Yves Lampaert wins Tour de France opening time trial; Tadej Pogacar leads GC contenders

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Belgian Yves Lampaert was the surprise winner of the Tour de France’s opening time trial, while two-time defending champion Tadej Pogacar gained seconds on his biggest threats.

Lampaert, 31, earned the biggest victory of his career in Copenhagen. He started after all of the favorites and overtook countryman Wout van Aert by four seconds, crossing the 8.2-mile course in 15 minutes, 17 seconds.

Lampaert could scarcely believe it when he realized he won, wiping away tears and putting his hands on his mouth.

“My mind is exploding,” Lampaert said. “I came with expectation a top-10 would be great. Now I beat all the best riders in the world. I’m just a farmer’s son from Belgium. To do this, I never expect it.”

Pogacar was third, seven seconds behind, followed by world time trial champion Filippo Ganna of Italy.

Pogacar gained eight and nine seconds on Jonas Vingegaard and Primoz Roglic, respectively, his top rivals to claim the Tour title in Paris in three weeks.

TOUR DE FRANCE: Standings | Broadcast Schedule | Stage by Stage

The rain was teeming when Roglic finished under grey skies shortly after 4:30 p.m., and still lashing when Pogacar set off around 40 minutes later. Even though he is a specialist in the wet, Pogacar looked cautious taking the first turn.

It might have cost him victory.

Riders set off to loud cheers.

“There was so much noise you could hardly hear anything in the earpiece,” French rider David Gaudu said.

Large parts of the Danish capital were shut down. The wet roads made the route treacherous — especially the section across the square of Amalienborg Palace, the main residence of Denmark’s royal family, which is paved with cobblestones.

Swiss rider Stefan Bissegger fell off twice, but continued.

The stage went past the city’s other best known landmarks, including the Little Mermaid statue, sitting on her perch at the entrance of the harbor.

Among the thousands of fans, some waving the red-and-white Danish flag, was Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.

“I grew up with my dad being glued to the television screen to watch Tour de France,” Frederiksen said.

Earlier, Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik rode the route.

“It is great to see the great support for the Tour at home,” said the 54-year-old Frederik, sporting a helmet, shorts and a T-shirt. The palace also published Instagram vintage photos of Danish royals riding bicycles, including Frederik’s great grandfather, King Christian X and the current Queen Margrethe.

There are two more stages in Denmark this weekend, including crossing the Great Belt Bridge that links the Zealand island, where Copenhagen sits, and the central isle of Funen.

The first start in Denmark — but the 24th time the race has started outside of France — was supposed to be held in 2021 but postponed a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

After the Danish stages, the riders travel to France with a stage between Dunkirk and Calais.

The race ends in Paris on July 24.

Meanwhile, police have been closely investigating the Bahrain Victorious team and seized more than 450 capsules of unidentified substances at a house in Slovenia during raids across Europe, the European agency Eurojust said Friday.

Riders and staff had their homes raided and the team’s hotel in Denmark was searched this week.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Aleksander Aamodt Kilde wins Beaver Creek downhill

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde
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BEAVER CREEK, Colo. — Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde won his second straight World Cup downhill race to start the season, despite feeling under the weather.

Although dealing with an illness all week in training, Kilde powered through the challenging Birds of Prey course Saturday in a time of 1 minute, 42.09 seconds. It was enough to hold off Marco Odermatt of Switzerland by 0.06 seconds. James Crawford of Canada was third to earn his second career World Cup podium finish.

Kilde also won the opening downhill last weekend in Lake Louise, Alberta.

“It’s been a tough week,” Kilde said after the race. “I caught the flu in Lake Louise after a very, very nice weekend. It really hit me hard. Then I got a couple of days to rest and take it easy. … I felt OK. Still feeling it a little bit in my system.”

The Beaver Creek crew members had the course in solid shape a day after a downhill race was canceled due to high wind and snowfall.

ALPINE SKIING: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Kilde reached speeds around 75 mph in picking up his eighth World Cup downhill victory. That tied him with Kjetil Jansrud for the third-most downhill wins in the World Cup discipline among Norwegian men. The total trails only Aksel Lund Svindal (14) and Lasse Kjus (10).

“I found a really, really good set-up with my equipment and also with my skiing,” Kilde explained. “I believe in myself. I trust in myself. I have a good game plan. When I stand on the start, I don’t dwell on anything. I know that this plan is what I do and when I do that it’s going to be fast.”

Odermatt has been on the podium in all four World Cup races this season as he tries to defend his overall World Cup title. The 25-year-old finished third in the opening downhill of the season last weekend. He’s also won a giant slalom race and a super-G.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle wound up in seventh place for the top American finish. He was ninth in the downhill in Lake Louise.

“It’s been solid,” Cochran-Siegle said of his strides in the discipline. “A couple of little things here and there that pushed me off that top three. You have to ski with a lot of intensity and ski without abandon, in a sense. Today was a good step.”

Switzerland’s Beat Feuz, who won the Olympic downhill gold medal at the Beijing Games last February, tied for ninth.

The Beaver Creek stop on the circuit comes to a close Sunday with a super-G race. Odermatt will be the favorite after holding off Kilde in the opening super-G last weekend.

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Summer McIntosh, Canadian teen swimmer, caps record year with another historic time

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Summer McIntosh swam the fourth-fastest 400m individual medley in history on Friday, capping a year that already included world titles, Commonwealth Games titles and a victory over Katie Ledecky.

McIntosh, a 16-year-old Canadian whose mom swam at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, won the 400m IM in 4 minutes, 28.61 seconds at the U.S. Open in Greensboro, N.C. She prevailed by a Ledecky-like 13.24 seconds, breaking her own national record that was previously the fourth-fastest time in history.

“It’s still pretty early in the season, so I didn’t really know what to expect going into it,” she said on Peacock.

The only two women who ever went faster in the event known as the decathlon of swimming are Olympic gold medalists: Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (world record 4:26.36 and 4:28.58) and China’s Ye Shiwen (4:28.43).

McIntosh has come a long way in a short time. Three years ago, she put all her eggs in the 1500m freestyle basket, thinking it was her best shot to merely qualify for the Tokyo Games in 2020. The one-year Olympic postponement was a blessing.

The rapidly improving McIntosh swam three individual events in Tokyo with a top finish of fourth in the 400m free, just missing becoming the youngest swimming medalist since 1996. She then told her coach she wanted to become an IMer.

At this past June’s world championships, McIntosh won two of the most grueling events — 400m IM and 200m butterfly — to become the youngest individual world champion since 2011. She also took silver to Ledecky in the 400m free, an event in which she later beat Ledecky in a short-course meet (25-meter pool rather than the 50-meter pool used for the Olympics).

A month after worlds, McIntosh swept the IMs at the Commonwealth Games, where she broke more world junior records and again took second in the 400m free (this time to Olympic champ and world record holder Ariarne Titmus of Australia).

McIntosh, who turned professional last year, now trains full-time in Sarasota, Florida, where she rents a house with her mom, Jill Horstead, who was ninth in the 200m fly at the 1984 Olympics (McIntosh, whose passions include the Kardashians and plants from Target, has seen video of her mom winning the B final at those Games). They’re a three-hour drive down Interstate 75 from Ledecky’s base in Gainesville.

Also Friday, Erin Gemmell celebrated her 18th birthday by nearly becoming the first American to beat Ledecky in a 200m freestyle in nearly nine years. Ledecky won by 42 hundredths of a second in 1:56.74 and said she had an off-day while also praising Gemmell, the daughter of her former coach.

NBC airs U.S. Open highlights on Dec. 10 at 4:30 p.m. ET.

U.S. OPEN SWIMMING: Full Results

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