Tour de France
Sagan wins crash-heavy stage; Cancellara has overall lead
Slovakia's Peter Sagan won the crash-marred third stage of the Tour de France on Tuesday as cycling's showcase race returned to its home country. Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara remained the overall leader for a fourth straight day.
The cyclists, who opened in Belgium, completed a 122-mile ride from Orchies that featured five small climbs to an uphill finish in the fishing port of Boulogne-sur-Mer, France.
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Sagan, at 22 one of cycling's brightest stars, won his second stage in his debut Tour by bolting from the splintered pack with less than 300 meters left. He crossed the line several lengths — and one second — ahead of runner-up Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway and third-place finisher Peter Velits of Slovakia.
With Sagan's Stage 1 victory Sunday he became the youngest rider to win a Tour stage since Lance Armstrong in 1993 at 21.
"You've got to give Sagan credit for the way he's riding at the minute. When you see something like that you just have to stand back and admire it, and smile and say well done," Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford said.
"It's a bit like watching Messi playing football or something isn't it?" he said, referring to Barcelona's Lionel Messi. "He's winning with such apparent ease at the moment that it's pretty phenomenal."
After a time-trial prologue won by Cancellara, and generally flat first few stages, the race is as open as ever. Cancellara has 43 riders within a minute of his overall time.
Tuesday's ride marked the first crash-related withdrawals from this 99th Tour, which ends July 22 on Paris' Champs-Elysees.
Overall, Cancellara leads runner-up Bradley Wiggins, who is hoping to become Britain's first Tour winner, and third-place Sylvain Chavanel — both seven seconds back. Defending champ Cadel Evans climbed one spot to seventh place, 17 seconds behind. Sagan was 15th, another six seconds slower.
Belgium's Philippe Gilbert, who last year had 18 victories in all competitions and was the top-ranked rider in the standings, went tumbling after getting hit from behind. He clambered back onto his bike with scrapes on his left leg and arm and kept going, but he lost more time to change a shoe damaged in the crash. Gilbert straggled across the finish line 7:46 after Sagan, plunging to 104th place overall. The Belgian began the day in seventh place.
It was one of at least four crashes as riders jostled to get up front for climbs near the finish, including one within the last mile.
"The group was nervous. Everyone wanted to be up front," Sagan told France-2 TV. "There were a lot of crashes. ... It was a very dangerous stage."
Track and field
Tarmoh defends decision to skip runoff
Jeneba Tarmoh didn't think it was right that she had to earn her spot again in the 100 meters for the Olympics.
So a day after conceding the spot to training partner Allyson Felix, Tarmoh was at peace with her choice not to participate in a runoff to break a third-place tie, even if some are second-guessing her decision and can't understand why she would walk away from a moment so big and so important.
"If standing up for what I believe in and not running because I believe I earned that spot, because I believe the emotional roller coaster they put me through was too much to go through at the moment — if that's what makes you a quitter then I guess the definition of a quitter is misconstrued nowadays," Tarmoh said Tuesday.
When she finished the original race, Tarmoh looked up to see her name on the scoreboard in the third spot behind winner Carmelita Jeter and runner-up Tianna Madison. She took a celebratory lap and soaked up the moment, hardly believing she was going to the Olympics in the 100.
It was all taken away when she learned officials took a second look at the results and declared a dead heat.
"I went from an ultimate high to a low," she said.
On Monday, hours before the winner-take-all race was scheduled to take place and shown on NBC, Tarmoh threw in the towel. She wasn't going to race, not in her emotional state.
"I worked really, really hard to earn that spot in the 100," Tarmoh said. "It was more than me winning, it was me practicing since November and training every day. It was me cramping up in the middle of practice, me throwing up at practices. It was me getting mentally prepared, physically prepared, then going to the trials, and making it through each round and staying focused.
"It was me knowing that when I crossed that finish line, that I put my all on the track, waiting for my time to come on the board and seeing what place I got. That's why it hurt so much, to see that it was my time and my name on the board in third place. All of a sudden someone's telling me, 'Sorry, we changed our mind. You didn't get third. It's a dead heat.' It was an emotional roller coaster."
Tarmoh is still going to the Olympics as a member of the 400-meter relay pool.
NFL denies appeals of bounty suspensions
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell rejected the appeals of four players suspended in connection with the league's bounty investigation of the New Orleans Saints.
In a ruling handed down on Tuesday, Goodell told Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Will Smith and Scott Fujita that each of them is still welcome to meet with him to give their side of the story, and that he reserves the right to reduce the suspensions should new information be brought forth.
Instead, however, the players intend to fight Goodell's rulings through the federal court system.
The players have declined to meet with Goodell because they have argued that Goodell lacked the jurisdiction to rule in the matter and has violated the spirit of the league's Collective Bargaining Agreement by making public statements about the case that demonstrated he could not be a neutral arbitrator.
The players likely would have relinquished those legal arguments had they met with the commissioner to defend themselves through the NFL's regular disciplinary process.
Vols promote ex-UK assistant Webster
Tennessee Coach Cuonzo Martin promoted Tracy Webster to associate head coach. Webster, entering his second season with the Volunteers, had been assistant coach. He has worked closely with Tennessee's guards and is Martin's primary recruiter.
Webster and Martin played against each other as collegians, with Webster starring at Wisconsin and Martin at Purdue. The two coached alongside each other in 2003-04 when Purdue coach Gene Keady added Webster to a coaching staff already featuring Martin.
Webster was an assistant coach at Kentucky for both seasons of Billy Gillispie's tenure.
Lexington Stakes' winning jockey arrested
A federal prosecutor in Puerto Rico said jockey Julio Garcia was arrested on charges of failing to pay thousands of dollars in child support for two of his children. Garcia is accused of owing more than $165,000 for support of two 16-year-old children.
Garcia, who won this year's Coolmore Lexington Stakes aboard All Squared Away, had five victories in 15 starts at Keeneland.
The last word
Golfer Juli Inkster, who missed six months this year recovering from elbow surgery:
"I should say I've watched a lot of women's golf, but I really haven't. I've watched a lot of men's golf just because, I don't know, (it) just seems to be on."