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France win big on final day at UCI Track Cycling World Championships

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HONG KONG — Francois Pervis of France won the men’s 1km time trial on Sunday at the world track cycling championships in Hong Kong.

Pervis, who is also the world record holder, won his fourth rainbow jersey in the event with a time of 1 minute 0.714 seconds.

“My rainbow jersey missed me last year but now I can put again every day for training and it’s good,” Pervis said

Pervis’ countryman Quentin Lafargue and Tomas Babek of the Czech Republic both won their second medals of the championship sharing silver with a time of 1:01.048. No bronze medal was awarded.

Elinor Barker of Britain won her first individual world title. She beat American Sarah Hammer in the women’s 25km points race. Barker led the field after the fourth sprint but Hammer gained a lap in the penultimate sprint to take the lead with 51 points. But Barker fought back, taking the lead back with four laps to go by gaining a lap on her opponent, and finished on 59 points. Kirsten Wild of the Netherlands won bronze with 35 points.

“Before the race I didn’t really want to get a lap,” Barker said. “I just wanted to win the sprints and I was just kind of forced into it by other people getting laps and there was no other way to win the race so I thought, `yeah let’s do it.”‘

Germany’s Kristina Vogel retained her world title in the women’s Keirin event. Vogel beat out the No. 3-ranked Martha Bayona Pineda of Columbia who finished second and Nicky Degrendele of Belgium in third place.

France won the men’s Madison race in the final event of the day. Morgan Kneisky and Benjamin Thomas secured the gold medal with 45 points. They were followed closely by Cameron Meyer and Callum Scotson of Australia with 41 points and Moreno De Pauw and Kenny De Ketele of Belgium on 32 points.

“We had a very very hard start from all the French team,” said Kneisky. “It was hard the first two and three days and the morale of the French team was so good that everyone was motivated to give everything in the end of the week. And the last two days was so incredible for us with Benjamin because he give us the first world title for the French team and today it was Parvis with the kilometer and now we won the Madison and we are very happy.”

Australia finished the world championships with 11 podium finishes – including three gold medals, five silvers and three bronze. France, which had a shaky start to the week but won big on the final two days, finished with five medals in total including three golds, one silver and one bronze. Russia finished third with three golds and a bronze.

Little boy goes wild watching dad in Tour de France

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Bauke Mollema wasn’t the only one putting on a show at the Tour de France.

Mollema received plenty of support back home as his son went absolutely crazy watching his “papa” push to victory in Stage 15. As it is with siblings, Mollema’s oldest son, Julian, was forced to share the spot light as Thomas got emotional watching his dad finally earn a coveted stage win.

Amidst the blood, sweat and tears that have made up the 2017 Tour de France, Mollema’s adorable 2-year-old son, Thomas gave the internet something to smile about.

The Tour de France has “always been the most important race for [Mollema]” and his dreams came true when he had an impressive break away to solidify the first stage win of his career.

Clearly, Mollema was not the only one excited for his first victory.

 

Cavendish involved in nasty crash after elbow from Sagan

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VITTEL, France (AP) A nasty crash involving Mark Cavendish marred Tuesday’s fourth stage of the Tour de France, which was won by France’s Arnaud Demare in a chaotic sprint finish.

Replays appeared to show world champion Peter Sagan elbowing Cavendish, who was squeezed against the barriers to his right, out of the way. Cavendish slammed into the barriers and two other riders plowed over the British sprint specialist, a winner of 30 Tour stages.

Sagan, who crossed the line second, was later given a 30-second penalty that relegated him to 115th place on the stage. As a result, he dropped from second place in the overall standings to 15th.

“I get on with Peter well, but I don’t get … if he came across is one thing, but the elbow. I’m not a fan of him putting his elbow in me like that,” Cavendish said.

“A crash is a crash, I’d just like to know about the elbow, really,” Cavendish added. “I’d just like to speak to him about it.”

After the crash, Sagan went over to see how Cavendish was and patted him on the back, while the British rider showed him his wounds.

The Slovak said later he had apologized to Cavendish.

“It’s not nice to crash like that,” Sagan said.

“It’s the sprint. I just didn’t know that Mark is behind me, he’s coming from the right side,” Sagan added. “Mark was coming pretty fast from the back and after I just didn’t have time to react, to go left, and he just came (into) me and after into the fence.”

A medical team quickly ran out to treat Cavendish, jogging into the oncoming stream of riders to reach him.

When Cavendish was finally helped to his feet, his jersey was badly torn and blood was streaking down his side. Cavendish rode in with a teammate after treatment, gingerly holding his right arm close to his body, with his right hand in a bandage.

It’s already been a difficult year for Cavendish, who came down with mononucleosis caused by the Epstein-Barr virus in April.

Demare’s sprint victory ended a long wait for the home fans, with the previous French victory in a bunch sprint at the Tour being won by Jimmy Casper in Stage 1 in Strasbourg in 2006.

“It’s extraordinary, it’s marvelous,” said Demare, the French champion who finished second to Marcel Kittel in the mass sprint that concluded Stage 2.

There was another crash earlier that delayed Tour leader Geraint Thomas, but the Welshman retained the yellow jersey since it happened in the neutral zone near the stage finish.

Thomas leads Sky teammate and three-time champion Chris Froome by 12 seconds, with third-place Michael Matthews of Australia also 12 seconds back. Sagan is now 43 seconds adrift.

Thomas scraped his knee but said it was OK.

“I hit the deck but I’m fine,” Thomas said.

Demare clocked nearly five hours over the largely flat 207.5-kilometer (129-mile) route, which started and finished in two spa towns, Mondorf-les-Bains in Luxembourg and Vittel in France.

“We’ve been working with Arnaud for a long time on sprints,” said Marc Madiot, manager of Demare’s FDJ team. “Winning in the Tour is the best.”

After Sagan’s penalty, Alexander Kristoff moved up to second place in the stage, with Andre Greipel in third.

After starting in Mondorf, the hometown of 2010 Tour winner Andy Schleck, one of the first towns along the route was Schengen, where an agreement was signed in 1985 that enabled passport-free travel in mainland Europe.

Then it was a long, fairly straight slog through fields of grain, passing near the medieval city of Nancy into Vittel, home of the official mineral water supplier for the Tour.

It was the race’s third consecutive stage of more than 200 kilometers (125 miles) and when Guillaume van Keirsbulck, a Belgian with the Wanty team, attacked from the starting gun there was no reaction from the pack.

Van Keirsbulck quickly built a lead of more than seven minutes before being caught with less than 17 kilometers to go.

“A really hard day,” Van Keirsbulck said. “It’s not easy to stay in the front.”

Stage 5 on Wednesday concludes with the first serious climb of the Tour. The 160.5-kilometer (100-mile) leg begins in Vittel and winds its way to La Planche Des Belles Filles with a short but steep finishing ascent that features a leg-breaking 20-percent gradient in the final meters. All of the overall favorites should swing into action.