MT. CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. (AP) – Tejay van Garderen of Tacoma, Wash., moved to the front in the final 500 uphill yards and claimed the second stage and the race lead Tuesday at the USA Pro Challenge.
Van Garderen, who rides for BMC, completed the 99.2-mile road race from Montrose to Mt. Crested Butte in 3 hours, 52 minutes and 24 seconds. Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp) of Lemont, Ill., finished second in the same time. Ivan Rovny (Rusvelo) of Russia was third, trailing the stage winner by six seconds. Van Garderen, who was fifth and was the highest American finisher last month in the Tour de France, has the same overall time as Vande Velde. But van Garderen is the race leader based on his higher Stage 2 finish.
Defending race titlist Levi Leipheimer (LYP’-hy-mur) (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) of Santa Rosa, Calif., finished fourth in the stage and is fourth overall, trailing by eight seconds.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – Free agent safety Jim Leonhard practiced Tuesday for the first time since undergoing a right knee operation in December. The Broncos removed him from their PUP list and placed him on their 90-man roster. He participated in drills with other defensive backs but was held out of team drills. Leonhard said he hopes he can practice in team portions when the Broncos (No. 10 in the AP Pro32) return from a day off Thursday. He also said he’d like to play in one of Denver’s final two preseason games, but he’s sure the training staff will “protect me from myself” and take things slowly. Leonhard is a seven-year veteran who spent the past three seasons as a fan favorite with the New York Jets following stints in Buffalo and Baltimore.
NEW YORK (AP) – Jhoulys Chacin (joh-LEES’ cha-SEEN’) made an impressive return from an extended absence and the Colorado Rockies backed him with a pair of sharp defensive plays, beating the New York Mets 6-2 Tuesday night.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Giants have opened up a 1 1/2-game lead over the rival Dodgers in the National League West race. Tim Lincecum (LINZ’-ih-kuhm) bounced back from consecutive home losses with his third straight road win to help San Francisco to a 4-1 victory in Los Angeles.
SEATTLE (AP) – Felix Hernandez took the mound last night for his first start since throwing a perfect game against Tampa Bay. He wasn’t perfect, but he was very good, allowing just one run over 7 2/3 innings as the Mariners topped the reeling Indians 5-1 for their seventh straight win.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – The Athletics turned in the third triple play in the major leagues this season during the fifth inning of their 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins. With runners on first and second, Trevor Plouffe hit a sharp grounder to Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson who stepped on the bag and made a quick relay to second baseman Adam Rosales, who threw to first baseman Chris Carter to complete the around-the-horn triple play.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – L.A. Clippers star Chris Paul faces a two-month recovery period after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb. Paul suffered the injury before playing for the gold medal-winning U.S. basketball team at the London Olympics.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Hoping to fill a hole at their second cornerback spot, the Indianapolis Colts have acquired Josh Gordy from the Rams for an undisclosed draft pick in 2014. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound cornerback played 14 games for St. Louis last season after coming up from the practice squad.