Sofia Goggia wins 7th consecutive downhill; Breezy Johnson clinches Olympic spot

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Italian Sofia Goggia won her seventh consecutive World Cup downhill start, while American Breezy Johnson clinched a spot on her second Olympic team on Saturday.

Goggia, bidding in February to become the second skier to repeat as Olympic downhill champion, prevailed by .27 of a second over Johnson in Val d’Isere, France. Austrian Mirjam Puchner was third.

“[Goggia] is skiing phenomenally right now, so hats off to her,” Johnson said. “She knows she has to ski her best every day. If she does mess up, or she doesn’t ski perfectly, or we find a hill where her skis aren’t running or something is not as perfect, then hopefully I can be right there to take her.”

ALPINE SKIING WORLD CUP: Full Results | Broadcast Schedule

Goggia broke her tie with Lindsey Vonn and Picabo Street for the longest women’s downhill win streak in the last 40 years. Goggia missed two downhills during her run, plus last season’s world championships, after fracturing a bone in her right knee in a crash.

Only Austrian legend Annemarie Moser-Pröll had a longer streak with runs of eight and 11 wins in a row in the 1970s.

Johnson, 25, earned her third consecutive World Cup downhill runner-up to Goggia. She clinched U.S. Olympic qualifying criteria with one downhill remaining in the selection period, joining Mikaela Shiffrin on the provisional Olympic team.

Johnson was the youngest woman to finish in the top 10 in the 2018 Olympic downhill (seventh).

She missed the following season after tearing her right ACL in a training crash. Before Johnson could return to racing, she tore her left PCL and MCL in a June 2019 giant slalom practice fall.

ON HER TURF: Goggia, Johnson leave little room on podium

She ended up going 22 months between World Cups, learning to sleep for months with her knees on bolsters, then re-learning it after the second injury. She struggled with depression,

Then she returned better than before. Johnson has six World Cup downhill podiums between the last two seasons, all second- and third-place finishes.

U.S. Ski and Snowboard is not expected to officially name team members until next month. They must be approved by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

The women’s World Cup continues with a super-G on Sunday, including Shiffrin.

MORE: U.S. athletes qualified for 2022 Olympics

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Eliud Kipchoge, two races shy of his target, to make Boston Marathon debut

Eliud Kipchoge Berlin Marathon
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World record holder Eliud Kipchoge will race the Boston Marathon for the first time on April 17.

Kipchoge, who at September’s Berlin Marathon lowered his world record by 30 seconds to 2:01:09, has won four of the six annual major marathons — Berlin, Tokyo, London and Chicago.

The 38-year-old Kenyan has never raced Boston, the world’s oldest annual marathon dating to 1897, nor New York City but has repeated in recent years a desire to enter both of them.

Typically, he has run the London Marathon in the spring and the Berlin Marathon in the fall.

Kipchoge’s last race in the U.S. was the 2014 Chicago Marathon, his second of 10 consecutive marathon victories from 2014 through 2019.

He can become the first reigning men’s marathon world record holder to finish the Boston Marathon since South Korean Suh Yun-Bok set a world record of 2:25:39 in Boston in 1947, according to the Boston Athletic Association.

In 2024 in Paris, Kipchoge is expected to race the Olympic marathon and bid to become the first person to win three gold medals in that event.

The Boston Marathon field also includes arguably the second- and third-best men in the world right now — Kipchoge’s Kenyan training partners Evans Chebet and Benson Kipruto. Chebet won Boston and New York City this year. Kipruto won Boston last year and Chicago this year.

American Des Linden, who won Boston in 2018, headlines the women’s field.

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2024 Tour de France to end with Nice time trial due to Paris Olympics

2024 Tour de France Nice
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The 2024 Tour de France will end on the French Riviera instead of the French capital because of the Paris Olympics.

The finish of cycling’s marquee race leaves Paris for the first time since 1905.

Tour organizers said on Thursday the last stage of its 111th race will take place in the Mediterranean resort of Nice on July 21. Five days later, Paris opens the Olympics.

Because of security and logistical reasons, the French capital won’t have its traditional Tour finish on the Champs-Elysees. Parting with tradition of a sprint on the Champs-Elysees, the last stage will be an individual time trial along Nice’s famed Promenade des Anglais.

The start of the 2024 race, which will begin for the first time in Italy, was brought forward by one week, a customary change during an Olympic year. The Tour will start on June 29 in Florence.

Nice has hosted the Tour 37 times, including its start twice, in 1981 and in 2020. Two years ago, the start was delayed until Aug. 29 due to lockdowns and travels bans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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