Wednesday, November 22, 2017
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CYCLING

amid tour chit-chat, cavendish wins

ANGERS, France — Wearing the yellow jersey, Peter Sagan considered stopping at a cafe.

Hardly pedaling, the overall leaders in the Tour de France spent most of Monday's third stage chatting to one another and riding at such a leisurely pace that they could have fit right in on a town bike path.

"It was a very relaxed day for us. We went slow. It was nice," said Sagan, who playfully bumped shoulders with some of the other riders just to keep things interesting. "I was thinking one moment we were going to take the coffee like old time."

The morning caffeine didn't kick in until the very end of the lengthy and mostly flat 139-mile leg from Granville to Angers.

That was when Mark Cavendish showed off his sprinting experience by edging German rival Andre Greipel in a photo finish.

Having also won Saturday's opening stage at Utah Beach, it was Cavendish's second victory in this Tour and 28th overall. The British rider with Team Dimension Data matched five-time Tour champion Bernard Hinault for second behind Eddy Merckx, who had 34 stage wins.

"To even be mentioned in the same sentence as Bernard Hinault is something that I couldn't even have dreamed of," Cavendish said. "But I'm never going to compare myself to him."

SOCCER

Spain coach, 65, is stepping down

Vicente del Bosque, the coach behind Spain's glorious run of three major titles, confirmed that he is stepping down after the team's failed attempt to retain its European Championship crown. Del Bosque, 65, guided Spain to the 2010 World Cup title and the 2012 European Championship in a defense of its continental title won in 2008 under Luis Aragones.

ET CETERA

HORSES: Kieren Fallon, 51, a six-time champion jockey in Britain, retired after having depression for almost three years. … Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez won four races, including both $100,000 stakes on the Independence Day card at Belmont Park.

Times wires

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