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  • U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas’s spot on the Olympic roster may be in jeopardy

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports 4 mths ago

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    This was not supposed to be part of the story reigning Olympic champion Gabby Douglas had in mind when she set her sights on Rio.

    A revelation in London four years ago, Douglas figured her bid for another shot at glory would be easy. Hard to blame her considering the way she so effortlessly reached the top of the podium in 2012, a soaring victory that made her a crossover star.

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    “I came back and said, ‘Yes, this is going to be cake,'” Douglas said.

    For a stretch last fall and this spring, it was. A silver medal in the all-around at the 2015 world championships showed her return was hardly just vanity run amok. Her professional effort while capturing events in New Jersey and Italy in March stirred inevitable comparisons to her sprint to Olympic gold.

    “I think there’s more expectations now than there were before,” she said. “I’ve just got to go out there and just do it, not just shy away and test the water. I’ve got to dive in.”

  • Anticipate mayhem for start of Tour de France Saturday

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports 5 mths ago

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    Our NBC Sports crew previews Stage 1 of the Tour de France and says that between the weather and the course, it will be chaos.

    One of the favorites, Chris Froome likes his chances of defending his title on a route that plays to his all-around riding skills.

    Two individual time trials and 28 tough climbs will be on the schedule in July, organizers announced Tuesday.

    “It suits me better than this year’s Tour did,” Froome said.

    The 3,519-kilometer (2,186-mile) trek will scale the Pyrenees before the Alps, just as the Tour did this year, again going counter-clockwise around France. That breaks with tradition, because generally the Tour alternates between clockwise and counter-clockwise.

    Froome, who also won in 2013, is strong both on climbs and in individual time trials, making him an early favorite for 2016.

    “It’s not any certain stage or discipline that’s going to decide next year’s Tour. It’s a combination of everything. It’s going to take a very well-rounded rider to win,” the Team Sky rider said. “It’s going to test every aspect of cycling.”

    “It’s so hard,” sprinter Mark Cavendish said. “For 21 days, it’s going to be full gas.”

  • McIlroy battles swing for 71 in Paris

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports 5 mths ago

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    A roller-coaster round ended in a valley for Rory McIlroy on Thursday at the 100 th  Open de France. A valley filled with very tall grass.

    McIlroy was 1 under par playing the par-4 seventh, his 16 th  hole of the day, when an errant tee shot ended up in some ghastly rough. It took two swings to fully extricate his ball. McIlroy’s did very well to make a bogey on the hole, muscling out his third shot to the back of the green and two-putting for a 5.

    That was one of four dropped shots for McIlroy at Le Golf National in Paris. He also made four birdies for an overall, even-par 71. He is five behind Dane Lucas Bjerregaard (66), who led when McIlroy finished his round.

    ''I've got about four or five swing thoughts out there at the minute,"McIlroy said, "so that's why I'm sort of happy with 71."

    100th Open de France: Leaderboard | Photo gallery

  • Daytona preview

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports 5 mths ago

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    The NASCAR America team previews this weekend’s race in Daytona and predicts who will finish first.

    With 10 races left before the 16-team playoff field is set, Sprint Cup teams without a victory are beginning to run out of chances to earn a Chase spot with a win.

    There have been 11 different winners this season. Tony Stewart became the 11th last weekend at Sonoma but he’s yet to climb into the top 30 in points. Stewart is nine points out and expected to secure a top-30 spot soon and that will put him in a spot to make the Chase.

    Of the drivers still seeking a win this season, several have victories at upcoming tracks in their career. Here’s who those drivers are and where they’ve won:

    Kentucky: None

    New Hampshire: Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer, Greg Biffle, Kasey Kahne

    Indianapolis: Jamie McMurray, Paul Menard, Ryan Newman

  • Can Tony Stewart replicate his past success at Daytona?

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports 5 mths ago

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    NASCAR America reflects on Tony Stewart's four wins at Daytona and what he must do in this weekend's race.

    The  Indianapolis Star  reports that  Indianapolis Motor Speedway will install a 3/16-mile dirt track inside Turn 3 in time for Stewart’s media appearance there Tuesday . Several teams that own dirt midgets have been invited.

    “Tony doesn’t want gifts, per se, but we thought this was a great way to marry his love for dirt-track racing with his love for racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” Doug Boles, president of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, told the  Indianapolis Star .

    Stewart’s climb through the ranks of racing on the way to NASCAR included racing on dirt in sprint and midget cars.

    The three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion has twice won the Brickyard 400. The July 24 race is scheduled to be his final start at the historic track.

     

  • Michael Phelps makes history by clinching fifth Olympic berth

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports 5 mths ago

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    OMAHA — After Michael Phelps briefly choked up, and coach Bob Bowman shed tears, the U.S.’ first five-time Olympic male swimmer turned to the business ahead.

    Phelps, on the eve of his 31st birthday and with his eight-week-old son in attendance (sleeping, Phelps guessed), became the oldest man to win a U.S. Olympic Trials event on Wednesday.

    “Where I am in life, things are probably going to hit me a lot more emotionally now than they would have in the past,” Phelps said after handing a stuffed animal from his award ceremony to baby Boomer.

    So much about Wednesday’s victory gave Phelps reason for a brief pause to compose himself before addressing the media.

    Everything that happened since what we all thought was Phelps’ last Olympic race in 2012 (before which he and Bowman also cried): Unretiring in 2014. The DUI arrest, suspension, rehab stint. Getting engaged. Becoming a father.

    The event in which Phelps made his fifth Olympic team is loaded with emotional history, too.

  • Spieth's uncertainty further clouds Olympic return

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports 5 mths ago

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    What once was considered a slow bleed has turned into a gaping wound.

    The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational kicks off this week, not that you would know it from the pre-tournament buzz that centers on who is playing in the Olympics. Or more specifically, who is not.

    The high-profile withdrawals last week of Rory McIlroyGraeme McDowell and Branden Gracewere followed Tuesday by a bigger blow when world No. 1 Jason Day pulled out, citing concerns over the Zika virus. Minutes later, newly-married Shane Lowry followed Day in grabbing a spot on the bench.

    And that’s before we get an answer from the biggest domino still left standing.

  • Lenny Dykstra on being in jail on losing success

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports 5 mths ago

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    These days, Lenny Dykstra might be better known for his tumultuous history off of the diamond than for anything he ever accomplished on it. Not only that, we now know the former Phillies centerfielder's achievements in baseball are tainted by steroid usage and years in prison.

    Dan Patrick spoke to him earlier today on DPS and took a deep dive into his two-year experience of being incarcerated, his loss of his fortune and more.

    If you want to understand what would make an athlete turn to illegal performance-enhancing drugs though, Dykstra doesn't hide from his history. As the three-time All-Star explained to Scott Miller for Bleacher Report, he had to take steroids if he was going to make it.

    In a far-reaching interview that touches on everything from his playing days to his son's own professional career, to failed business ventures to a rough stint in jail, Dykstra explains exactly how and when steroids came into the equation. Interestingly enough, it wasn't long after he was first traded from the New York Mets to the Phillies in 1989.

     - Andrew Kulp, 700 Level, CSN Philly

  • Tiger Woods: Don't know if I'll play in 2016

    NBC Sports at NBC on Yahoo Sports 5 mths ago

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    Unable to play this week in his own tournament,Tiger Woods cast doubt Sunday over the prospect of whether he'll tee it up at all this season.

    Woods joined Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo in the broadcast booth for the final round of theQuicken Loans National, where he was unable to participate because of a back injury that has kept him sidelined for nearly a year. When asked about his chances of playing at all in 2016, Woods remained rather non-committal.

    "I don't know. I want to play," Woods said. "Put it this way: I want to play, I don't know if I will. But I want to, and I'm trying. Each and every day I'm doing my workouts, sometimes two or three times a day. I'm working my tail off."

    "I still need to get into golf shape," he said. "That's just hitting ball after ball after ball after ball."