Tour de France halted by hailstorm, mudslides

A violent hailstorm threw the Tour de France into chaos on Friday, forcing organizers to cut short a nail-biting stage in the high Alps because riders were speeding, unbeknownst to them, headlong toward a road that had suddenly become covered with ice and giant puddles and cut in half by a rockslide.

Concerned for riders’ safety on mountain roads that can be dangerous at the best of times, race organizers made an on-the-spot and extremely rare decision that the race couldn’t continue.

The shockwave was immediate and heavy in repercussions. Unable to reach the planned finish at the ski station of Tignes, organizers decided that riders’ placings would instead be based on their time at the top of the highest mountain pass of this Tour — the Iseran, at 2,770 meters (9,090 feet) above sea level — which leading riders, but not all, had just scaled when the race was stopped.

And just like that, Colombian rider Egan Bernal found himself in the yellow jersey.

He flew away from Julian Alaphilippe on the climb and reached the top 2 minutes, 7 seconds ahead of the Frenchman who had held the race lead for a total of 14 days.

Bernal was speeding down hairpins on the other side, with Alaphilippe hot on his trail, hoping to save his race lead, when they received the order to stop racing.

Organizers scrambled to deal with the disarray and riders clambered off their bikes, not immediately sure what was going on. Exceptionally, there was no winner of Stage 19, because no one had reached the finish.


UConn to pay $17 million to exit AAC

The University of Connecticut has agreed to pay a $17 million exit fee to the American Athletic Conference so the school can rejoin the Big East next year.

AAC bylaws stipulate any school seeking to leave the conference must give 27 months notice and pay a $12 million fee, but the sides negotiated the higher fee for UConn to leave sooner.

The Huskies will join the Big East in all sports except football, men’s and women’s ice hockey, and rowing.

UConn also announced Friday its football program will become an independent in the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2020.


UVA’s Hall named to Walter Camp watch list

Virginia cornerback Bryce Hall has been named to the preseason Walter Camp player-of-the-year award watch list, making him one of seven from the ACC to make the list of 40.

Miami defensive end Jonathan Garvin, Boston College running back AJ Dillon, Syracuse defensive back Andre Cisco and a trio of players from Clemson — quarterback Trevor Lawrence, defensive end Xavier Thomas and running back Travis Etienne — also were named.

Hall is one of 10 players on the watch list who were Walter Camp All-Americans last season. He was a second-team honoree.


Manuel claims 100 free title as 3 records fall

Simone Manuel won her second straight title in the 100 freestyle at the world championships in Gwangju, South Korea, on a day when three world records fell — the men’s 100 butterfly and 200 breaststroke and the women’s 200 backstroke.

Relegated to Lane 1 with the slowest qualifying time, the American led all the way and touched first in 52.04 seconds, beating Cate Campbell of Australia by 0.39 seconds.

Mack Horton rallied Australia to victory in the men’s 4x200 freestyle relay, putting them in front with a lap to go. Russia took silver in 7:01.81. The U.S. team of Andrew Seliskar, Blake Pieroni, Zach Apple and Townley Haas (Benedictine) earned bronze in 7:01.98.

Sun Yang swept the 200 and 400 freestyles, winning the 200 via disqualification and beating Horton in the 400.

Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa earned silver, becoming her country’s first woman to win a swimming medal at worlds.

Anton Chupkov of Russia broke the world record in the 200 breaststroke, touching in 2:06.12 in defense of his title from two years ago in Budapest.

Caeleb Dressel broke Michael Phelps’ record in the 100 butterfly and Regan Smith lowered the mark in the 200 backstroke.

Dressel won his heat in 49.50 seconds — 0.32 seconds better than Phelps’ mark set at the 2009 world meet in Rome at the height of the high-tech suit era.

Smith, who is 17, won her semifinal heat in 2:03.35. That erased the old mark of 2:04.06 set by Missy Franklin at the 2012 London Olympics.


Top-seeded Thiem taken out in Hamburg

Top-seeded Dominic Thiem was upset by Andrey Rublev of Russia in the quarterfinals of the Hamburg European Open, losing 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5).

Rublev, who beat a top 10 player for only the second time, recovered from two breaks in the first set to eliminate the two-time French Open finalist.

The 78th-ranked Rublev will next face Pablo Carreno Busta after the Spaniard beat third-seeded Fabio Fognini 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (4).

Second-seeded Alexander Zverev is safely through after the German survived a scare before rallying to beat Filip Krajinovic 2-6, 7-5, 6-2.


  • The Portland Trail Blazers have added six-time All-Star

Pau Gasol

  • to their roster. He played only three games with Milwaukee and missed all of the playoffs because of a stress fracture in his left foot.
  • The Milwaukee Bucks have signed veteran guard

Kyle Korver

  • . The 38-year-old guard appeared in a combined 70 games with the Cavaliers and Jazz last season, averaging 8.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists and shooting 39.7% from 3-point range.
  • D.C. United and midfielder

Zoltan Stieber

  • , who has been with the club since 2017, agreed to part ways. In three seasons, the Hungarian totaled six goals and eight assists in 44 appearances. He made nine appearances — three starts — this season.

Enter your email address and submit to receive RTD Sports emails each weekday morning

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

— From staff and wire reports

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.