In Brief | Nation and World July 6


Sagan wins Tour stage; Impey keeps lead

ALBI, France — Slovakia’s Peter Sagan won the hilly seventh stage of the Tour de France in a sprint finish Friday, while South Africa’s Daryl Impey kept the yellow jersey for another day before the race heads into the daunting Pyrenees.

Sagan held off John Degenkolb of Germany to capture his first stage victory in this year’s Tour, taking a big lead in his bid to defend the green jersey as top sprinter. Italy’s Daniele Bennati finished the stage in third.

“I have to say my team did all the work today, they did an incredible job,” Sagan said through a translator. “They showed that they are perfectly capable.”

Sagan leads Germany’s Andre Greipel in the sprinters’ race and is way ahead of archrival Mark Cavendish — the 2011 green jersey winner — who was dropped on the day’s toughest climb.

“The idea was to get a few points today, and I admit I got a few more than I thought I would,” Sagan said.

Cavendish wilted on the ascent up Col de la Croix de Mounis.

“Half the peloton were dropped on that climb,” Cavendish said. “It was not a good day for us. It was really difficult.”

He rolled in more than 40 minutes behind Sagan, who is also an able climber and projected by five-time Tour winner Bernard Hinault to become an overall contender providing he sheds some of his sprinter’s bulk and trims down.

Impey began the day as the first South African to wear the yellow jersey, but he will likely relinquish it after today’s first of two difficult days of climbing in the high mountains of the Pyrenees.

Matt Kenseth wins Nationwide race at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Matt Kenseth has won the Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway.

Kenseth was leading when the race resumed with two laps to go following a red-flag stoppage of nearly 10 minutes. James Buescher hooked onto his back bumper and the two broke away from the pack.

As Kenseth and Buescher sailed cleanly to the finish, the battle behind them was for third place. It went to Elliott Sadler, who picked up a $100,000 bonus from series sponsor Nationwide as the highest finishing driver in the “Dash 4 Cash” program.

Kurt Busch finished fourth in a car designed with the beloved City Chevrolet paint scheme from the “Days of the Thunder” movie. He and the Phoenix Racing crew spent much of the race in character with Busch reciting movie lines.

Every takes lead, Lefty misses cut at Greenbrier

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — The first page of the Greenbrier Classic leaderboard is filled with golfers who’ll get to do something they’re unaccustomed to lately: Playing on the weekend.

Matt Every shot an 8-under 62 on Friday for a one-stroke lead over five other players midway through the Greenbrier Classic.

Every needed just 26 putts during his best round of the year and is at 9 under for the tournament on the Old White TPC course. He missed four putts inside 12 feet that could have made his bogey-free second round even more special.

“I played really well tee to green, finally made some putts,” Every said. “I haven’t made anything all year and it just finally happened today. Been waiting for it.”

Every has been in this position before, leading after the first round of the 2012 Texas Open and tying for the third-round lead at the 2012 Sony Open, yet the 29-year-old is still looking for his first PGA Tour victory.

“I know I can win out here,” he said.

One stroke behind him at 8 under are Russell Henley (65), Bill Lunde (66), Daniel Summerhays (67), Steven Bowditch (67) and first-round co-leader Johnson Wagner (70).

Four others are two shots behind at 7 under. Ben Curtis and Greg Owen each shot 66, Jonas Blixt had a 67 and first-round co-leader Tommy Gainey a 71.

The posh Greenbrier resort is in a small town named for its hot spring waters that the locals have touted for centuries for their healing qualities. It seems as though the Greenbrier Classic is doing wonders for some golfers, too.

AP Source: 76ers acquire Royce White from Rockets

A person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press the Philadelphia 76ers have acquired the rights to Houston Rockets forward Royce White.

The person spoke Friday night on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been officially announced. The 76ers also acquired the rights to 2012 draft pick Furkan Aldemir. The Sixers will send Houston future considerations.

White was a first-round pick (16th overall) last summer and never played for the Rockets. The 6-foot-8 White was on the inactive list as he worked on an arrangement with the team to balance his acknowledged anxiety disorder with the demands of the NBA schedule.

White was vocal on Twitter throughout the saga, often criticizing the team. The Rockets suspended White on Jan. 6 after he refused to accept an assignment to Rio Grande Valley in the NBDL.

Yahoo Sports first reported the deal.

Ainge calls 36-year-old Stevens his 1st choice

WALTHAM, Mass. — Brad Stevens says he had no desire to leave Butler — until the Celtics called.

Seventeen championships. Bill Russell. Red Auerbach. It was all too much for the 36-year-old Stevens to resist.

Boston introduced its 17th coach at a news conference on Friday at the team’s practice facility, and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Stevens was his first choice to replace Doc Rivers. Boston received a first-round draft pick from the Los Angeles Clippers for the rights to Rivers last week, and then Ainge called Stevens.

“First of all, the Boston Celtics, like, wow — that is an incredible feeling,” Stevens said about last week’s phone call from Ainge. “It’s an incredible honor and it’s certainly flattering.”

Stevens received a six-year deal worth a reported $22 million and became the youngest head coach in the NBA.

“My first phone call was to Brad Stevens. Brad was my first choice,” Ainge said. “I have watched and admired his poise, his intelligence, his teams — their effort, their execution under pressure and I’ve always looked at him the last few years as a guy who was a great candidate to be a head coach — never really thinking that it was going to be this soon in Celtic history but he’s a guy that I have targeted for a long time as a potential great coach.”

Under a veil of secrecy, a Celtics’ contingent visited Stevens’ home Wednesday and finalized the contract, with the coach’s wife/agent, Tracy.

Hernandez grand jury to hear from shooting victim

HARTFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut man who says he lost an eye after being shot by Aaron Hernandez in February was ordered Friday to appear before a grand jury in Massachusetts that is considering the murder case against the former New England Patriots tight end.

Superior Court Judge Joan Alexander in Hartford ordered Alexander Bradley to appear July 17 in Fall River, Mass., where a grand jury is looking into allegations Hernandez orchestrated the shooting of Odin Lloyd, according to a clerk for the court.

Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-pro football player for the Boston Bandits, was found slain June 17 near Hernandez’s home in North Attleborough, Mass. Prosecutors say Hernandez arranged Lloyd’s shooting because he was upset at him for talking to certain people at a nightclub.

Hernandez has been charged with murder in district court in Massachusetts but a grand jury indictment or probable cause hearing would be necessary for him to face trial on felony charges.

Hernandez, 23, has pleaded not guilty.

The Bristol County district attorney’s office in Massachusetts said it could not comment on any grand jury investigation.

Bradley, 33, has filed a civil lawsuit against Hernandez, asserting he was shot in the face by the former player in February as they were driving in Florida after arguing in a Miami strip club.

At the time, he told police he did not know who had shot him.

From wire sources