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NIMES, France -- Almost at the line, Jack Bauer and Martin Elmiger were exhausted but could see it coming -- their first Tour de France stage victory. Mike Wagner Jersey . Those last 50 metres, however, got in the way. A bunch of sprinters leading the pack came speeding like a runaway train and plowed past the huffing breakaway duo in the final milliseconds. Stage 15 belonged to Norwegian speedster Alexander Kristoff, his second stage victory in this Tour. The 138-mile (222-kilometre) stage went smoothly for overall leader Vincenzo Nibali of Italy. He made sure his main rivals couldnt claw back any time, and he kept his yellow jersey by finishing in the trailing pack. After two days in the Alps, Sundays stage offered some relief over a flat course from Tallard, southeast Frances parachuting capital, toward Nimes, known for its Roman arena and bullfighting. More relief comes Monday -- a second rest day. This ride showed yet again on the Tour how mighty efforts so often go unrewarded. Bauer is a New Zealander who had a better shot of holding off the sprinters than Swiss champion Elmiger. Bauer dropped his bike after the finish line, sat on the ground and cupped his face in his hands, crying. They had led nearly from the starters gun. "Its a fantasy for any cyclist to win a stage at the Tour and especially for a Kiwi cyclist, not many of us turn professional and not many of us get a chance to start the Tour de France," Bauer said. The 29-year-old rider came to the Tour to help Garmin-Sharp leader Andrew Talansky, who dropped out before Stage 12 because of injuries from an earlier crash. The pack perfectly timed its move on the breakaway duo and proved too strong. Bauer was pedaling with his last remaining strength, and when he looked back a last time they were already zooming by. He finished in 10th place, with Elmiger 16th. "I really gave it absolutely everything, and as you can see from my meltdown at the finish I was pretty disappointed to come away empty-handed," Bauer added, noting hes usually a support rider. "I thought I had it, but then I realized in the last 50 metres that I had nothing." The Swiss rider with IAM Cycling took it more in stride. This, after all, wasnt the first breakaway to fail in this Tour. "I am not disappointed because I actually did not have the best legs today," Elmiger said. "Being caught by the pack is not so bad when you are convinced you have given everything. As I have already said three times this Tour after breaks have failed, one of these days the wheels will turn in my favour." Kristoff, a Katusha rider who also won Stage 12, sighed in relief. "It was a little bit late for comfort. It was very close," he said. "I thought I would be second. ... We turned on the gas." "Of course, thats a pity for them, but I dont feel sorry for them," he said. "Normally, the break should never have had a chance, but they did. They were really strong guys. ... That must have been really hard." With about 12 miles (20 kilometres) left, rain briefly doused the riders, though skies brightened by the end. A series of roundabouts and leg fatigue among the sprinters after the Alpine stages gave an advantage to the breakaway pair until the final seconds. Nibali kept his main rivals for the Tour title at bay. He leads Spains Alejandro Valverde by 4:37 while Romain Bardet of France is third, 4:50 behind. American Tejay van Garderen is fifth, 5:49 back. Nibali, the leader of Kazakh team Astana, is in good shape to take the yellow jersey when the three-week race ends next Sunday in Paris. Some of his closest rivals have already said the race is now for second place. The Italian has shown savvy -- gaining time on cobblestone patches in Stage 2 -- and nearly insurmountable dominance on high climbs. He won Stage 13s entree into the Alps and was second a day later, also in the snow-capped mountains. On Sunday, Nibali showed he wasnt leaving any chances to his rivals. With about 39 miles (65 kilometres) left, he sped out of the pack and briefly took the lead. "At that moment, there was a lot of side wind," he said. "I really didnt want to miss the good opportunity and try to move up into position ... because when theres wind, you have to be at the front." More grueling climbs loom in the Pyrenees this week before the only individual time trial of this Tour on Saturday. Artie Burns Jersey . -- Jose Bautista never worries about hitting homers during the regular season. Morgan Burnett Jersey . Louis Cardinals pitcher Jaime Garcia will have surgery on his left shoulder this week and is expected to miss the rest of the season.The Rangers take the series lead, again; the Blackhawks blow away the Blues and the Ducks stage a miraculous comeback to oust the Stars. Notes on Couturier, Keith, Seabrook, Miller, Daley, Seguin and more. RANGERS DOUBLE UP FLYERS The New York Rangers got goals from some less likely sources -- including Marc Staal, Dominic Moore and Brian Boyle, into an empty net -- to win Game Five over the Philadelphia Flyers, 4-2, givng the Blueshirts a 3-2 series lead. The other Rangers goal-scorer was Brad Richards, and it came off a goal-mouth scramble that netted J.T. Miller and assist. Miller, the 21-year-old who was a first-round pick in 2011, has 10 points in 56 career games with the Rangers, but had 43 points in 41 AHL games this season and joined a line with Richards and Carl Hagelin. New Yorks line of Derek Stepan, Rick Nash and Martin St. Louis controlled play. Aside from setting up Staals game-opening goal, the trio was on for more than 70% of 5-on-5 shot attempts, mostly against the Flyers line of Sean Couturier, Matt Read and Jason Akeson. Couturier and Read are the Flyers forwards playing the most in this series and Couturier hasnt recorded a single point. Yes, hes a responsible checking centre, but its tough to run a forward out for more than 100 minutes in five games and get no points out of that ice-time investment. Inserted into the Flyers lineup for an injured Nicklas Grossman, Hal Gill had a rough game, involved in two Rangers goals against, and it was a hard situation in which to place a guy who had played two games since Christmas. The series heads back to Philadelphia for Game Six and the Flyers have to find a way to generate better results in a hurry. The Blueshirts hold a possession edge and have the better goaltender. BYE BYE BLUES Tied 1-1 going into the third period of Game Six, the Chicago Blackhawks erupted for four goals to pull away from the St. Louis Blues, finishing off the series. Blackhawks D Duncan Keith led the way offensively, tallying a goal and three assists, and with Keith on the ice, the Blackhawks held a 20-13 (60.6%) edge in shot attempts. With Keith off the ice, the 5-on-5 shot attempts favoured St. Louis 32-16 (66.7%). Keiths defence partner, Brent Seabrook, had a couple of assists in his first game back after serving a three-game suspension, and RW Andrew Shaw added a goal and an assist. Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was the pace-setter in the series, scoring three goals and seven points, with all of his goals counting as game-winners. Seabrook, who only played in three games due to his suspension, finished the series with six points and Keiths big Game Six gave him seven points for the series as well. For the Blues, there is going to be a lot of reflection because this is a team that expected to last longer than one round in the postseason, but this result shouldnt raise major concerns. They played the Blackhawks very evenly, with four of the six games in the series going to overtime, and had to play two of the games without their No. 1 centre. Considering the late run of injuries that led to the Blues losing six straight to end the regular season, setting up this matchup, its also fair to wonder if the Blues could have fared better with fewer health concerns. The Blues held a >slight possession edge in the series, but got the second-best goaltending results. Chicagos Corey Crawford stopped 201 of 215 shots (.935 SV%) while Blues G Ryan Miller, after getting torched for five goals on 26 shots in the series finale, stopped 166 of 185 (.897 SV%). Could the Blues usee an upgrade or two? Sure, maybe a centre to help Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko, or a premier finisher for the top line that could allow T. Antonio Brown Jersey. J. Oshie or Alexander Steen to slide to the second line. In the end, the Blues were a really good team that played well, but not quite well enough to knock off the defending champs, who are legitimate Cup contenders again this year. There is no shame in losing to this Blackhawks team. The Blackhawks will now wait for the winner of the Colorado-Minnesota series and Chicago will be favoured against either one.. FALLING STARS Just when it looked like the Dallas Stars and Anaheim Ducks would be headed back to Anaheim for Game Seven -- with the Stars holding a 4-2 lead late in the third period -- a goal-mouth scramble resulted in coincidental roughing penalties to Dallas Alex Chiasson and Anaheims Andrew Cogliano. 16 seconds later, Nick Bonino tied the game. Then, with 24 seconds left, Devante Smith-Pelly pounced on a loose puck and buried it for the tying goal. 2:47 into overtime, Bonino scored again, giving the Ducks a dramatic 5-4 win in Game Six, allowing the Ducks to escape with a series victory not so long after it appeared that the series was surely going the distance. Bonino and Smith-Pelly each had a pair of goals for Anaheim, while Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne each delivered a pair of assists. Selanne played 14:08 and had five shots on goal, both marking highs for him in a series that saw him made a healthy scratch. That the Ducks won a series in which they yanked starting goaltender Frederik Andersen twice shows just how back-and-forth it was. Andersen was pulled from Game Six after allowing four goals on 12 shots, leaving him with an .892 save percentage in the series; the kind of play that could leave virtually-exiled veteran Jonas Hiller an opportunity to start at some point in Round Two. Hiller stopped all 12 shots he faced after relieving Andersen. The Stars were led in Game Six, and for good portions of the series, by their top defence tandem of Trevor Daley and Alex Goligoski. Daley had two goals and an assist Sunday, while Goligoski added two assists. They combined for nine points in the series and were both on for more than 58% of the 5-on-5 shot attempts when they were on the ice. Stars C Cody Eakin had a goal and an assist in the deciding game, giving him five points for the series; tied with Daley, LW Jamie Benn and C Shawn Horcoff for the team scoring lead. Stars C Tyler Seguin could have used some more reward for what was relatively impressive play. He was on the ice for 61.8% of 5-on-5 shot attempts and had 29 shots on goal in six games, yet mustered one goal and three points. There was a real opportunity for the Stars to take this series, but needed a more decisive advantage in goal, particularly with Andersen running hot and cold. In the Dallas net, Kari Lehtonen stopped 146 of 165 shots (.885%) and, as it turns out, that was only a save or two short of what the Stars needed to push this series to the limit. Even though the Stars won the possession battle, they couldnt slow down Anaheims otherwordly 5-on-5, score close shooting percentage (12.7% in Round One). Now, the Ducks wait for the winner of the Sharks and Kings which will, in either case, present a daunting matchup. But, after the way the Ducks won Game Six, let em celebrate a bit first.   Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Cheap Adidas Hockey Jerseys Wholesale Nike Baseball Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys From China Wholesale Jerseys China Wholesale NFL Jerseys China Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Free Shipping Cheap Nike NBA Jerseys Authentic Cheap NHL Jerseys Canada Cheap Nike MLB Jerseys Cheap Soccer Jerseys China NCAA Jerseys Cheap Nike NHL Jerseys ChinaWholesale Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys Store Cheap Football Jerseys Store Wholesale Soccer Jerseys Jerseys NCAA China Jerseys NFL Cheap Cheap Nike NBA Jerseys ' ' '

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