, the U.S.’ former primary rival, and Olympic silver medalist Japan.

Nigeria, which played the U.S. the closest of any foe in Tokyo (losing by nine points), isn’t present after its federation withdrew the team over governance issues. Spain, ranked second in the world, failed to qualify.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Round
Wed., Sept. 21 8:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 82, Bosnia and Herzegovina 58 Group A
9:30 p.m. USA 87, Belgium 72 Group A
11 p.m. Canada 67, Serbia 60 Group B
Thurs., Sept. 22 12 a.m. Japan 89, Mali 56 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 107, South Korea 44 Group A
6:30 a.m. France 70, Australia 57 Group B
8:30 p.m. USA 106, Puerto Rico 42 Group A
10 p.m. Serbia 69, Japan 64 Group B
11 p.m. Belgium 84, South Korea 61 Group A
Fri., Sept. 23 12:30 a.m. China 98, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51 Group A
4 a.m. Canada 59, France 45 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 118, Mali 58 Group B
Sat., Sept. 24 12:30 a.m. USA 77, China 63 Group A
4 a.m. South Korea 99, Bosnia and Herzegovina 66 Group A
6:30 a.m. Belgium 68, Puerto Rico 65 Group A
Sun., Sept. 25 12:30 a.m. France 74, Mali 59 Group B
4 a.m. Australia 69, Serbia 54 Group B
6:30 a.m. Canada 70, Japan 56 Group B
9:30 p.m. Belgium vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
11:30 p.m. Mali vs. Serbia Group B
Mon., Sept. 26 12 a.m. USA vs. South Korea Group A
2 a.m. France vs. Japan Group B
3:30 a.m. China vs. Puerto Rico Group A
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Canada Group B
9:30 p.m. Puerto Rico vs. South Korea Group A
11:30 p.m. Belgium vs. China Group A
Tues., Sept. 27 12 a.m. USA vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
2 a.m. Canada vs. Mali Group B
3:30 a.m. France vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Japan Group B
Wed., Sept. 28 10 p.m. Quarterfinal
Thurs., Sept. 29 12:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
4 a.m. Quarterfinal
6:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
Fri., Sept. 30 3 .m. Semifinal
5:30 a.m. Semifinal
11 p.m. Third-Place Game
Sat., Oct. 1 2 a.m. Final