Garmin-Sharp cyclist Tyler Farrar of Wenatchee won the fourth stage of the Tour of California in a mass sprint.

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Farrar of Wenatchee wins

Tour of California’s 4th stage

Tyler Farrar of Wenatchee won the fourth stage of the Tour of California in a mass sprint Wednesday and Colombian climbing specialist Janier Acevedo of the Jamis-Hagens Berman team led the overall standings for the third day.

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Garmin-Sharp rider Farrar completed the 83.6-mile stage from Santa Clarita to Santa Barbara in 3 hours, 14 minutes, 9 seconds for his first stage victory since the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado in August.

“The team did a good job keeping me out of trouble,” Farrar said. “I’m psyched. I didn’t have the spring (season) I wanted. I was second, third, fourth. But in sprinting, wins are what counts and I’m happy to get the monkey off my back.”

Farrar, a 2011 Tour de France stage winner, claimed the 46th victory of his 11-year pro career

U.S. Criterium champion Ken Hanson of the Optum/Kelly Benefit team was second, about a bike-length behind.

Nibali retains Giro lead

Lithuanian rider Ramunas Navardauskas of the Garmin-Sharp team won the 11th stage of the Giro d’Italia with a solo breakaway and Italian Vincenzo Nibali of the Astana team kept the overall lead.

Nibali is 41 seconds ahead of 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans, an Australian who competes for the BMC team.


Chelsea rules Europa League

Branislav Ivanovic headed in an injury-time winner to give Chelsea of England a 2-1 victory over Benfica of Portugal in the UEFA Europa League final in Amsterdam.

Ivanovic headed in Juan Mata’s corner kick in the 93rd minute.

“For most of the 93 minutes, Benfica was better than Chelsea,” Benfica manager Jorge Jesus said.

The Europa League is considered the second-best club competition in Europe, below the UEFA Champions League.

Galaxy routs Union in MLS

Landon Donovan scored one goal and added two assists to lead the visiting Los Angeles Galaxy past the Philadelphia Union 4-1 in a Major League Soccer match.

Robbie Keane scored once and had an assist, while Hector Jimenez also had a goal for the two-time defending MLS Cup champion Galaxy.

College athletics

Hermann is Rutgers’ AD

Rutgers named Julie Hermann its new athletic director, and the former No. 2 athletic administrator at Louisville promised a restart for the scandal-scarred department after the ouster of men’s basketball coach Mike Rice and the resignation of other officials. She replaces Tim Pernetti, who quit last month.

Hermann, 49, will have an annual base salary of $450,000.

College football

O’Brien speaks out on safety

Penn State coach Bill O’Brien is fervently disputing suggestions raised in a report that player medical care has been compromised after the team doctor was replaced.

Speaking in an often-angry tone, O’Brien told reporters in a conference call the health and safety of his players were top priorities.

“For anyone to suggest — or perhaps outright accuse — that anyone within the Penn State athletic program would do otherwise is irresponsible, reckless and wrong,” he said.

The athletic department has been responding to a story in the latest edition of Sports Illustrated that questioned the quality of care and the motivations behind the removal of longtime team doctor Wayne Sebastianelli earlier this year.


• Penn State guard Jermaine Marshall, the basketball team’s second-leading scorer, said he will forgo his senior season to pursue a professional career overseas.

• Rookie center Brittney Griner of the WNBA Phoenix Mercury was the first player drafted this year. The former Baylor standout got some lessons Wednesday on shooting a skyhook — from Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

“I went to legend school today, and it was awesome,” Griner said

• Lower-back pain forced Britain’s Andy Murray to retire midway through his second-round tennis match at the Italian Open in Rome.

Murray might have to sit out the French Open, which starts May 26. “I would be very surprised if I was playing in Paris,” he said.

Dottie Pepper is returning to golf broadcasting, signing a deal with ESPN she calls a perfect fit of TV work and promoting junior golf.

“It’s just the major championships, and next year I’ll work eight events,” said Pepper, 47, who retired from NBC Sports in December after eight years because she was weary of the travel and wanted to devote her time to getting more juniors involved in golf.

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