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Fans continue to taunt Chris Froome at the Tour de France

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MILLAU, France – Spectators continue to taunt Chris Froome along the roads of the Tour de France after the four-time champion was cleared of doping.

Prior to the start of Stage 15 on Sunday in the southern town of Millau, one spectator leaned over the barriers toward Froome and made a gesture like he was injecting his arm.

Throughout the race, spectators have voiced their disapproval of the Team Sky rider.

A cloud had hung over Froome after a urine sample taken during the Spanish Vuelta in September showed a concentration of the asthma drug salbutamol that was twice the permitted level.

Tour organizers had informed Froome that he wasn’t welcome at this year’s race until the International Cycling Union announced five days before the event started that Froome’s result did not represent an adverse finding.

Froome is aiming to join Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain as the only riders to win the Tour five times.

With one week remaining, Froome sits second in the overall standings, 1 minute and 39 seconds behind Sky teammate Geraint Thomas.

 

Egan Bernal wins Paris-Nice race after lively final stage

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NICE, France (AP) Team Sky rider Egan Bernal won the Paris-Nice weeklong race for his most prestigious title so far after resisting a bold offensive from fellow Colombian Nairo Quintana in Sunday’s final stage.

Quintana secured a second-placed finish after Spain’s Ion Izagirre won the eighth stage on the “Promenade des Anglais” along the Mediterranean Sea.

The 22-year-old Bernal, one of the most promising riders of his generation, moved into the overall lead after Saturday’s penultimate stage at the summit of the Col de Turini.

Quintana’s efforts nearly paid off but the climber had to be content with a runner-up finish, 39 seconds behind Bernal. Michal Kwiatkowski, who also rides for Team Sky, completed the podium.

Quintana made his move on the Cote de Peille and led a group of 12 riders at the top of the climb. Quintana had a 55-second lead over Bernal at some point but a lack of cooperation within the breakaway group in the descent to Nice proved costly for the former Giro and Vuelta champion.

Izagirre secured the stage’s win by dropping his breakaway companions in the finale.

Bernal secured a sixth victory in seven years for Team Sky in Paris-Nice.

Peter Sagan to start Tour of California

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LOS ANGELES — Three-time world champion Peter Sagan and former Tour of California champion George Bennett will be at the start line when the most prestigious cycling race in the U.S. begins May 12.

Race organizers announced the men’s and women’s teams and some of their riders Thursday.

Sagan will be back to lead BORA-hansgrohe while adding to his record 16 stage wins, while former overall winner Tejay van Garderen will be back with EF Education First Pro Cycling. Other stars set to compete include Marcel Kittel, Mark Cavendish and Rohan Dennis.

Olympic gold medalist and world champion Anna Van der Breggen and reigning race champ Katie Hall will be back to headline the women’s race, which begins May 16.

Both races will end May 18 in Pasadena.