Tour de France to start from Bilbao in 2023

The 2023 Tour de France will set off from Bilbao, marking the sixth time in 10 editions that the world's most famous cycling race starts outside France, its organizers said on Friday. The opening two stages will be held in the Basque country, where the Tour also began in 1992, when it rolled out from San Sebastian.

Top prospect Casey Mize makes Tigers' starting rotation

Former No. 1 overall draft pick Casey Mize will open the season in the Detroit Tigers' starting rotation, manager A.J. Hinch announced Friday. The 23-year-old right-hander has struggled with his command for most of the spring, compiling a 1-2 record and an 8.36 ERA with 21 strikeouts, 10 walks and four homers allowed in 14 innings.

Golf: Van Tonder hits right note to beat Jazz in playoff and win Savannah Classic

Daniel van Tonder won his first European Tour title with a nail-biting playoff victory over Jazz Janewattananond at the Savannah Classic on Friday as overnight leader Justin Harding failed to clinch his second title in a week in Nairobi. Van Tonder carded 64 in the final round with a monster birdie putt from the edge of the 18th green to finish at 21-under overall while Thailand's Jazz missed his birdie putt to finish level with the South African.

NFL: COVID vaccination not mandatory for new season

The National Football League (NFL) hopes players, coaches and staff will get vaccinated against COVID-19 ahead of the new season but it will not be mandatory, the league's chief medical officer Allan Sills said. The NFL on Thursday sent a memo to all 32 teams ahead of this year's draft outlining a series of more relaxed protocols if all individuals in the draft room were vaccinated.

Veteran Thompson wins UK marathon trials in Kew Gardens

Veteran Chris Thompson, who turns 40 next month, produced a masterful and highly emotional performance to win the British Olympic Marathon trials in the unusual surroundings of London's Kew Gardens on Friday to secure his place in Tokyo. While Thompson punched the air and let out a scream of joy after crossing the line following years of frustration, Steph Davis, still a part-timer, burst into tears after destroying the field and her own personal best to win the women's race and also qualify only a couple of years after she took up serious training.

Politics and protest in sport: Have FIFA’s rules changed?

Over the years FIFA has been opposed to players, teams and fans engaging in protests or sloganeering but it seems global soccer's governing body is perhaps now prepared to tolerate a blurring of the line it once drew between politics and sport. On Wednesday, Norway's national team wore t-shirts declaring "Human rights - on and off the pitch" as they lined up before their World Cup qualifier against Gibraltar and the following day, Germany made a similar protest before their qualifier against Iceland in Duisburg.

Red Sox P Eduardo Rodriguez scratched from opener with 'dead arm'

Boston Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez was scratched from his scheduled Opening Day start due to a "dead arm," manager Alex Cora announced Friday. Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will take the mound instead when Boston opens the season Thursday at Fenway Park against the Baltimore Orioles.

NCAA takes on student-athletes in U.S. Supreme Court compensation dispute

As the annual U.S. ritual of the "March Madness" college basketball tournament unfolds, the Supreme Court is poised to hear the National Collegiate Athletic Association's bid to preserve its limits on education-related compensation for student-athletes. The justices next week are set to hear oral arguments in an appeal by the NCAA, the major governing body for U.S. intercollegiate sports, of a lower court decision last year that deemed the organization's rules anticompetitive under a federal law called the Sherman Antitrust Act.

NHL roundup: Mika Zibanejad's record night powers Rangers

Mika Zibanejad had three goals and three assists to lift the New York Rangers past the host Philadelphia Flyers 8-3 on Thursday. Zibanejad has scored six goals and totaled 12 points in consecutive games against the Flyers, as Thursday he equaled his stats from a March 17 matchup. He is the first player to notch consecutive six-point games against the same opponent during a single season in NHL history.

Olympic torch relay ignites business recovery hope of Fukushima flag maker

When Olympic torch runners came to Fukushima city on Friday, Masahiro Abiko went out to cheer them with his employees, hoping the Games will reinvigorate his coronavirus-battered business making flags and festival attire.

"Ever since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, festivals and other events have just evaporated. Orders for happi (half coats used for festive events) fell not by half, not by two-thirds, but by nine-tenths," Abiko told Reuters.