r Schofield.Melbourne also made four chan

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MEGEVE, France -- Take it from cycling great Eddy Merckx: nobody can beat Chris Froome in this Tour de France.Riding with the poise and purpose of the Tours undisputed leader, Froome won a mountain time trial in Stage 18 on Thursday and opened up a seemingly insurmountable lead of nearly four minutes over his closest challenger, Dutch rider Bauke Mollema.Only two Alpine stages remain before Sundays mostly ceremonial finish on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.He deserves his win. Hes the strongest, said Merckx, a five-time Tour winner. I cant see what could prevent him from keeping this yellow jersey until Paris. His opponents just stay on his teammates wheels. Barring an incident, nobody can beat him in this Tour.Riding in a yellow bodysuit and yellow aerodynamic helmet, Froome pumped his right fist after clocking slightly more than half an hour over the 17-kilometer (10.5-mile) route from Sallanches to the Megeve ski resort -- which featured majestic views of Mont Blanc.Froome finished 21 seconds ahead of Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin to take his second stage win of this years Tour.Thats a huge compliment coming from Eddy, Froome said. Obviously we feel like were in a bit of a bubble in the race here. But to have somebody like that give a compliment like that is a great honor.Froome increased his overall lead to 3 minutes, 52 seconds over Mollema, with Adam Yates of Britain third, 4:16 behind.Two-time runner-up Nairo Quintana stayed fourth but now trails by 4:37 after another difficult day for the Colombian.The main thing for me now is staying safe, Froome acknowledged. Obviously Ive got a fantastic advantage now. So now its about looking after that advantage and not taking any risks.Its not over until we cross that final finish line, but today is a huge boost of confidence, Froome added. I think over these next couple of days were going to see more of a race for podium spots.Froome stood only fifth at the first checkpoint, the top of the Cote de Domancy climb, but the British rider clearly saved energy for the second half of the stage, surging in front over the final kilometers.Froome just showed he is the strongest, said Dumoulin, who rode 90 minutes before the race leader.Spanish Vuelta champion Fabio Aru of Italy finished third in the stage, 33 seconds behind.It was the Tours first mountain time trial since the 2004 race against the clock up lAlpe dHuez. Besides the flat opening four kilometers (2.5 miles) and a short descent at the finish, it was entirely uphill.Froomes other stage win this year came with an audacious downhill attack in Stage 8 in the Pyrenees. The Kenyan-born rider with Team Sky also won a time trial in the 2013 Tour, when he took his first overall victory.Having also won the Tour last year, Froome is on course for his third title in four years.Considering that most of the route was uphill, many riders used road bikes fitted with bars to lay their arms on for a more aerodynamic position.Froome was one of the few riders to use a full time trial setup with an aerodynamic rear disc wheel instead of traditional spokes.I think that was a big part of todays stage -- selecting the right equipment, Froome said. The other aspect of today was pacing. It was important not to go too fast too early.Fans lined the major climb of the route, the Cote de Domancy, getting up close to the riders to shout encouragement -- with glaciers and snowcapped mountains in the distance.Stage 19 on Friday follows a 146-kilometer (91-mile) route over four ascents from Albertville to Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc. The penultimate leg on Saturday concludes with a tricky descent to Morzine after four more climbs through the Alps.Tomorrow is a very tricky stage with a lot of tricky descents. Theres talk about thunderstorms during the race. Its definitely going to have to be a stage where we stay right on our game, Froome said.We cant relax and switch off now, Froome added. Weve got to see this through right to the end.---AP Sports Writer Samuel Petrequin contributed to this report.---Andrew Dampf on Twitter: www.twitter.com/asdampf Cheap Air Jordan 11 For Sale . Gerald Green and Miles Plumlee? Green had bounced around the NBA when he wasnt playing overseas. The Pacers gave up on Plumlee after just one season. Now Green and Plumlee are key cogs in the Suns surprising breakout season. 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Considering that his team has been without star guard Russell Westbrook and with the free agent departure of sharpshooter Kevin Martin, hes had to carry the majority of the load to not only keep his team afloat but more importantly, at an elite level. Sydney premiership hero Ted Richards has been dumped for the AFL clash against Carlton among four changes made by Swans coach John Longmire.Richards, a 33-year-old veteran of 261 games, made his name as a lockdown key defender for the Swans but has looked mostly out of sorts playing as lead-up forward in the past fortnight against Geelong and Hawthorn.Hard-nosed midfielder Ben McGlynn was also omitted, while co-captain Jarrad McVeigh (groin) and Zac Jones (ankle) could not be considered.Into the lineup on Saturday night for fifth-placed Sydney came Richards younger brother Xavier, Isaac Heeney, Harry Cunningham and first gamer Jordan Foote.Carlton brought in strong-marking forward Levi Casboult and Blaine Boekhorst for omitted duo Jed Lamb and Kristian Jaksch.Slumping North Melbourne suffered a huge blow ahead of Friday nights must-win clash against Collingwood at Etihad Stadium with key forward Jarrad Waite ruled out with an ongoing hip problem.The Kangaroos have plummeted from first spot to eighth after dropping six of their past seven matches.Corey Wagner was dropped, with Majak Daw and Trent Dumont coming into the lineup.Collingwood made two unforced changes with omitted duo Brent Macaffer and Jordan de Goey making way for leading goalkicker Alex Fasolo and backman Marley Williams.Patrick McGinnity was one of three West Coast players dropped for Saturdays home clash against Melbourne.Key defender WWill Schofield was officially left out due to soreness, although he was included among the emergencies.ddddddddddddBig backman Eric Mackenzie came in as a straight swap for Schofield.Melbourne also made four changes, with big forward Chris Dawes among the inclusions.Having been rested last week against Fremantle, Brownlow medallist Jimmy Bartel will slot straight back into the Geelong lineup for Saturday nights big clash against Adelaide, along with defender Jed Bews.Lachie Henderson will miss the encounter against the red-hot Crows due to concussion, while Jordan Murdoch was dropped.Adelaide will be strengthened by the return of Rory Laird.The third-placed Western Bulldogs lost one of their biggest stars and regained another, with 2014 best and fairest winner Tom Liberatore coming in and star forward Jake Stringer (shoulder) going out for the game against St Kilda.Fremantle lost more than 600 games of experience for Saturdays trip to Metricon Stadium to take on Gold Coast.The Dockers chose to rest former skipper Matthew Pavlich - who will bring up the 350-game milestone at home next week - while Hayden Ballantyne (facial fracture) and midfielder Michael Barlow (shoulder) will miss due to injury.Among the inclusions were first gamer Shane Yarran and ruck-forward Zac Clarke. 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