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 Post subject: on the ice, its a different story." T
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:11 am 
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:38 am
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SAINT-ETIENNE, France -- Because of dopings ravages on cycling, its natural for suspicion to fall on Vincenzo Nibali, who led the Tour de France on Thursday for a 10th time in 12 stages. But Nibali says the sport has changed, doping cases have become rare, and "this theme belongs to the past." The Italian has had a praiseworthy, almost unbreakable lock on the yellow jersey, yet he will be looking over his shoulder more on Friday. The great race enters two days in the Alps that feature uphill finishes, starting with the hardest climb that the peloton has faced so far. Off the roads, Nibali said he expected questions about doping, a scourge of much of the last generation, for whom performance-enhancers such as blood-booster EPO or human growth hormone, and methods like blood-doping were common. Many cycling experts say the sport has greatly cleaned up its act. On Thursday, the Sky team, which has won the last two Tours, sacked British cyclist Jonathan Tiernan-Locke after he was banned for an irregular biological passport. He was not a Tour rider, but few would say the Tour peloton was totally clean. Dopings shadow remains at the Tour, among team staffers, and even a rider or two. Nibalis team, Astana, was kicked out of the 2007 Tour after its star rider Alexandre Vinokourov tested positive for banned blood transfusions. He served his ban, returned to racing, and won gold at the London Olympics. Vinokourov is now Astanas general manager. Rider Michele Scarponi who, like Nibali, won the Giro dItalia and was racing in this Tour, was given a three-month ban in 2012 for seeing banned physician Michele Ferrari, a longtime adviser of Lance Armstrong. Nibali says Astana has changed. "Ive chosen Astana for the possibility to build a group that I can trust to bring me at a competitive level for important races like the Giro, the Tour and the (Spanish) Vuelta," he said. "There have been many mistakes in cycling in the past, by many riders, but they belong to the past," Nibali said. "We now have a biological passport, out-of-competition controls, controls at home ... "Nobody can say that cycling hasnt changed. Nowadays, there is an isolated case. Theres always the possibility that an idiot does something stupid ..." Nibali, a native of Messina, Sicily, nicknamed the "Shark of the Strait" after the Strait of Messina, is trying to become only the sixth rider in history to win all three Grand Tours of France, Italy and Spain. He would also be the first Italian to win the Tour since Marco Pantani in 1998. The late Pantani was convicted in Italy of doping offences during his career. Giuseppe Martinelli, a cycling guru who worked with Pantani for years before they fell out, is an Astana manager. "Thanks to him," Nibali said of Martinelli through a translator, "I became closer to the Astana team that has invested a lot in an Italian group in order to regain credibility." To succeed Pantani, Nibali is keeping an eye out on other race contenders: Richie Porte of Australia trails by 2 minutes, 23 seconds, and Alejandro Valverde of Spain was third, 2:47 back. The mostly flat 185.5-kilometre (115.5-mile) course from Bourg-en-Bresse to Saint-Etienne in southeastern France was well suited for a possible sprint finish and thats how it was won by Alexander Kristoff, a Norwegian specialist with Katusha. American rider Andrew Talansky pulled out before the stage due to back pain from two previous crashes. A day earlier, the Garmin-Sharp leader rode for hours and finished last. Stage 13 will put riders legs under the most strain yet. The 197.5-kilometre (123-mile) trek begins in Saint-Etienne and will crescendo: It first covers a mid-sized climb and the Category 1 Palaquit pass, and finally an 18-kilometre (12-mile) ascent to Chamrousse -- one of cyclings hardest climbs. "Im sure our rivals will try to attack but on the other hand, if I can gain some seconds, Ill go for it," the race leader said. "Ill have to evaluate the strength of my adversaries and consider every race situation." The race has 10 more days. Greg Olsen Jersey . Basketball fans around the globe will be watching as Kobe Bryant makes his season debut - 240 days after tearing his left Achilles - against Toronto, a team he has used as his own personal punching bag. Russell Shepard Jersey . Jamies number grades given are out of five, with five being the best mark. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings (3) - Early goal against was on the power play. http://www.thepanthersofficialstore.com ... ersey/.com) - The Pittsburgh Penguins will try to complete a sweep of the Washington Capitals when the clubs cap a quick home-and-home series Tuesday night in the Steel City. Charles Johnson Jersey . -- New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has no concerns about the health of shortstop Derek Jeter, who was limited to 17 games last season due to leg injuries. Kawann Short Jersey . -- Theres something about playing on Orlandos floor lately that seems to bring out the best in the Dallas Mavericks.PHILADELPHIA -- Motivated by a lopsided loss to the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Philadelphia Flyers ignored fatigue and rebounded nicely. Michael Raffl and Claude Giroux scored goals, Steve Mason made 20 saves, and the Flyers beat the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 on Thursday night. Jakub Voracek had two assists, and Giroux also had an assist to help the Flyers snap a three-game losing streak and extend their home winning streak to six games. They were coming off a 2-3-1 trip in which they finished 0-2-1, including a 7-2 loss at Chicago on Wednesday night. "Its good to see we can put things behind us and move on," Giroux said. "Guys were pretty excited to play home again. Our fans give us a boost. That was one of our best 60-minute performances." Mason shut out the Canadiens for 59 minutes before Alex Galchenyuk scored with 55.1 seconds left to cut it to 2-1. The Canadiens have lost two in a row after going 9-0-1. They followed a 6-0 loss at home to the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday with another offensive clunker. "We were definitely slow in the first," captain Brian Gionta said. "Its tough when you start late to try and get back into the game. We made a good push, but it was just a little too late." The Flyers didnt show any ill effects from a 13-day trip. Despite playing three games in four nights, they looked fresh from the start. "I was happy with the way we skated," coach Craig Berube said. "You never know after a long trip how youre going to be. They were ready to go. I think theres a lot of character in the room. They werent happy about the loss in Chicago because they wanted to show they can play with that team." Raffl gave Philadelphia a 1-0 lead in the first period with his second NHL goal. Voracek set it up with a perfect pass from behind the net to Raffl in the slot. He wriisted a shot over goalie Carey Prices glove into the top corner.dddddddddddd Raffl didnt score in his first 17 games, but has two goals in three games this week. "I know when he has the puck, hes going to protect it and find me. I just have to be open," Raffl said of Voracek. Another crisp pass from Voracek set up Philadelphias second goal. Brayden Schenn took the puck up the middle, and he passed it to Voracek skating down the left side. Voracek sent a crossing pass to Giroux coming down the right wing, and he beat Price with a slap shot. Danny Briere, a fan favourite during six seasons with the Flyers, returned to Philadelphia for the first time since his contract was bought out last July. Briere got a standing ovation during a video tribute in the first period and he waved to the crowd from the bench. "It was weird playing against Danny," Giroux said. "Me and Danny are pretty close. We lived together. Hes one of my good friends. But
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on the ice, its a different story." T
he Canadiens had a goal disallowed in the third period because Gionta pushed it in with his hand while sliding headfirst into the crease. "I am very disappointed. Disappointing performance, honestly," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "I thought especially with the game we played at home, I thought we were going to be on fire, and I am disappointed." NOTES: Mason had 10 shutouts for Columbus when he was the NHLs top rookie in the 2008-09 season, and 10 more in the last five seasons. ... The Flyers scored first for the fourth game in a row. They were 0-2-1 in the other three. ... Giroux has five goals in 13 games after getting one in the first 19. ... Canadiens D Alexei Emelin was ejected for elbowing Steve Downie late in the second period. ... Canadiens lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time since Nov. 1-2. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '


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