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ARENBERG, France -- Reigning champion Chris Froome crashed twice and quit the Tour de France on Wednesday during a chaotic, nerve-jangling, filthy fifth stage full of spills. Allen Crabbe Jersey . Froome fell even before the seven cobblestone patches on the slick road from Ypres, Belgium, to Arenberg-Porte du Hainaut in France. Riders had known months ago about the bone-jarring course; incessant rain made it even more treacherous. The withdrawal of the Team Sky leader left the race wide open with 16 stages still left. Overall race leader Vincenzo Nibali wasted little time in speeding ahead, notably after he saw that his other big rival for the title this year, two-time Tour victor Alberto Contador, had trouble on the second run on cobbles. Sensing the danger from the rain, race organizers scrapped two of the nine scheduled cobblestone patches, and reduced the stage by three kilometres (two miles). But that still wasnt enough to stop many riders from tumbling. Froome, already nursing pain in his left wrist from a crash on Tuesday, took his third and last spill in two days about halfway through the stage. With a cut under his right eye, the Team Sky leader limped over to a team car, climbed in, and drove away. Froome tweeted he was "devastated" to have to withdraw. "Injured wrist and tough conditions made controlling my bike near to impossible," he wrote. He wished luck to new Sky leader Richie Porte of Australia and his other teammates for the rest of the race. "Its devastating for Chris and for the team," Sky boss Dave Brailsford said. "We really believed in Chris and his ability to win this race. But its not to be this year. "When you have a day like today, when you have a setback, you have to roll ahead and go again, you have to recalibrate your goals. Richie Porte came on the Tour to be the team leader No. 2, and he showed great ability to ride the cobbles the way he did." The last time a defending champion abandoned the Tour was five-time winner Bernard Hinault of France in 1980, according to French cycling statistics provider Velobs.com. Nibali, too, was one of several high-profile riders who crashed, recovered and excelled on the 152.5-kilometre (95-mile) route. The Italian finished third and extended his lead. He and second-place Jakob Fuglsang of Denmark were 19 seconds behind stage winner Lars Boom of the Netherlands. "This is a special, special day for me," said Boom, who rides for Belkin Pro Cycling. "I was really looking forward to the cobblestones." Overall, Nibali leads Astana teammate Fuglsang by 2 seconds. Cannondale rider Peter Sagan of Slovakia was third, 44 seconds back. Contador, breathing hard under a mask of mud at the finish, lost about 2 1/2 minutes to Nibali: Hes 2:37 back, in 19th place. Skys Porte was eighth overall, 1:54 back, and Valverde was 10th, 2:11 behind. Svein Tuft of Langley, B.C., was tied for 99th in the stage, 13:51 off the lead. Christian Meier, also from Langley, was 15:23 off the pace in a tie for 117th. Tuft is 140th overall and Meier is 144th. Nibali expressed little reaction to Froomes pullout. "We have to be calm. The road to Paris is very long," he said. "Cycling is made of crashes, and we have to take that into account." Others who went down but kept going included Americans Andrew Talansky and Tejay van Garderen, Spains Alejandro Valverde, and Germanys Marcel Kittel, winner of three of the first four stages. In what was perhaps the days most visually dramatic crash, Belgiums Jurgen van den Broeck went hurtling over his handlebars in a bend on a cobblestone patch, and tumbled into a grassy roadside. While the chaos on the course raised questions about riding in such poor conditions -- critics in social media had a field day -- it made for great racing imagery: Many riders were caked in sloppy, wet mud on their faces and shins, their biceps jiggling as they held their handlebars. A mix of sweat, rain, mud and drool dropped from many chins. Many looked as if theyd ridden through a shower of chocolate pudding. The race heads to Champagne country on Thursday, with a mostly flat 194-kilometre (120-mile) run from Arras to Reims in Stage 6. Sean Kilpatrick Jersey .com) - Bradley Beals 22 points and seven rebounds helped the Washington Wizards erase a halftime deficit and top the Utah Jazz, 93-84, on Sunday. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Jersey .C. - Steve Clifford isnt exactly singing his teams praises after the Bobcats won for the sixth time in seven games. http://www.nbanetsauthority.com/ . It was a loss. But it was also a learning experience. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson had 24 points each to lift Brooklyn to a 94-87 win over the Raptors, making their first playoff appearance since 08. "I thought we played a little bit as expected as it is our first playoff game," Toronto coach Dwane Casey said.GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Minnesota Wild were reeling. The Phoenix Coyotes were rolling. Then the teams met Saturday night and everything turned around. Zach Parise scored two of Minnesotas three third-period goals and the Wild rallied to beat the Coyotes 3-1 on Saturday night in a game with important playoff implications. "We need to use this as a game we can kind of springboard something off of," Minnesota coach Mike Yeo said. "Weve had enough games where there have been some bad feelings afterward. Lets use this as one that hopefully we can build something off of." Phoenix nursed a 1-0 lead through two periods on Mikkel Boedkers early power-play goal, but the Coyotes went 24 minutes, 28 seconds without a shot. After giving up five goals in each of its previous two games, Minnesotas defence was outstanding with Ilya Bryzgalov in net. Parise tied it from the top of the circle off a faceoff 8:03 into the final period, and then came Jared Spurgeons slap shot from the top of the right circle with 7:03 to play. Parise added an empty-net goal in the final minute. The Coyotes would have moved ahead of Minnesota into seventh with a victory." "We cant let them come out in the third and let them score two and an empty-net goal," Boedker said. "Thats not how we do it around here, and obviously this was a good opportunity for us to jump up to seventh, but thats the way it goes." The Wild pulled three points ahead of Phoenix for the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference. The Coyotes are just a point ahead of Dallas for the No. 8 spot. The Stars won at St. Louis 4-2 Saturday. "Its going to be like that," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "It is why you cant get too high right now and you cant get too low. ... Its like a playoff series. You forget the one you just played and move on whether you won or lost." Minnesotas win also clinched a playoff berth for the Chicago Blackhhawks, the defending Stanley Cup champions. Timofey Mozgov Jersey. The Wild won for only the second time in six games and fourth time in 12 games. Phoenix, just back from a three-game trip east, lost for just the third time in eight games. Bryzgalov, 3-0-2 as a starter since being acquired by the Wild in a trade deadline deal from Edmonton, had 21 saves for Minnesota. "A lot of this goes to Bryz. Its 1-0 and he makes and unbelievable glove save in the second period and keeps it at 1-0," Yeo said. "Thats an important one." Thomas Greiss had 27 for Phoenix, without their usual goalie Mike Smith due to injury. Just 2:28 into the game, Minnesota was penalized for too many men on the ice. Forty-eight seconds later, Shane Doans close-range shot deflected off Boedkers leg into the net, the power-play goal giving Phoenix a quick 1-0 lead. It was Boedkers team-high eighth first-period goal of the season and his 19th overall. Each team also killed a penalty in the second period. The Coyotes didnt get a shot from the time Doan missed with 7:49 to play in the second period until Radim Vrbadas with 1:56 left in the game. Minnesota finally tied it off a face off on a shot by Parise from the top of the circle and it was 1-1 with 11:57 to play. It was a set play, Parise said. "Weve tried that before," he said. "Its just never worked." Spurgeons powerful slap shot sailed past Greiss high into the net to put the Wild ahead. Doan disputed stats on the long span without a Phoenix shot, blaming it on the scorer. "It wasnt that long between shots," Doan said. "The guy just doesnt keep track very well." The Wild had three penalty kills after the Coyotes power play goal. Notes: The Wild won the season series 2-1 and would have the tiebreaker. ... The Coyotes are 13-5-0 when Boedker scores a goal. ... Minnesota didnt have a power play until there was 5:17 left in the second period. China NFL Jerseys White Youth NFL Jerseys China Jerseys Wholesale China NFL Jerseys White Cheap Jerseys China China NFL Hoodies China Jerseys ' ' '

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