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Britain's Christopher Froome, left, and  Wout Poels of the Netherlands, right, train on their time-trial bicycles near Utrecht, Netherlands, Friday, July 3, 2015, one day ahead of the start of the three-week-long Tour de France cycling race over 3,360 kilometers or 2088 miles. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

Nibali hopes to stick closer to Froome at the Tour de France

Friday, July 3, 2015

UTRECHT, Netherlands — Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali did not see much of rival Chris Froome the last time they raced each other. That’s because Froome was a dot on the horizon. At the Criterium du Dauphine race last month, Froome sent out a major warning to Nibali — and others — that he is in great form, clinching …

Serena avoids upset at Wimbledon; sister Venus next

Friday, July 3, 2015

LONDON — Twice, Serena Williams stood merely two points from a loss at Wimbledon against a British opponent buoyed by a roaring, flag-waving Centre Court crowd. Twice, Williams was oh-so-close to the end of her bid for a fourth consecutive major title — and for the third leg of a calendar-year Grand Slam. …

Red Sox use 8-run first to beat Jays 12-6

Thursday, July 2, 2015

TORONTO — David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez had consecutive homers in an eight-run first inning, Xander Bogaerts had four hits and the Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 12-6 on Thursday night. Brock Holt also had four hits and Bogaerts drove in two runs as the last-place Red Sox took three …

World Cup field puts haves and have-nots on display

Thursday, July 2, 2015

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — One of the benefits of an expanded field of 24 teams at the Women’s World Cup this year was that there were lots of fresh faces playing in Canada, teams like Ivory Coast, Ecuador …

Tiger Woods shoots 4-under 66 at Greenbrier Classic

Thursday, July 2, 2015

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — For a change, Tiger Woods got off to a good start. Woods rebounded from a dismal U.S. Open with a 4-under-par 66 in Thursday’s opening round of The Greenbrier Classic, four shots behind …

New sports uniforms level the playing field for Muslim girls in Minnesota

Thursday, July 2, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS — Girls in stylish athletic wear walk the runway as the sounds of Taylor Swift and Katy Perry blare from speakers. The crowd claps and cheers as the young models strike poses with basketballs, lacrosse sticks and …

Rafael Nadal makes another early exit at Wimbledon

Thursday, July 2, 2015

LONDON — On the final point of the first set of his latest Wimbledon disappointment, Rafael Nadal swung his mighty, lefty forehand — and whiffed, accidentally whacking his right leg with his racket. It was a painful, embarrassing …

England wakes to more heartbreak for national soccer team

Thursday, July 2, 2015

MANCHESTER, England — England’s national teams keep finding ways to make agonizing exits from major soccer tournaments. Penalty-shootout defeats? There have been six of those by England’s men alone since the World Cup semifinals in 1990. Refereeing injustices? …

US files formal extradition request for 7 FIFA officials

Thursday, July 2, 2015

GENEVA — The United States has submitted a formal request for Switzerland to extradite seven FIFA officials arrested in Zurich as part of a corruption probe that has rocked soccer’s world governing body. Switzerland’s Federal Office of Justice …

Bruins busy on first day of free agency

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

BOSTON — Boston Bruins rookie general manager Don Sweeney went into the first day of NHL free agency intent on improving his team’s feeble offense, which ranked 22nd in the league. Sweeney added two wingers Wednesday he thinks will be a major part of the solution next season: …

Phil Kessel trade to Penguins highlights start of NHL free agency

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

On the first day of NHL free agency, a blockbuster trade stole the spotlight. The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired high-scoring winger Phil Kessel from Toronto on Wednesday in the biggest move of the day, while a handful of prominent defenseman found new homes in free agency. Mike Green signed …

Kevin Love stays, Tyson Chandler moves, dollars fly in NBA free agency

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Kevin Love has unfinished business in Cleveland and Tyson Chandler will be conducting his in Phoenix. The first full day of NBA free agency featured skyrocketing salaries and a flurry of moves, though no decision yet from LaMarcus …

Own goal gives Japan 2-1 win over England in World Cup semi

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

EDMONTON, Alberta — Laura Bassett scored into her own net during second-half stoppage time, giving Japan a 2-1 victory over England in a Women’s World Cup semifinal. The decisive goal Wednesday came when Japan’s Nahomi Kawasumi drove up …