LONDON -- At this point, the top Tour de France sprint star might be called Sir Marcel. Fake Mets Jerseys . Marcel Kittel, the German with a French first name, led a bunch sprint to win Mondays Stage 3 with a finish on the doorstep of Queen Elizabeths Buckingham Palace. Two days earlier, he courted royal attention as Prince William and Kate saw him win Stage 1 in Yorkshire in another sprint. The stage wrapped up the English debut to this 101st Tour edition, a rousing success among cycling-crazed British fans. Riders hopped on planes and bid "au revoir" to the UK before flying across the English Channel onto the races home turf. Rain in the City of London doused riders at the end of the 155-kilometre (96-mile) ride from the university town of Cambridge to a dramatic finish past landmarks Big Ben and Westminster. Italys Vincenzo Nibali retained the overall leaders yellow jersey with a 2-second lead over the most likely contenders to win the three-week race in Paris on July 27. Svein Tuft was the top Canadian in 138th place, 16 minutes 13 seconds off the lead. Christian Meier, also from Langley, B.C., was 17:31 back in 154th. Kittel, led out perfectly by Giant-Shimano teammates, made it look easy as he sped down a final wide approach on The Mall with Buckingham Palace behind him. Peter Sagan of Slovakia was second and Australias Mark Renshaw was third. "Im really, really happy I could win in front of Buckingham Palace," said Kittel, who won four Tour stages last year. "It was one of the greatest finishes Ive ever seen in front of this great scenery." FIRST PARIS, NOW LONDON The hulking German made it a tale of two cities. He added London glory to his record after also winning on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, in the Tour finale last year. His job in the sprints got a lot easier after Britains Mark Cavendish pulled out of the race after injuring his shoulder in a crash in Saturdays Stage 1. "Its one big opponent that is not in the race anymore," Kittel said. "Of course, that changes things for me, but also for the team." Kittel is no threat for the yellow jersey. Like many sprinters, he struggles on climbs and fell nearly 20 minutes behind Nibali in the overall standings in an up-and-down ride on Sunday through the hills and dales of Yorkshire. Nibalis biggest challengers for the prized leaders shirt remain title-holder Chris Froome of Britain and Spains Alberto Contador, who finished with the same time as the Italian and Kittel in an 84-rider bunch. On Monday, the pack cruised nervously and let two breakaway riders go free on Monday. The duo was caught with about 6 kilometres (4 miles) left. EUROPEAN UNITY AMONG FANS? Tour officials estimated fans made nearly 5 million individual visits -- some may have attended more than one stage -- to the route in the first three stages. In signs of cross-Channel comity, Tour chief Christian Prudhomme took English lessons before the race; Britons waved both French tricolours and their beloved Union Jacks. But the teeming curbs, sidewalks and roadsides again caused trouble for the riders. With about 30 kilometres (19 miles) left, 2010 Tour winner Andy Schleck of Luxembourg was among riders who crashed briefly, and French TV showed a fan on the ground. Schleck, who gingerly returned to the race, said he didnt hit a spectator. "I guess it was my own fault," said Schleck, who collided with another rider and hurtled over his handlebars. His Trek Factory Racing teammate Jens Voigt said: "I saw about 15 crashes today. In the end there were two guys on the ground but I dont know what happened exactly ... Thats the Tour de France. The first week is always nervous." In other spills, Ted King of Cannondale and Jan Bakelants, a Belgian rider on Cavendishs Omega Pharma QuickStep team who wore yellow jersey two days last year, each scraped up their right elbows and knees. Some fans got political. A few held up placards imploring Prime Minister David Cameron not to back a U.S.-European Union free trade pact. Three topless protesters bearing slogans condemning female genital mutilation staged a brief protest near the Houses of Parliament before police bundled them away in fluorescent vests. The course route Monday notably bypassed Trafalgar Square, whose landmark Nelsons Column commemorates a British hero of the Napoleonic Wars. Stage 4 takes riders over 163.5 kilometres (105 miles) from Le Touquet-Paris Plage to Lille Metropole on the border with Belgium. Froomes Team Sky floated the idea that the pack might well ride under the sea rather than fly over it one day, if the Tour ever returns to the UK. The team released a glitzy video Monday saying that last month he became the first man to cycle through the Channel tunnel. In the video, Froome quipped: "This could be a really, really cool stage of a race." Jerry Koosman Jersey . - The Seattle Sounders busy off-season continues with the team acquiring defender Chad Marshall from the Columbus Crew in exchange for a 2015 third-round pick and allocation money. Tom Seaver Jersey . Chris Heisey connected for his first grand slam and Devin Mesoraco homered and drove in a career high-tying four runs as Cincinnati took advantage of Tampa Bays depleted pitching staff for a 12-4 victory on Sunday.CALGARY - Bo Levi Mitchell will be looking for his CFL record eighth straight victory to start his career when he leads the Calgary Stampeders against the B.C. Lions. Mitchell is currently tied with former Stampeders quarterback Jeff Garcia as his team looks to go 5-0 for the first time since 1995. You can catch the action live on TSN at 10pm et/7pm pt. The Stampeders take pride in their culture of "plug-in-and-play". When injury forces a player from the lineup, the replacement is expected to excel and help the team win. And with Calgarys star running back Jon Cornish and backup tailback Matt Walter out with concussion symptoms, it appears former CFL rookie of the year Martell Mallett will play in his first football game since 2009. The 28-year-old from Pine Bluff, Ark., rushed for 1,240 yards for the Lions in 2009, including a 136-yard performance in a game against the Stampeders, to earn that rookie award. Mallett then headed to the NFL where he got looks on practice rosters in Philadelphia, Cleveland and New York, but no games. The six-foot, 208-pound running back returned to Canada in 2012 with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. A torn Achilles tendon suffered in training camp wiped out the season and the Tiger-Cats released him prior to training camp the following year. Signed as a free agent in January, Mallett came off Calgarys practise roster this week for some first-team reps. The Stampeders picked up running back Hugh Charles as insurance Monday following his release from the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Mallett has been with the Stampeders since training camp and is more familiar with Calgarys offensive schemes. "I look at it as a blessing," Mallett said Tuesday. "Its been a while since I played football. Ive been here, learning the playbook, learning the system and it just came down to my time to go. Thats why Im here, for depth." Cornish, the CFLs most valuable player last season and rushing leader the past two, went on the six-game injured list last week still suffering the effects of getting knocked out in the season opener. In his absence, regular returner Jock Sanders led Calgary in rushing yards with 86 on 16 carries in last Thursdays 26-22 win over Edmonton. Walters left that game in the first quarter. Mallett has a degree in agriculture business from Arkansas-Pine Bluff. His post-football ambition is to work for U. Sid Fernandez Jersey. . Fish and Wildlife as a special agent chasing down poachers. "I grew up in a country town. I love hunting and I love fishing, but I hate it when people break the rules," he said. Malletts brother Michael was shot and killed in their home town in 2012 while Mallett was recovering from his Achilles surgery. Michael is one reason Mallett isnt done with football and moving onto to his next career. "If my brother was here, he would want me to continue to play football," Mallett said. "With that in consideration and my youth, I just feel like I can do it. I have a lot of miles left on me. I havent played a whole lot." The Stampeders went 14-4 in 2013 with a three-man rotation at starting quarterback and receivers constantly in and out of the lineup. "Thats been in our biggest thing the last couple of years. Guys plug in and play," defensive back Keon Raymond said. "Weve probably been one of the most injury-prone teams over the last couple years Ive been here, but we havent missed a beat. One of Calgarys three starting quarterbacks last season returns to McMahon Stadium on Friday in a Lions uniform. Kevin Glenn went 10-3 for the Stampeders before he was taken in the expansion draft by the Ottawa Redblacks and subsequently traded to the Lions. Charles has taken reps and worked with the return team in two practices since his arrival in Calgary. Hes been cut this season by both the Roughriders and the Edmonton Eskimos, for whom hes played a combined 55 career games. The Eskimos released him from training camp. The 28-year-old from Tulsa, Okla., compiled 86 yards on 13 carries in his one game July 12 for Saskatchewan, but a fumble that led to a Lions field goal likely cost him his job there. "That was the majority of it. I was there to prove a point and I just didnt get it done," Charles said. "They put me in that spot for a reason and I didnt come through and they pulled the plug. "Its nice to be wanted. Its been a roller-coast this year and a trying year for sure. We all go through it as a pro athlete and in this business. Im old enough to not take anything personal and to know the deal and the situation when things go down. "My whole career has been about proving and myself. Its nothing new." ' ' '
TAMPA, Fla. Balenciaga Shoes Wholesale China . -- Steven Stamkos scored his first goal since returning from a major injury, Ryan Callahan had his first goal with Tampa Bay, and the Lightning beat the Florida Panthers 5-4 on Thursday night. Stamkos gave Tampa Bay a 5-2 lead from the low left circle during a power play at 10:47 of the third. The Lightning star, playing in his fourth game since missing 45 games after breaking his right shin Nov. 11, also had an assist after three pointless games. Callahan scored from in-close to put the Lightning up 3-2 at 12:04 of the second. The Lightning obtained the right wing from the New York Rangers for former captain Martin St. Louis at the trade deadline. Tampa Bay, which had lost five straight (0-3-2) also got goals from Sami Salo, Michael Kostka and Tyler Johnson. Goalie Ben Bishop won his 30th game this season. Tomas Fleischmann, Quinton Howden, Scottie Upshall and Brandon Pirri scored for the Panthers, who have lost 11 of 14. Upshall and Pirri scored in the final 1:05 to get Florida to 5-4. Johnson made it 4-2 with 1:07 left in the second when he sent the puck into the slot and it deflected off Florida defenceman Ed Jovanovski and past goalie Dan Ellis. Stamkos assisted on Johnsons goal. The teams both scored twice in the first 8:18 of the game. Florida, which entered last in road power play at 6.5 per cent (8 for 124) converted its first chance on Fleischmanns goal at 1:44. After Salo tied it at 5:38, Howden put the Panthers up 2-1 on his first NHL goal, coming from the low left circle just 12 second later. Kostka tied it at 2 at 8:18. NOTES: It was Stamkos first goal since Nov. 9 against Detroit. ... Lightning C Valtteri Filppula had three assists. ... Ellis, acquired from Dallas for Tim Thomas on March 5, made his Panthers debut. ... It was Howdens first NHL game this season and 19th overall. He was recalled from San Antonio of the AHL Wednesday. ... Florida LW Sean Bergenheim didnt play due to a lower body injury. ... Salo (lower body) and teammate Radko Gudas (left leg) both played. Yeezy Boost 350 v2 Wholesale . They kicked off the still-going trend of host cities winning the Grey Cup and sent Hall of Fame head coach Wally Buono to the front office a champion. Air Jordan 1 Retro High Og Cheap . -- Each time the Utah Jazz threatened Memphis lead, the Grizzlies responded with defensive stops.TORONTO - With spring training just over a month away, many big-league baseball players are starting to get back into their workout routines in preparation for the 2015 season.For Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, the pre-season plan is a little different. The veteran right-hander has to give his nails extra attention since theyre critical for his unique pitch.I just kind of let them go in the winter, Dickey said Friday. And then when it comes time for like around late January, I start treating them with some product and making sure that theyre filed right, and the nail hardener is on there, things like that.Dickey was joined by teammates Jose Bautista, Aaron Loup, Todd Redmond and Dalton Pompey for a media availability at Rogers Centre to kick off the Blue Jays Winter Tour. The tour will include stops in Calgary, Banff and Vancouver next week. A chipped or broken nail can significantly hamper Dickeys ability to throw the unique pitch, which can float, dive and flutter en route to the plate. The over-the-counter hardener is used so the nails can withstand the rigours of a full season.Dickey tries to keep his nails at a consistent length and also has to be mindful of tasks that other players wouldnt be concerned about — like making sure a nail doesnt crack while hes doing up a zipper, for example.He doesnt go into nail salons unless theres an emergency.I do my own stuff, Dickey said in a recent interview at a different promotional event. Im probably the only major leaguer out there that could go on the disabled list for a broken nail. Cheap Fake Nmd . I dont trust many people with my nails. I do it all on my own.To throw the pitch, Dickey puts his index and middle fingers just behind the horseshoe-like seam on the ball. He digs his nails in on top and supports the bottom of the ball with his thumb on one side and fourth finger on the other.The thumb must stay off the seam to prevent the ball from spinning. Dickey then winds up and bends his wrist at an almost 90-degree angle before essentially pushing the ball out.With no spin, the ball floats toward the plate, often handcuffing batters with its slower speed and directional changes.Knuckleballers are quite rare as it can take a long time for a pitcher to master it. Dickey, 40, started out as a conventional pitcher but found the most success as a knuckler later in his career.So is it a fun pitch to throw?It can be. It can also be maddening, he said. When its going good, theres not anything better in the world. But when its going bad, it can be really ugly.Dickey won the National League Cy Young Award with the New York Mets in 2012 and joined the Blue Jays the following year. Hell be counted on to help anchor Torontos starting rotation again in 2015.Dickey reached the 200-inning plateau for the fourth straight season last year, finishing with a 14-13 mark and 3.71 earned-run average.Spring training begins next month and the Blue Jays will kick off the regular season April 6 in New York.———Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter. ' ' '