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30.01.2019 07:30
BESANCON, France -- With defending champion Chris Froome and two-time winner Alberto Contador out of the race, the path is wide Antworten

BESANCON, France -- With defending champion Chris Froome and two-time winner Alberto Contador out of the race, the path is wide open for Vincenzo Nibali to become the first Italian to win the Tour de France since the late Marco Pantani in 1998. DeMario Davis Jersey . The French have waited even longer for a champion -- the last was Bernard Hinault way back in 1985 -- but with three riders in the top six places, hopes are growing of at least a first podium place since climber Richard Virenque finished second in 1997. After Tuesdays rest day, the race resumes with Stage 11 on Wednesday, followed by arduous mountain stages on Friday and Saturday which will reveal the genuine contenders. These are where Nibalis climbing skills could set him apart, and give him a chance to fully stamp his authority on the race. There are five days of hard climbing ahead, starting with Fridays 197.5-kilometre (122.4-mile) trek from Saint-Etienne to Chamrousse, which ends with a huge ascent of 18 kilometres (11.2 miles). As for Nibalis rivals, Contador broke his shin in a violent fall in Mondays 10th stage and Froome pulled out on stage 5 with a broken wrist. "Im not happy about what happened to Alberto and Chris," the 29-year-old Nibali said. "The climbs would have been better and more spectacular for everyone." Nibali, who won the Spanish Vuelta in 2010 and the Giro dItalia in 2013, is 2 minutes, 23 seconds ahead of Australian Richie Porte and 2:47 clear of Spaniard Alejandro Valverde, who won the Vuelta five years ago. Three Frenchmen are within four minutes of Nibali -- Romain Bardet, Tony Gallopin and Thibaut Pinot. None has come close to a podium place on a Grand Tour, although the 23-year-old Bardet and the 24-year-old Pinot have strong climbing skills. "Weve got to stay calm and study the situation," Nibali said. "The danger can come from anywhere." Porte rode as a key support rider for Froome last year on the Sky team, but now has free reign to attack. "Porte goes well in the climbs, he goes well in time trials, you have to keep a good distance on him," Nibali said. "You have to watch Valverde, he can attack at any time." The 34-year-old Valverde was handed a two-year suspension in 2010 for his involvement in the Operation Puerto doping plot, which involved dozens of riders over secretly stored blood bags. Like Nibali, Pantani was a courageous cyclist who loved to attack in the tough climbs. Pantani was found dead in a hotel room on Valentines Day in 2004 and a coroner ruled he died from cocaine poisoning. Nibali has one of Pantinis yellow jerseys at home, a gift from Pantinis mother to mark the 10th anniversary of his death. "It would be a great honour to follow on from him," said Nibali. Fridays stage will also be special for Nibali because it marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of two-time Tour champion Gino Bartali, who died in 2000 at the age of 85. "As an Italian, its a huge privilege to be asked about Bartali. I grew up watching documentaries on the big riders, the big wins of (Felice) Gimondi, Bartali and (Fausto) Coppi," Nibali said. "Theyre all in the encyclopedia of cycling. There are others like Hinault, too. Theyve written the history of cycling." The last French heyday came in the 1980s when Hinault, a five-time champion, competed against Laurent Fignon, who won in 83 and 84. Wednesdays stage is a 187.5-kilometre (116.3-mile) route in eastern France from Besancon to Oyonnax and features four small climbs. Veteran Fabian Cancellara wont be among the starters. The 33-year-old Swiss cyclist has pulled out to focus on the Road World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain, from Sept. 21-28. Cancellara withdrew prior to the start of the 11th Tour stage in 2012. Marcus Davenport Jersey . The CFL unveiled its 2014 schedule Wednesday and the Redblacks will play their first-ever regular-season game in Winnipeg against the Blue Bombers on July 3. Jermon Bushrod Saints Jersey .com) - The surprising Calgary Flames host the winless New Jersey Devils at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday. http://www.saintsrookiestore.com/Saints-Kurt-Coleman-Jersey/ . None of them are Finlands Pekka Rinne, who stands as Canadas biggest challenge in Thursdays quarter-final round. Even while a young Finnish team has struggled with penalties, turnovers and a lack of offensive depth, Rinne has been a rock with a 1.OWINGS MILLS, Md. - The Baltimore Ravens have plenty of flaws, and theyre running out of time to fix them.Two weeks ago, the Ravens were in first place in the AFC North. Now, after an embarrassing 43-23 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night, theyre in the cellar.Baltimore (5-4) yielded four sacks, gained only 63 yards rushing and — worst of all — allowed Ben Roethlisberger to throw six touchdown passes.With cornerback Jimmy Smith out with a sprained left foot, the Ravens surrendered 340 yards passing to a team they held without a touchdown earlier in the season.Clearly, the secondary is a primary concern.I think guys have played OK at times, well other times and there have been a few bad plays out there, coach John Harbaugh said Monday.Against the Steelers, it was mostly awful. The Ravens have already passed the midpoint of the season, and they still havent perfected their communication on the back end of their defence.We had two plays which were coverage busts. We just were in the wrong spot, we werent on the same page, we misplayed the coverage, Harbaugh said. And there were three other times where we just got beat physically. So those are bad things.Safety Terrence Brooks was a healthy inactive for the Ravens, who are still looking for the right combination in pass coverage.You want to play in that secondary? Step up in practice and play well and step in the game and make plays and be in the right spot, Harbaugh said. Thats what were looking for guys to do.Baltimore led 7-0 before committing two straight turnovers that set up two Pittsburgh touchdowns. Later, a 14-10 deficit became 29-10 when the Steelers scored on touchdown passes of 47 and 54 yards.Too many big plays by them, too many turnovers by us, Harbaugh lamented.The Ravens were 5-2 before falling at Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Now, theyre in danger of missing the playoffs for a second straight season. Kurt Coleman Jersey. .Everybody has tough weeks, Harbaugh said. Its going to be a fight to the end. We just got to make sure were in the fight. That starts with moving forward right now, this week, to the next game.The Ravens face Tennessee at home on Sunday. If they win that one, theyll head into their bye week with a 6-4 record.We just have to move forward and start winning football games again, quarterback Joe Flacco said. It starts this week.Baltimore must do a better job of protecting Flacco if it is going to make a run at the post-season. In addition to the four sacks, Flacco was rushed on several throws while operating behind an offensive front that had its hands full the entire night.It really wasnt a common theme. It was a number of things, Harbaugh said. We got beat 1-on-1 a couple of times, once or twice we didnt get to the hot receiver, once or twice we didnt make a throw or a catch or we were safe with the ball. Its collective. The theme is that weve got to handle pressure. Weve got make people pay for it, run and pass. Its something thats going to be important for us to do.The good news for the Ravens is that they have already played all but one of their games within the AFC North, where every team is currently over .500. Four of Baltimores final seven games are home, including matchups against Tennessee (2-6), Jacksonville (1-8) and the slumping San Diego Chargers.There is still hope, regardless of the teams current shortcomings.We have a lot of plusses, Harbaugh insisted. Its not like were sitting here without good players. Every team has weaknesses. Every team has things they have to scheme around and play around. 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