One of cycling’s big attractions is that fans don’t have to pay to watch – and they can get as close as they want to the riders.

The sport paid for that unlimited access Thursday when unruly spectators interrupted the most iconic climb of the Tour de France.

With fans pressing too close to an elite group of riders at the conclusion of the 21 hairpin bends up to Alpe d’Huez, top contender Vincenzo Nibali crashed into a police motorbike and later withdrew from the race with a fractured vertebra, four-time champion Chris Froome received some undesired contact on his back.

Yellow jersey holder Geraint Thomas was booed on the podium. He sprinted away from Sky teammate Froome and a couple of other riders to win Stage 12, becoming the first rider in Tour history to win atop Huez in the yellow jersey.

Tom Dumoulin crossed second, two seconds behind Thomas, and Romain Bardet came third, three seconds back.

Thomas extended his lead over Froome in the overall standings to 1 minute, 39 seconds.


REGENCY MORTGAGE LEAGUE: Nova Seafood beat Greely 9-0 in the first game as TJ Liponis and Chris Balzano each had a two-run double in a seven-run first inning.

In the second game, the teams played to a 4-4 tie.

Hunter Owen had two hits and three RBI, Anthony Poole had a two-run single and Andrew Varipatis added an RBI single as South Portland handled Gorham 9-1 in the first game.

In the second game, Poole had two hits and three RBI as South Portland (10-3) came from behind to beat Gorham (5-6), 6-3.

EPBL: Luis Contreras struck out 10 over seven innings, and Nick Landell added an RBI single as the Puerto Rico Islanders (19-10) used a two-run second inning to pull away from the Surge (13-16) for a 3-0 win at the Ballpark in Old Orchard Beach.

NECBL: Dylan Hall pitched six innings with three strikeouts, and Randall Bednar hit a solo home run in the fourth inning as the Sanford Mainers (19-13-0) edged the Upper Valley Nighthawks (18-16-0) 2-1 at Sanford.


PGA: Brittany Lincicome has a huge hole to climb out of if she hopes to make golf history.

Lincicome shot a 6-over 78 in the first round of the Barbasol Championship in Nicholasville, Kentucky, leaving the LPGA Tour pro’s goal of making the cut likely out of reach.

Troy Merritt surged to the first-round lead with a 10-under 62, equaling the course record on the Champion Trace course at Keene Trace Golf Club.

Lincicome ended up in a three-way tie for 129th and would likely need a round in the mid-60s on Friday to make the cut.


DEATH: Olympic figure skating medalist Denis Ten, 25, was killed, and prosecutors in Kazakhstan said they were treating the case as murder. Ten was stabbed after a dispute with people who allegedly tried to steal a mirror from his car in his home city of Almaty, Kazakh news agencies reported.

Doctors in Almaty say he died in the hospital there.


FORMULA ONE: After months of deliberation and stalling, four-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton signed a new deal with Mercedes until 2020.