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4. Asked about it, Floro paused and took his time before responding. "It was a difficult situation for

Chris Froome realizes hes on the cusp of greatness. Trey Burke Michigan Jersey .The British rider already has two Tour de France victories and a third win in cyclings biggest event -- which starts Saturday -- would make him the most dominant rider of his generation.Another yellow jersey would also put Froome into an elite club of just seven riders who have won the Tour at least three times.Every rider obviously starts every new Tour equal and what has gone before counts for nothing, Froome said. This year I am hungrier than ever for success.Froomes top challengers will likely be two-time runner-up Nairo Quintana of Colombia and Alberto Contador, the Spaniard who has won the Tour twice but took his last victory in the Grande Boucle back in 2009.Froome is the defending champion and also won in 2013.There are a number of riders in other teams capable of putting in a challenge for overall victory, said Dave Brailsford, team principal of Froomes Team Sky. Thats great news for cycling fans, who can look forward to seeing some really competitive racing.The 21-stage race opens Saturday at Mont-Saint-Michel, a World Heritage Benedictine abbey perched on a rock off the Normandy coast. The picture-postcard starting stage ends at Utah Beach, where Allied troops landed on D-Day in 1944.The 3,519-kilometer (2,186-mile) race scales the Pyrenees before the Alps, just as the Tour did last year, again going counter-clockwise around France. That breaks with tradition because generally the Tour alternates between clockwise and counter-clockwise.With neither a prologue nor a team time trial, the route could favor climbing specialists. Still, there are two individual time trials in stages 13 and 18 totaling 54 kilometers (34 miles).The 103rd Tour will visit three neighboring countries -- Spain, Andorra and Switzerland -- and pass through 16 sites and stage cities unseen in previous editions.The most difficult stage on paper appears to be the eighth leg, a challenging 183-kilometer (114-mile) route through the Pyrenees from Pau to Bagneres-de-Luchon that features the legendary Col du Tourmalet plus three more serious climbs.Another serious test comes in Stage 12 with an ascent of Mont Ventoux on Bastille Day, July 14. Froome was the stage winner when the Tour last scaled Ventouxs barren, 1,909-meter (6,263-foot) peak in 2013.Ventoux was also the site of an epic battle between Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani in 2000, and where British rider Tom Simpson died in 1967 after he used a lethal cocktail of amphetamines and alcohol.After all the climbing and time trialing, though, the race could be decided on a dangerous and technical 12-kilometer (7.5-mile) finishing descent to Morzine in the penultimate stage.After this, all that will remain is the traditional -- but mostly ceremonial -- finish alongside cheering crowds on the Champs-Elysees on July 24.Security will be tight, with France in a state of emergency since attacks on Paris in November killed 130 people.The Tour will be protected by an unprecedented force of 23,000 police officers, including SWAT-like intervention squads.The Tour will also hope to attract overlapping audiences from the European Championship soccer tournament hosted by France, which ends July 10.---Andrew Dampf on Twitter: Jarrett Lee LSU Jersey .5 million, one-year contract on Friday. Hawkins, who turns 41 in December, will compete with Rex Brothers for the closers role at spring training. Josh Jackson Kansas Jersey . "Thank you for the warm welcome," Beckham said on an 80-degree February morning. In this case, it was soccer weather. The sport moved a step closer to returning to South Florida on Wednesday, when Beckham confirmed he has exercised his option to purchase a Major League Soccer expansion franchise in Miami. . The return match will take place next Wednesday. Udinese leads Fiorentina 2-1 in the other semifinal. Napoli staged a second-half comeback from two goals down after Gervinhos opener and a stunning strike from Kevin Strootman. TORONTO -- Benito Floro has more than a few treasured memories of managing Real Madrid. But one stands out for the 61-year-old Spaniard, who was in charge of the Spanish giant from 1992 to 1994 and served as director of football at the Bernabeu in 2006. "The best was when we beat Barcelona, playing well," Floro said through an interpreter. Having once managed what is currently the worlds most valuable soccer club team, Floros brief now is to help Canada beat the likes of Honduras, Panama and others in CONCACAF and move closer to an elusive World Cup berth. In addition to serving as Canadian manager, Floro also takes over a national Olympic (under-23) team which has failed to qualify for the Games since 1984. For some, taking over a country ranked 88th in the world, 10th in CONCACAF and with just three pro teams -- largely stocked with foreigners -- and turning it into a winner would be mission impossible. But Floro seems to relish the challenge that is Canadian soccer. "Muchisimo," he said Friday. "A lot," said his interpreter. He succeeds Stephen Hart, who stepped down in October following the national teams humiliating exit from World Cup qualifying via an 8-1 loss in Honduras. In getting Floro, the Canadian Soccer Association has landed a career coach who has managed club sides in Spain, Ecuador, Japan, Mexico and Morocco. Floro turned heads some 20 years ago when he led Albacete Balompie from the third division to Spains elite league in three seasons. Real Madrid subsequently hired him, with Floro taking the team to a second-place league finish and Copa del Ray triumph. Real went on to win the Spanish Supercup but Floro was fired the following season. He then coached Sporting Gijon, Villareal and Mallorca in Spain, Vissel Kobe in Japan, Monterrey in Mexico, Barcelona SD in Ecuador, and Wydad Casablanca in Morocco. Away from the pitch, he has served as a TV analyst and was a member of FIFAs technical group at the 2012 Club World Cup. "We felt that at this time in our country, that the person (getting the job) needed to be not just a coach. But also a person that brought vast experience from all over the world to a country that has been quite frankly lacking in that type of personality," said CSA president Victor Montagliani. The CSA boss might have been forgetting Holger Osieck, who took over the Canadian team in 1999, having been part of the German coaching staff that won the World Cup in 1990. Osieck had managed in Germany, Japan and Turkey before taking over Canada. On Friday, Floro spoke enthusiastically in Spanish, English and French at an introductory news conference. He used an interpreter during a question-and-answer session but was able to communicate in English -- which he called his third language. Floros contract includes several options and could run through the next two World Cup qualifying rounds -- for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments. Canada, which has only ever made it to the 1986 World Cup, will be a spectator against in 2014. "You havve to walk before you can run," Montagliani said. Collin Klein Kansas State Jersey. "The first objective is obviously to get us to the Hex (the final round of qualifying in CONCACAF). You cant get into the World Cup if you dont get into the Hex ... once you get into the Hex, as weve seen this year, anything can happen." Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama and the U.S., are currently competing in the Hex or Hexagonal final round of qualifying. The top three will qualify for the 2014 World Cup, with the fourth-place team taking on New Zealand in a playoff to join them from CONCACAF, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean. Floro ticks off more than a few boxes, leaving Canadian soccer officials beaming at Fridays news conference. He has extensive managerial experience around the globe, including time in CONCACAF powerhouse Mexico. Having Real Madrid on your resume is impressive, even if 19 managers have followed him there since. Admit it. When was the last time you heard Real Madrid and the Canadian Soccer Association in the same sentence? Being from Spain, which currently rules the soccer roost, doesnt hurt either. Its like the Spanish ice hockey federation signing a Canuck. In hiring the charismatic Floro, Canada also likely gets access to some excellent connections. One doesnt manage as long as Floro without assembling an impressive Rolodex. "It changes the ability and the accessibility of Canada to a different world," said Montagliani. "A lot of doors are now open." In fact, Floro -- who considers himself a coach of coaches -- came to the CSAs attention through Montaglianis friendship with his Spanish counterpart. While this is Floros first national team job, he came close to being named manager of Spain after Inaki Saez resigned following Spains failure to advance past the first round of Euro 2004. Asked about it, Floro paused and took his time before responding. "It was a difficult situation for the (Spanish federation) president," he said. "He chose me but the media was pressuring him to (choose) another." Floro backed down to take the pressure off Angel Maria Villar, president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, who was a friend. Luis Aragones got the Spain job instead. Montagliani downplayed Floros lack of national team coaching experience. "Lets be honest. Look at the clubs hes coached," he said. "When you stand on the sidelines of (the 85,000-seat stadium) Bernabeu and youre coaching El Clasico (against FC Barcelona), Im not sure coaching the national team is that intimidating." Floro, who plans to make his home in Toronto, will be assisted by his son Antonio Floro. The Canadian men are currently at the Gold Cup, the championship for North and Central America and the Caribbean, under interim coach Colin Miller. Floro will officially start Aug. 1 but will be at the Gold Cup as an observer. Montagliani said the CSA received more than 100 applications, with 15 getting serious consideration. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '