ARENBERG, France -- Reigning champion Chris Froome crashed twice and quit the Tour de France on Wednesday during a chaotic, nerve-jangling, filthy fifth stage full of spills. Nick Martin Jersey . Froome fell even before the seven cobblestone patches on the slick road from Ypres, Belgium, to Arenberg-Porte du Hainaut in France. Riders had known months ago about the bone-jarring course; incessant rain made it even more treacherous. The withdrawal of the Team Sky leader left the race wide open with 16 stages still left. Overall race leader Vincenzo Nibali wasted little time in speeding ahead, notably after he saw that his other big rival for the title this year, two-time Tour victor Alberto Contador, had trouble on the second run on cobbles. Sensing the danger from the rain, race organizers scrapped two of the nine scheduled cobblestone patches, and reduced the stage by three kilometres (two miles). But that still wasnt enough to stop many riders from tumbling. Froome, already nursing pain in his left wrist from a crash on Tuesday, took his third and last spill in two days about halfway through the stage. With a cut under his right eye, the Team Sky leader limped over to a team car, climbed in, and drove away. Froome tweeted he was "devastated" to have to withdraw. "Injured wrist and tough conditions made controlling my bike near to impossible," he wrote. He wished luck to new Sky leader Richie Porte of Australia and his other teammates for the rest of the race. "Its devastating for Chris and for the team," Sky boss Dave Brailsford said. "We really believed in Chris and his ability to win this race. But its not to be this year. "When you have a day like today, when you have a setback, you have to roll ahead and go again, you have to recalibrate your goals. Richie Porte came on the Tour to be the team leader No. 2, and he showed great ability to ride the cobbles the way he did." The last time a defending champion abandoned the Tour was five-time winner Bernard Hinault of France in 1980, according to French cycling statistics provider Velobs.com. Nibali, too, was one of several high-profile riders who crashed, recovered and excelled on the 152.5-kilometre (95-mile) route. The Italian finished third and extended his lead. He and second-place Jakob Fuglsang of Denmark were 19 seconds behind stage winner Lars Boom of the Netherlands. "This is a special, special day for me," said Boom, who rides for Belkin Pro Cycling. "I was really looking forward to the cobblestones." Overall, Nibali leads Astana teammate Fuglsang by 2 seconds. Cannondale rider Peter Sagan of Slovakia was third, 44 seconds back. Contador, breathing hard under a mask of mud at the finish, lost about 2 1/2 minutes to Nibali: Hes 2:37 back, in 19th place. Skys Porte was eighth overall, 1:54 back, and Valverde was 10th, 2:11 behind. Svein Tuft of Langley, B.C., was tied for 99th in the stage, 13:51 off the lead. Christian Meier, also from Langley, was 15:23 off the pace in a tie for 117th. Tuft is 140th overall and Meier is 144th. Nibali expressed little reaction to Froomes pullout. "We have to be calm. The road to Paris is very long," he said. "Cycling is made of crashes, and we have to take that into account." Others who went down but kept going included Americans Andrew Talansky and Tejay van Garderen, Spains Alejandro Valverde, and Germanys Marcel Kittel, winner of three of the first four stages. In what was perhaps the days most visually dramatic crash, Belgiums Jurgen van den Broeck went hurtling over his handlebars in a bend on a cobblestone patch, and tumbled into a grassy roadside. While the chaos on the course raised questions about riding in such poor conditions -- critics in social media had a field day -- it made for great racing imagery: Many riders were caked in sloppy, wet mud on their faces and shins, their biceps jiggling as they held their handlebars. A mix of sweat, rain, mud and drool dropped from many chins. Many looked as if theyd ridden through a shower of chocolate pudding. The race heads to Champagne country on Thursday, with a mostly flat 194-kilometre (120-mile) run from Arras to Reims in Stage 6. Ryan Griffin Jersey . Pretty good hitting, too. Dan Haren pitched six innings and sparked the go-ahead rally with a single, leading Los Angeles to another win over the skidding Atlanta Braves, 4-2 on Tuesday night. Deshaun Watson Jersey . Cruz set the tone with a two-run homer in the first inning, and Baltimore scored eight times in the eighth to pull away for a 12-3 victory in Game 1. The major league leader with 40 homers during the regular season, Cruz added an RBI single to his early blast off Max Scherzer. http://www.thetexansfootballpro.us/texans-will-fuller-v-super-bowl-jersey-authentic/ . Erik Cole scored on a breakaway with 4:49 to play, and the Stars rallied to defeat the Minnesota Wild 4-3 on Saturday night.HOUSTON -- Kevin McHale preaches consistency. So far his young Rockets team hasnt heeded his words and is coming off two straight losses to the Grizzlies. McHale knows Houston, despite a 29-17 record, must play better. Coming up on Tuesday night are the Southwest Division-leading San Antonio Spurs. When asked how his team can be more consistent, McHale shared several ideas. "Weve got to be better against a lot of different styles of basketball," he said. "Weve got to know what our strengths and weaknesses are and play to our strengths. Weve got to be way more tied together and diligent about all the little things. We worry too much about all the big things. But weve got to do all the little things and that leads to big things." The Rockets have won both previous meetings with the Spurs this season. McHale doesnt expect that success to factor into Tuesdays game, especially with San Antonio coming off a tough loss to the Heat. "Its going to be a tough game," McHale said. "The first two games dont make any difference. Were a different team. Theyre a different team. Weve got to play really well. That team lost to Miami, theyre going to come in hungry." Dwight Howard is still upset about how Houston played against Memphis, but believes rough spots like this will help the Rockets in the long run. "These are growing pains," Howard said. "Losing those games and trying to learn from experience on how to play is good for our team. We hate to lose and we were all (ticked) off about the last two games, but it was some things that we learned and picked up from playing against a team like Memphis and well get better." The 28-year-old Howard knows that a team as young as the Rockets is going to have many ups and downs throughout the season. But he thinnks the lessons they learn now will be the difference when they get to the playoffs. Arian Foster Jersey. "We cant look at anything in a negative way," he said. "We have to stay positive and understand that everything comes with time. Weve still got to play hard and go out there and be aggressive but also understand that were a great team in progress. It doesnt happen overnight." James Harden, who leads the team in scoring with almost 24 points a game, has struggled offensively in the last two games, averaging just 13. He hasnt had any of those struggles against San Antonio since joining the Rockets before last season and has averaged 30 points a game against the Spurs. He isnt sure why hes played so well against the Spurs. "Im just happy to go out there and do my job," Harden said. "Whether its the Spurs or the Memphis Grizzlies or the Thunder or the Lakers or whoever, every game is important to me and I just try to go out there and do my best." Harden believes the Rockets have had trouble with consistency because of various injuries that have forced them to change their starting lineup almost every night. "Whatever guys are out there were trying to get it going," he said. "Its kind of hard to get a rhythm and kind of get a feel for where guys like to be at because every other game its a different lineup. So we just work with it." Along with Harden getting back on track, the Rockets are also focused on being aggressive inside and looking to score there first. The Rockets lead the NBA in points in the paint, but were outscored 104-62 in that area in the last two games. "We just shot long shot after long shot and never got the ball in the paint," McHale said. "When were getting in the paint, good things happen." Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys Jerseys From China Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys ' ' '