Jonas Vingegaard loses two key Tour de France teammates

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Tour de France leader Jonas Vingegaard will go into the Pyrenees this week without two of his top climber teammates.

Primoz Roglic, the 2020 Tour de France runner-up, did not start Sunday’s 15th stage of the 21-stage event.

Another of Vingegaard’s climbing Jumbo-Visma teammates, Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk, was involved in a crash during Sunday’s stage and abandoned the race.

Belgian Jasper Philipsen eventually took the stage victory in a bunched sprint, edging countryman and Jumbo-Visma’s Wout van Aert ahead of a rest day.

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

Roglic entered the Tour considered a co-leader of Jumbo-Visma with the Dane Vingegaard but struggled through the cobblestones of stage five, losing two minutes to the other general classification contenders. He crashed into a hay bale, dislocated a shoulder, popped it back into place and finished the stage.

He continued to bleed time and by the end of Saturday’s 14th stage was in 21st place, 33:39 behind the leader — Vingegaard.

“I’m proud of my contribution to the current standings, and I trust that the team will realize our yellow and green ambitions,” the Slovenian Roglic said in a statement. “Thanks to everybody for your great support.”

Vingegaard, who crashed on Sunday but still finished with all the leaders, is favored to win his first Tour title next Sunday in Paris. Van Aert has a commanding lead in the green jersey standings for top sprinter.

Last year, Roglic withdrew before the ninth stage after crashing in the third stage.

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Kendall Gretsch wins six gold medals at Para Nordic Ski Worlds

Kendall Gretsch
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Kendall Gretsch, who won Paralympic titles at the last Summer and Winter Games, added another six gold medals at the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships in Sweden last week.

Gretsch, 30, earned seven total medals in seven days between biathlon and cross-country skiing.

Gretsch won gold medals in three different sports across the last three Paralympics: biathlon and cross-country skiing in 2018 (two years after taking up the sports), triathlon in 2021 and biathlon in 2022.

She plans to shift her focus back to triathlon after this winter for 2024 Paris Games qualification.

Gretsch, born with spina bifida, was the 2014 USA Triathlon Female Para Triathlete of the Year. Though triathlon was added to the Paralympics for the 2016 Rio Games, her classification was not added until Tokyo.

Also at last week’s worlds, six-time Paralympian Aaron Pike earned his first Paralympic or world championships gold medal in his decade-plus career, winning a 12.5km biathlon event.

Oksana Masters, who won seven medals in seven events at last year’s Paralympics to break the career U.S. Winter Paralympics medals record, missed worlds due to hand surgery.

The U.S. also picked up five medals at last week’s World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Spain — three silvers for five-time Paralympian Laurie Stephens and two bronzes for 17-year-old Saylor O’Brien.

Stephens now has 18 career medals from world championships, plus seven at the Paralympics.

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World champion skier Kyle Smaine dies in avalanche at age 31

Kyle Smaine
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Kyle Smaine, a retired world champion halfpipe skier, died in an avalanche in Japan on Sunday, according to NBC News, citing Smaine’s father. He was 31.

Smaine, a 2015 World champion in ski halfpipe, had been doing ski filming in Japan, sharing videos on his Instagram account over the past week.

The native of South Lake Tahoe, California, finished ninth in ski halfpipe at the 2016 Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado.

In 2018, Smaine won the fifth and final U.S. Olympic qualifying series event in ski halfpipe but did not make the four-man team for PyeongChang. His last sanctioned international competition was in February 2018.

Late Sunday, two-time Olympic champion David Wise won the X Games men’s ski halfpipe and dedicated it to Smaine.

“We all did this for Kyle tonight,” Wise said on the broadcast. “It’s a little bit of an emotional day for us. We lost a friend.”