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Kittel sprints to a fifth stage win

Ahead of two grueling days filled with some truly punishing ascents, the main contenders on the Tour de France were all hoping that Wednesday would be a relaxed day on the bike. It didn’t happen. Instead of what riders call a “transition” day, with a comfortable run to the gateway to the Pyrenees mountains, Stage 11 proved to be a brutal experience for some of the top riders after a series of crashes left them nursing cuts and bruises at the end in Pau.

German sprinter Marcel Kittel steered clear of trouble and claimed the stage in a sprint finish, taking his tally to five stage wins since the race started. Chris Froome kept his overall lead intact ahead. Frenchman Romain Bardet, who is third overall, hit the deck and slightly hurt his knee, but was able to continue. Two-time champion Alberto Contador went down twice, while second-place Fabio Aru lost one of his Astana teammates when Dario Cataldo was forced to retire with a broken wrist after a crash in the feed zone midway through the stage.


Cowboys worth: $4.2 billion

The Dallas Cowboys are worth $4.2 billion, making them the most valuable sports franchise for the second straight year, according to Forbes. Forbes placed the Yankees second — up from fourth a year ago — with a value of $3.7 billion. Next are three soccer clubs: Manchester United ($3.69 billion), Barcelona ($3.64) and Real Madrid ($3.58). The rest of the top 10 includes the New England Patriots ($3.4 billion), the Knicks ($3.3 billion), New York Giants ($3.1 billion), San Francisco 49ers ($3 billion) and Los Angeles Lakers ($3 billion).

Forbes listed the top 50 teams in the world with the Jets at $2.75 billion, the Mets at $2 billion and and the Nets at $1.8 billion. No hockey teams were named within the top 50. — AP


Ducks to host 2018 All-Star Game

The Long Island Ducks will host the 2018 Atlantic League All-Star Game, the league announced. It will be the third time the Ducks, who play at Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip, have hosted the Independent baseball league’s annual showcase, doing it in both 2002 and 2010. Prior to this season, the Ducks introduced several ballpark improvements, including a new playing field and LED field lighting.

Five Ducks were selected for this season’s All-Star Game, played Wednesday night at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, New Jersey: pitchers John Brownell and Amalio Diaz, outfielder Angelo Songco, infielder Elmer Reyes and catcher Alex Burg. Songco went 1-for-3 with a fourth inning solo home run for the Liberty Division, which fell, 10-3, to the Freedom Division. Reyes went 0-for-4, Burg went hitless in his only at- bat and Brownell (four runs, five hits) and Diaz (one run, three hits) each pitched an inning.


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