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sket made it 96-90, but Davis

PARIS -- Chris Froome has a chance to prove over the next three weeks what some suspected in 2012 -- that he could have won last years Tour de France if he hadnt had to give way for his teammate, Bradley Wiggins. A. J. Cann Jersey . Now Wiggins is out injured and that makes the Kenyan-born Briton the favourite to triumph on a particularly mountainous route this year, one that should suit his climbing skills. The 100th edition of the Tour begins Saturday in Corsica -- Frances "Island of Beauty" in the Mediterranean -- the first time cyclings greatest race has set wheel to road in the land of Napoleons birthplace. Another key plotline: the shadow of Lance Armstrong. This the first Tour since he was stripped of his record seven victories for doping, which he finally admitted after years of denials following a detailed report from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. While Armstrong will have no involvement in this years race, fans and media will have a close eye on performance-enhancing drug use in the peloton. That 198-rider peloton, or pack, is to cover 3,479 kilometres (2,162 miles) over three weeks -- 21 stages and two rest days -- before an unusual nighttime finish July 21 on the Champs-Elysees in Paris. The race spends three days on Corsicas winding, hilly roads then begins a counterclockwise run through mainland France along the Mediterranean, into the Pyrenees mountains, then up to Brittany and the fabled Mont-Saint-Michel island citadel before a slashing jaunt southeastward toward the Alps before entering the capital. Long before they knew Wiggins would be out, race organizers gave relatively short shrift to the time trial -- a race-against the clock in which last years champ excels. Theres no opening-day time-trial. The team time-trial returns to the Tour in Stage 4. Two individual time-trials in Stage 11 (33 km, 20.5 miles) and Stage 17 (32 km; 19.8 miles) will count, but the latter one comes before three days in the Alps, which may have more impact on the race outcome. Froome, the 28-year-old Team Sky leader, has ridden in two other Tours. His dazzling start to the season -- winning four of the five races he started -- and his second-place finish behind his British compatriot last year has put him on the top rung of Tour favourites. Last year, Froome was a dutiful, if not always respectful, sidekick to Wiggins. Froome injected drama into the race -- and fanned talk of rivalry -- after he repeatedly outperformed Wiggins in the mountains. At one point, he even gestured at his Team Sky leader to catch up. At the time, Wiggins acknowledged Froome had "talent," but also didnt know what it was like to feel the pressure of being the favourite. Now is Froomes chance, and so far he has seemed to manage the pressure: He won the Tour of Oman, the Criterium International, the Tour of Romandie and the Criterium du Dauphine this year. His only loss this season? Second place in the Tirreno-Adriatico. Two-time Tour winner Alberto Contador is seen as Froomes most likely challenger. The Spaniards career hit a speed bump in 2010 when he tested positive for the banned fat-burning, muscle-building drug clenbuterol at the Tour -- landing him a ban that forced him to sit out last years race. He hasnt yet revived the fear and admiration that his sharp uphill accelerations once inspired. American Tejay Van Garderen, who was a support rider for BMC leader Cadel Evans of Australia last year, will be among the rising stars to watch. The 24-year-old took home the white jersey awarded to the Tours best young rider last year. The question now is whether 2011 Tour champion Evans, now 36, will be in contention enough for Van Garderen to stay in a support role: If not, he could be cut loose. Froome, Contador and Van Garderen are potential contenders for the overall, general classification -- or GC -- victory because they fare well at both mountain-climbing and time trials, the two pillars of todays stage-race competitions. Other would-be contenders include Evans, Jurgen Van Den Broeck of Belgium, a two-time fourth place finisher, Ryder Hesjedal of Canada -- who crashed out last year -- and Joaquim Rodriguez of Spain. The route is among the most mountainous in recent years. Stage 15 on July 14 -- Frances national Bastille Day holiday -- features an uphill finish on the barren Mont Ventoux in Provence. The years "Queen Stage" comes four days later in Stage 18, with not one but two runs up the famed Alpe-dHuez. Froome said Tour planners were "bordering on sadistic" with the selection of the Alpe dHuez stage. Before then, race contenders must emerge unscathed and in contention after the Pyrenees -- including an uphill finish at Ax-3-Domaines ski station in Stage 8 -- and avoid crashes that often bedevil the flat stages. Look for nervous, jostling, and adrenaline-fueled finishes on those days, when sprinters will shine. This years sprinter crop is among the best among recent Tours, headlined by British superstar Mark Cavendish. The 28-year-old native of the Isle of Man, garnering him the "Manx Missile" moniker among fellow Britons and cycling buffs, is the best sprinter of his generation. Cavendish already has 23 Tour stage victories, putting him fourth on the all-time list. Even as cycling tries to get past the doping legacy embodied by the Armstrong saga, the plague of drugs cheats continues. In May, the Italian Giro was marred by three doping cases. Danilo di Luca, who won that race in 2007, tested positive for banned blood booster EPO -- long the designer drug for riders. Fellow Italian Mauro Santambrogio, who won a stage this year, also tested positive for EPO. Frances Sylvain Georges tested positive for Heptaminol, a banned stimulant. Froome said the Armstrong revelations were "a big hit" to both fans and riders, who are now "all being painted with the same brush" -- even if the sport is among the groundbreakers when it comes to anti-doping controls. "I am confident in the testing thats in place," Froome said. "Its up to us to use this as an opportunity to show that the sport has changed and that this is a completely different cycling to that (Armstrong) era." Paul Posluszny Jersey . "[People] keep asking that question and its not a legit question because we dont have that right, we havent arrived yet," Casey responded. "Weve got to take each game at a time, each possession at a time and look at it that way. Dante Fowler Jr Jersey .75 million contract for the 2014 season and avoided arbitration. The team announced the agreement on Tuesday. NEW ORLEANS -- Anthony Davis has come close to making New Orleans Pelicans franchise history two games in a row. Ryan Anderson has helped ensure Andersons performances dont go to waste. Davis had 22 points, nine rebounds and eight blocks, and the New Orleans Pelicans won their second straight game, 105-98 over the struggling Utah Jazz on Wednesday night. Anderson added 14 of his 19 points in the second half to help the Pelicans pull away in the fourth quarter after the Jazz, who beat New Orleans for its only win of the season last week, had rallied to take a third-quarter lead. "I always come in and Im going to shoot the open shot and try to be aggressive and score but its hard to know when youre sitting out how youre going to have an immediate impact," Anderson said. "Its been a very easy transition because of the guys. Its not a surprise, but its relieving to know that these guys can just pick that up and we can play as a group. ... The guys are getting me open and were really doing a good job of moving the ball." Anderson, who returned from a broken toe last Saturday night, has played a significant role in each of New Orleans past two victories, going 16 of 25 from the field, including 10 of 16 from 3-point range. "Ryan just gives us a dimension, not only does he shoot the ball well, he can rebound on the defensive end," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said, adding that Anderson, simply because of the threat he poses from outside, "helps so many guys without touching the ball." Jrue Holiday scored 14, Tyreke Evans 13 and Jason Smith 11 for New Orleans. Former Michigan star and first-round draft choice Trey Burke made his NBA debut for Utah after missing the first 12 games because of surgery on his right index finger. The ninth overall pick last summer scored 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting in only 12 minutes. Burke said he wanted more minutes but understood the decision to limit his playing time. "Thats how it is coming off an injury," Burke said. "Coach wanted to shelter me a little bit." Enes Kanter led Utah with 19 points and John Lucas III added 14, hitting four of five 3s he attempted. Richard Jeffersoon and Derrick Favours each scored 13, but it was not enough prevent the Jazz (1-2) from dropping their fourth straight as one of its top scorers, Gordon Hayward had an off-night. Myles Jack Jersey. Hayward shot 1 for 17 and finished with six points. "You have to grow through it," Utah coach Tyrone Corbin said. "This is who we have and this is who we are going to be. We cant manufacture anyone else to put on the floor. We have to learn through it on the fly here." Davis defence only made it harder on Utah. In the last two games, he has nearly had his first career triple-double, narrowly missing double digits in rebounds and blocks. No player in the 26-year history of the Pelicans, formerly called the Hornets, has had a triple-double comprised in part by double-digit blocks. Moving quickly all over the court, Davis even rejected a perimeter shot by Hayward. "You just got to defend," Davis said. "Thats what Jrue tells me all the time: It starts with you. So I just try to go out there and defend, play as hard as I can and hopefully the team follows in my footsteps and we play well defensively." Utah started to find its rhythm early in the third quarter, scoring 11 straight points, including two 3s by Lucas and another by Jefferson, to take its largest lead at 57-51. New Orleans immediately responded with a 15-4 run, however. Holiday scored twice inside during the spurt and Davis added a fast-break dunk. The game remained close until early in the fourth quarter, when Anderson hit two 3s to cap a 14-2 run that gave New Orleans its largest lead at 87-73. Utah was able to briefly trim its deficit to six when Kanters inside basket made it 96-90, but Davis putback in a crowd began another Pelicans surge which Anderson highlighted with a dunk to build New Orleans lead back to a game-high 14 at 105-91 with 1:05 left. New Orleans finished shooting 51 per cent (40 of 79), while Utah hit 45 per cent (37 of 83) of its shots. NOTES: Utah, which fell to 0-7 away from home, continues its three game road trip Friday at Dallas and Sunday at Oklahoma City. ... A video review deprived Anderson of a made 3 when officials concluded a foul called on Utah occurred just before the shot. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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    sket made it 96-90, but Davis
    PARIS -- Chris Froome has a chance to prove over the next three weeks what some suspected in 2012 -- that he could have won last years Tour de France ...
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