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Say hello to the 2012 Tour de France champ

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Say hello to the 2012 Tour de France champ

From Comcast SportsNet
PARIS (AP) -- After making history in Paris, Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins is heading home to London hoping to add an Olympic gold medal to go with his yellow jersey. The first Briton to win cycling's showcase event will start the Olympic time trial Aug. 1 as a big favorite for the gold, after dominating the event twice during the Tour de France. The 32-year-old Londoner showed during the Tour that he can beat all comers in the race-against-the-clock, even after 2,175 miles of racing over three weeks in one of the ultimate endurance tests in all of sports. After donning his winner's yellow jersey on the Champs-Elysees, Wiggins immediately began turning his focus to his Olympic race in just over a week. He even promised to forgo the Tour winner's traditional glass of champagne. "Everything turns to the Olympics and I'll be out on the bike tomorrow and I've got an Olympic time trial to try and win," Wiggins said. Sacrificing the traditional Tour winner's party was difficult but necessary, Wiggins said, because winning in his home Olympics "is a higher priority than anything else." "It's a little weird to leave Paris without a party because it would be nice to spend time with the team and really enjoy it," Wiggins said. Mark Cavendish, Wiggins' teammate on Team Sky, also is aiming to transition quickly from Parisian boulevards to English lanes. The world champion from Britain's Isle of Man wants to follow up his dominating sprint victory on the Champs-Elysees on Sunday with a win in the Olympic road race on July 28. If anything, Cavendish is even more heavily favored to win the road race than Wiggins is in the time trial. Regarded as the fastest man on a bike, the road world champion has not been as successful this year as in previous Tours. He kept his personal ambitions somewhat in check to put Wiggins in yellow during the Tour. He still won three stages along the way, taking his career total to 23, putting him in fourth place at the relatively young age of 27. Any other cyclist would consider that a very successful Tour, but Cavendish admitted he felt frustrated at times not being able to nab five or six stage victories as he has during his domination of sprints in recent years. Cavendish knew before the Tour this year's race would not be set up for him. He spent the first half of the season training specifically for the road race at the London Olympics, losing nine pounds (four kilograms) to be able to tackle the nine climbs of Box Hill in Surrey on Saturday. Wiggins enjoyed a perfect Tour from the start and secured the victory with a dominating performance in Saturday's final time trial to extend his already commanding lead. And with Cavendish having sacrificed some opportunities for more stage wins by helping his teammate protect the yellow jersey, Wiggins was all too happy to pay him back over the final miles of the race -- normally a time when the winner is merely cruising along and already receiving congratulations from other riders. Wiggins pulled ahead to lead the Sky train shortly before it pulled onto the Champs-Elysees for the final time as the team set Cavendish up for the sprint. "It's hard to take in as it happens," Wiggins said. "Every lap of the Champs-Elysees was goose-pimple stuff. We had a job to do with Mark today and we were all motivated to do that so it made it go a lot quicker. The concentration was high and for Mark to finish it off like that ... well, it couldn't get any better." Cavendish -- widely regarded as the best sprinter in the world -- won the final stage of the Tour for the fourth year in a row. After Wiggins pulled back, Edvald Boasson Hagen delivered the perfect lead-out for Cavendish to sprint away from his rivals at the end of the 74.6-mile stage. Cavendish accelerated coming out of the final corner, never looked back and raised four fingers as he crossed the line. "That was incredible, what a sight," Cavendish said. "The yellow jersey, Brad Wiggins pulling at the end. ... I just gave everything to the line, I wanted it so bad. It's the cherry on top of an amazing Tour for us." The seven stage wins was a record haul for British riders in the Tour, beating the previous record of six stage wins -- all by Cavendish -- in 2009. This time the victories were divided up between Cavendish (3), Wiggins (2), David Millar (1) and Christopher Froome (1). All four, with Ian Stannard, will compete in Saturday's road race on the opening day of the Olympics with the aim of propelling Cavendish to another triumph. "We won seven stages in total, that's one out of three stages won by a British rider," Cavendish said. "The guys in the Olympic team have one more job to do, but it's been an incredible few weeks for us."

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Redskins will start their No. 3 center against the Giants

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Redskins will start their No. 3 center against the Giants

Jay Gruden said during the offseason that the thing that scared him most was not having a good center and a backup available. The coach probably is terrified now.

Spencer Long, who started the season at center, is headed to injured reserve. He has been battling tendonitis in his knees for several weeks and, apparently, an injured quad muscle. Gruden said that Long will have surgery to fix the quad.

MORE REDSKINS: QUANTIFYING THE LATE-HALF DIFFICULTIES

Rookie Chase Roullier has been playing well in Long’s absence but he will be on the shelf at least this week. He broke a bone in his hand against the Saints and, according to a report, he has had surgery to repair it. While he has not been ruled out it seems likely that he will miss at least this game, if not more.

The Redskins’ third option is veteran journeyman Tony Bergstrom. It looks like he will start at center against the Giants on Thursday. The Redskins are Bergstrom’s fourth team in four seasons in the league. He has started four games, all for the Raiders in 2012 and 2015. Bergstrom signed with the Redskins about four weeks ago.

Bergstrom’s backup will be Demetrius Rhaney, who was just signed. He started one game for the Rams after they drafted him in the seventh round in 2014.

As expected, both Chris Thompson and Terrelle Pryor are headed to injured reserve. In addition to signing Rhaney, the team will promote LB Pete Robertson and RB LeShun Daniels from the practice squad. Earlier this week they re-signed DL A.J. Francis. They will have to drop one player from the 53-man roster before all of these moves are made official.

RELATED: APOLOGY FOR BLOWN CALL RINGS HOLLOW FOR COUSINS

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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By-The-Numbers: Beal on pace to join a 'who's who' of all-time NBA marksmen

By-The-Numbers: Beal on pace to join a 'who's who' of all-time NBA marksmen

Wizards guard Bradley Beal made history on Monday night against the Milwaukee Bucks when he became the youngest NBA player ever to reach 700 career three-pointers.

Here are some notes and numbers to put his accomplishment into perspective...

4

Beal was the youngest to get to 700 threes by just four days, beating out - you guessed it - J.R. Smith. Okay, that was unexpected. The top five as a whole, however, is some great company for Beal to be associated with:

Bradley Beal - 24 years, 145 days
J.R. Smith - 24 years, 149 days
Kevin Durant - 24 years, 198 days
Gilbert Arenas - 24 years, 316 days
Kyrie Irving - 24 years, 364 days

701

Beal hit another three against the Bucks and now has 701 total in his career.

That's tied for fourth-most among NBA players before their 25th birthday. It's the same list of names as above with Arenas having the most at 779. Beal has to hit 79 more threes by the end of this season to pass him, as Beal turns 25 in June.

That is definitely feasible.

RELATED: BEAL'S AMAZING BLOCK ON GIANNIS

35

Beal is one of only 35 players in NBA history to reach 700 threes while shooting 39 percent or better. The list is a 'who's who' of the best three-point shooters of all-time like Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Ray Allen and Reggie Miller.

Beal, by the way, has shot at a couple percentage points higher than Miller and Dennis Scott.

15

The list of players who have 700 or more while making at least two threes per game is even more exclusive.

Only 15 players can say that about themselves and 12 of the 15 are active. The three who aren't are Allen, Arenas and Peja Stojakovic.

The contemporaries include Curry, Thompson, James Harden, Isaiah Thomas and Damian Lillard.

2

Beal is one of only two players in Wizards/Bullets franchise history to reach the 700 career three-pointers mark.

Arenas has the franchise record with 868 and he and Beal are far and away the best. Antawn Jamison is third with 646. Here is the top five:

Gilbert Arenas, 868
Bradley Beal, 701
Antawn Jamison, 646
Chris Whitney, 489
John Wall, 445

Arenas and Beal are also the only two players in franchise history to average two more or more threes made per game. 

RELATED: WATCH VIDEO OF BEAL'S RECORD-BREAKING THREE

1

Beal has the highest three-point percentage in franchise history among players with at least 400 attempts. Martell Webster (39.7%), Brent Price (39.5%) and Otto Porter (39.5%) are right behind him.

Via Basketball-Reference.com