Phinney’s lead disintegrates as his ankle deteriorates
VERONA, Italy – Ramunas Navardauskas of Lithuania took the lead in the Giro d’Italia after his Garmin-Barracuda squad won the team time trial in the fourth stage Wednesday.
Previous leader Taylor Phinney struggled with a swollen right ankle after Monday’s crash. The American rode off the road at one point onto grass and nearly fell into a ditch.
Garmin clocked 37 minutes, 4 seconds over the mostly flat 21-mile route in Verona – the first stage back in Italy after three legs in Denmark. Katusha finished second, 5 seconds behind, and Astana and Saxo Bank were next, both 22 seconds back.
Garmin riders are 1-2-3-4 in the overall standings, with Navardauskas 10 seconds ahead of American sprinter Tyler Farrar and South African veteran Robert Hunter.
Phinney, who needed three stitches to close a wound on his ankle Monday, dropped to fifth, 13 seconds off the leader’s pace. After going off road, the Boulder cyclist had to slow for a moment to clean a clump of grass off his shoes, but a weed remained attached to his bike.
“I didn’t have anything (Wednesday),” Phinney said. “The team waited for me a couple times. ... Luckily I didn’t fall (Wednesday), too. I’m upset, there’s not much else to say.”
The fifth stage today is a 129-mile flat leg from Modena to Fano on the Adriatic coast. The hilly stages will begin Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The race will finish May 27 in Milan.
NHL Board of Governors OKs sale of the St. Louis Blues
ST. LOUIS – The NHL Board of Governors approved the sale of the St. Louis Blues to a group headed by St. Louis beer distributor Tom Stillman, the league announced Wednesday.
The sale price was not disclosed but is believed to be about $130 million.
The Stillman group will become the eighth owner of the Blues since the franchise came into existence in 1966. The group is buying the team from a group headed by Dave Checketts and his Sports Capital Partners Worldwide.
Stillman is chairman and chief executive officer of Summit Distributing in St. Louis and has owned a minority share in the Blues since 2007.
Little changes in FIFA ranks: Spain is No. 1; USA is No. 29
ZURICH – World champion Spain remained No. 1 in FIFA’s monthly rankings, and the United States remained 29th.
Germany was second, followed by Uruguay, the Netherlands, Portugal, Brazil and England.
There was just one change among the top 30 in the May rankings, with Argentina moving up one spot to ninth and Denmark dropping to 10th.
USA invites 28 competitors to train for London Games
CHESTER, Pa. – Goalkeeper Hope Solo and star striker Abby Wambach are part of the 28-player roster invited to training camp for the United States as it prepares to play China.
The roster for the exhibition game May 27 at PPL Park was announced Wednesday by coach Pia Sundhage.
The U.S. team will train at Princeton, N.J., from today to May 25 for the next-to-last domestic match before the London Olympics.
Sundhage will choose 18 players for the match with China.
Goalkeepers: Nicole Barnhart, Adrianna Franch, Ashlyn Harris, Jill Loyden, Hope Solo.
Defenders: Rachel Buehler, Stephanie Cox, Whitney Engen, Meghan Klingenberg, Amy LePeilbet, Gina Lewandowski, Heather Mitts, Kelley O’Hara, Christie Rampone, Becky Sauerbrunn.
Midfielders: Shannon Boxx, Tobin Heath, Lori Lindsey, Carli Lloyd, Kristie Mewis, Heather O’Reilly, Megan Rapinoe, Amy Rodriguez, Keelin Winters.
Forwards: Lauren Cheney, Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach.