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Sports in brief: Cyclist hit curb, spectator before crashing into fence

cycling

rider hit curb, spectator before crashing into fence during race

GENEVA — Juan Mauricio Soler hit a curb near a traffic circle, tumbled onto a spectator and smashed into a fence during a crash that left him with brain injuries and multiple fractures, a fellow rider said Friday.

Soler, 28, remained in an induced coma at a hospital in St. Gallen, Tour of Switzerland spokesman Christoph Arnold said. Soler's team, Movistar, said the rider remained in intensive care in "stable though serious" condition but swelling on his brain had reduced. The next couple of days are crucial, team doctor Alfredo Zuniga said.

"All of a sudden there was a footpath with a (2-inch) edge dropping down to the road level," Australian rider Baden Cooke told the Associated Press in an e-mail. "(Soler) had no time to brake at all."

The Colombian hit a fence about 2 feet from the road.

"The fence did not move at all, so Soler took the full impact," Cooke said.

nba

Owners soften stance on players' key point

Owners relaxed their insistence on nonguaranteed contracts in a new collective bargaining agreement, but players said that isn't enough because the league is still seeking a hard salary cap.

Even so, the proposal by the owners during a 4½-hour meeting in New York was perhaps their most significant movement yet as the sides try to agree to a new deal before the current one expires June 30.

"We think it's significant. Very significant, actually," commissioner David Stern said.

Stern said the meeting, which Knicks star Carmelo Anthony attended along with the players' executive committee, was the first time the players had expressed strongly their objection to the issue of nonguaranteed contracts. So the league made a proposal closer to the current system, which allows players and individual teams the right to negotiate guarantees between themselves.

Rubio headed to Wolves: Ricky Rubio is making his long-awaited move to the NBA and will join the Timberwolves next season. The 20-year-old Spanish guard ended two years of speculation, saying, "I have finally decided to start the journey" to the NBA. The Timberwolves chose Rubio with the No. 5 pick in the 2009 draft. His $6 million buyout clause at his first Spanish team, Joventut — of which an NBA team could pay only $500,000, under league rules — made him stay in Spain until the buyout came down to a more manageable $1.4 million.

et cetera

Swimming: Michael Phelps continued his inconsistent year, easily winning the 100-meter butterfly but finishing second in the 100 free at the Santa Clara (Calif.) International Grand Prix. The 14-time Olympic gold medalist and world-record holder won the fly in 52.41 seconds. Park Taehwan of South Korea won the 100 free 0.69 of a second ahead of Phelps. Former Gator Ryan Lochte was a distant eighth in both events.

Soccer: The director of Mexico's Gold Cup team, Hector Inaturri, said his squad will win the regional tournament with or without replacements for the five players dropped after testing positive for a banned substance. The sport's world governing body approved the request to replace the players and asked CONCACAF, the regional governing body, to implement it. Mexico plays a quarterfinal against Guatemala today in New Jersey.

Boxing: Floyd Mayweather Jr. was a no-show for a court-ordered deposition in Las Vegas in a federal lawsuit alleging he defamed rival Manny Pacquiao, Pacquiao's lawyer said.

Tennis: Rain washed out play at Eastbourne, England. The tournament will attempt to play all four semifinals today, with finals to follow. In the women's event, Petra Kvitova plays Daniela Hantuchova, and Tampa resident Sam Stosur faces Marion Bartoli.

Times wires

Sports in brief: Cyclist hit curb, spectator before crashing into fence 06/17/11 [Last modified: Saturday, June 18, 2011 12:55am]

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