FROOME WINS WITHOUT TRYING, MOVES CLOSER TO TOUR VICTORY
CHORGES, France — British rider Chris Froome was planning to save some energy for upcoming mountains. He still brushed aside the field and took his third stage win of the 100th Tour de France.
Alberto Contador, Froome's Spanish rival still trying to make a fight of this one-sided battle, gave his all in Wednesday's Alpine time trial, yet Froome beat his time by nine seconds. This was another opportunity lost for Contador to make victory for Froome in Paris on Sunday at least feel less inevitable.
"Froome is in impressive shape," was the understated assessment of the 2007 and '09 winner who was stripped of his 2010 victory for a failed doping test.
Chelsea's bid for Rooney rebuffed
Chelsea's ambitious bid to sign striker Wayne Rooney from Manchester United was rejected by the Premier League champions. Rooney, 27, has pushed for a move since expressing frustration about his lack of playing time. Glazer-owned Man U denied reports it had offered midfielder Juan Mata or defender David Luiz as part of a $15 million offer.
BAD CHOICE?: FIFA president Sepp Blatter said Brazil might have been the wrong choice to host the 2014 World Cup if the tournament is affected by more protests similar to those as at the Confederations Cup. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets during the warmup tournament in June, demanding better public services and expressing their anger about the cost to stage the World Cup.
Federer wins first since Wimbledon loss
Roger Federer rallied to beat Daniel Brands 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 at the German Tennis Championships in Hamburg in his first match since his second-round loss at Wimbledon last month. Second-seeded Tommy Haas outlasted qualifier Blaz Kavcic 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.
CLARO OPEN COLOMBIA: Ivo Karlovic beat third-seeded Igor Sijsling 6-3, 7-6 (16-14) in the second round in Bogota.
GASTEIN LADIES: Top-seeded Mona Barthel of Germany pulled out with a shoulder injury while trailing 6-2, 4-3 to 725th-ranked Lisa-Maria Moser in the second round in Bad Gastein, Austria.
U.S. OPEN: Defending champion Andy Murray and No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic joined four other past winners in the 2013 men's field. Federer, Rafael Nadal, Juan Martin del Potro and Lleyton Hewitt also received direct entry.
F1 head charged with bribing banker
Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone was charged by German prosecutors with paying a $44 million bribe, placing his future as head of the series in doubt. The British billionaire, 82, has been under investigation since a German banker was convicted of taking the payment from him in connection with the sale of a stake in F1.
ANDRETTI GOES GREEN: Andretti Autosport signed on as the third team to compete in the environmentally friendly FIA Formula E championship, which will feature electric cars racing in 10 cities globally beginning in 2014. Michael Andretti's two-car operation will join China Racing and British-based Drayson Racing.
HOCKEY: The Predators signed F Rich Clune to a two-year, $1.7 million contract, extending his deal through 2015-16. … Blue Jackets F Nathan Horton had surgery to repair a shoulder injury suffered during the Stanley Cup finals.
HORSES: Churchill Downs Inc.'s $160 million purchase of Oxford Casino was approved by the Maine Gambling Control Board.
WNBA: Reserve Riquna Williams scored 26 as visiting Tulsa snapped a six-game skid with an 86-59 win over Seattle.