Nibali, Rogers Find Favor in Pyrenees
Bagneres-De-Luchon, France — Australia’s Michael Rogers led a breakaway to a downhill finish in winning the longest stage as the Tour de France entered the Pyrenees on Tuesday.
Vincenzo Nibali, about 8½ minutes back, reined in his top challengers and retained the yellow jersey after Stage 16.
But the contest for the podium spots below him was shaken up: France’s Thibault Pinot rose to third in the standings, bumping aside compatriot Romain Bardet, while the United States’ Tejay van Garderen lost more than 3½ minutes — and fell from fifth to sixth overall. Bardet, up to fifth, was nearly 3 minutes ahead of the American.
Rogers, a three-time world champion, took a bow as he crossed the line alone to collect his first career Tour stage win after the 147-mile leg from Carcassonne to Bagneres-de-Luchon featuring an ascent up the super-tough Port de Bales.
As the day began, a breakaway group of 21 riders jelled within the first two hours, and stuck together for much of the day, chiseling out a lead of more than 12 minutes.
But their unity began to disintegrate along the 12-kilometer Port de Bales climb, which was ranked hors categorie. In its steepest patch, the gradient reached 11 percent.
Clippers CEO: Coach Will Quit If Sterling Retains Team
Los Angeles — The interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers testified Tuesday that coach Doc Rivers told him he will quit if Donald Sterling remains the owner of the team.
CEO Richard Parsons made the statement at the trial to determine whether Sterling’s wife, Shelly Sterling, can sell the team for $2 billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
The NBA has tried to force out Donald Sterling since soon after racist statements emerged on recordings in April.
Parsons said he fears there would also be an exodus of key players, including team captain Chris Paul, who heads the NBA players union.
Source: Cavs to Sign Wiggins
Cleveland — Andrew Wiggins will sign his rookie contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. It’s still not clear if he’ll play for them.
A person familiar with the negotiations says the Cavs will sign the No. 1 overall pick to his deal, an agreement that would prevent any potential trade involving the small forward from being completed for 30 days.
Wiggins has been linked to a possible trade with Minnesota for All-Star forward Kevin Love. The person familiar with the talks says Wiggins will sign with Cleveland as early as today. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the team is not commenting on its plans.
The Cavs and Timberwolves have had ongoing discussions about a trade for Love since before Cleveland selected Wiggins first in May. The Timberwolves have always insisted that Wiggins be involved in any package, a stipulation the Cavaliers have resisted.
In a related move, a person familiar with the trade says the Cavaliers have sent guard Carrick Felix to Utah for three players with non-guaranteed contracts, a deal to give them more assets to go after Love.
Liverpool Practices at Fenway
Boston — Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says the team is moving on after Luis Suarez was sent to Barcelona for a $130 million transfer fee.
“He gave everything for Liverpool,” Rodgers said when asked if Suarez had let the club down. “Of course there have been issues, but they’re in the past. He was a brilliant player for us and for me. … It’s a shame he’s not here. But Liverpool, as a club, is bigger than any one player.”
Rodgers spoke at Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox, before the Reds practiced for tonight’s friendly against AS Roma.
The 102-year-old baseball stadium was decked out for the game on Tuesday, with the pitch lined up from the third-base line to the right-field stands.
Balloons with each team’s name rose above the bullpens where the pitchers warm up, and Fenway’s famous Green Monster was covered with banners promoting the soccer match. More than 30,000 tickets have been sold for the second installment of “Football at Fenway”; the same two teams met in 2012.
The game between teams from England and Italy will have a local flavor: Liverpool is owned by Red Sox owner John Henry, and Roma is owned by Boston Celtics minority owner Jim Pallotta.