Wed, Aug 09, 2017 - Page 16 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

CYCLING

Contador to wear No. 1 bib

Three-time winner Alberto Contador is to wear bib No. 1 in his farewell Vuelta a Espana later this month as the Spaniard prepares to bring his career to an end. Contador, who on Monday announced this year’s Vuelta would be his last professional race, will be bidding for a fourth title after his triumphs in 2008, 2012 and 2014. The No. 1 bib is usually reserved for the defending champion, but organizers have broken with tradition and handed it to the Trek-Segafredo rider. “That Alberto chooses Spain and La Vuelta to call it a career is a great honor for the whole organization,” Vuelta general manager Javier Guillen said in a statement. “We are wholeheartedly grateful to the generosity he always demonstrated as a rider and that he shows once again with this decision. Alberto is — and will forever be — part of the history of cycling in our country and elsewhere.” Contador is one of only six riders to have won all three Grand Tours, although two of his nine titles — the 2010 Tour de France and 2011 Giro d’Italia — were expunged from the record books because of a doping ban. This year’s three-week race features a strong lineup, including Tour de France champion Chris Froome and multiple Grand Tour winner Vincenzo Nibali. It begins in Nimes, France, on Aug. 19.

FOOTBALL

Wilfork begins new career

Star defensive tackle Vince Wilfork on Monday announced his retirement from the NFL with a tweet that also launched his new career as a product pitchman. “No more cleats, I’m moving on to smoke meats,” Wilfork says in a video posted on Twitter that showed him wearing denim overalls and brandishing a pair of tongs while standing in front of a barbecue. The post was a promotion for Kingsford Charcoal, in which the 35-year-old promised fans a farewell tailgate party before reigning Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 7 in their season opener. Wilfork played the past two seasons with the Houston Texans, but played his first 11 seasons with the Patriots. New England drafted him the first round of the 2004 NFL draft and he was part of two Super Bowl-winning Patriots squads. Wilfork registered 370 solo tackles and 16 sacks in 189 games — all but 10 of them starts. He added three sacks in 24 post-season games. Wilfork was named to four consecutive Pro Bowl teams from 2009-2012 and was named a first-team All-Pro selection in 2012.

ICE HOCKEY

NHL forbids play in Games

Players with NHL contracts, even those in the minors, will not be allowed to participate in the Winter Olympics in February next year. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly on Monday confirmed that all players under contract would be treated the same. The league in April announced it would not be stopping its season to go to the Olympics for the first time since 1994, but questions had remained about players in the American Hockey League (AHL) and ECHL. This means players signed to two-way NHL contracts or who are loaned to minor-league affiliates by their clubs will not be available to the US, Canada or other national teams. The AHL earlier this summer said that general managers could decide to allow players on AHL contracts to play in South Korea.

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