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As Chris Froome rode alone for over 80km, from the dirt roads of the Colle delle Finestre to the finish above Bardonecchia, there was a sense of astonishment amongst those watching the Giro d'Italia along the roadside, at the finish line and even amongst those at the team buses parked at the foot of the final climb. From the moment Froome punched the air to win the stage, relegating Tom Dumoulin, who finished 3:23 down, again to second place 40 seconds down in the overall classification, the significance of Froome's performance was set in stone. With one mountain stage left to race before the final parade stage in Rome on Sunday, Froome appears set to win his third consecutive Grand Tour after taking the 2017 Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana. Nobody has done what Froome and Team Sky have done in the recent, modern history of the sport. It is difficult to put Froome's triumph into context and compare it with similar performances. It is historic, especially after he struggled earlier in the race after crashing hard before the Jerusalem time trial.ADVERTISEMENT Italian television quickly compared it to rides by Fausto Coppi in the forties and fifties by the way he attacked alone and then time trialled to victory. Others compared it to Floyd Landis' solo attack to Morzine at the 2006 Tour de France. The American had lost time the day before but went on a solo charge across the Alps to set up overall victory. Of course a week after the race, Landis tested positive and was eventually banned for doping. While the circumstances are quite different, Froome and his lawyers continue to argue his salbutamol case as he races at the Giro d'Italia, hoping that an eventual guilty verdict will not cost him his victories at this race and last year's Vuelta. Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford, who appeared at the Team Sky bus post-stage, is convinced Froome's result will stand the test of time, describing it as one of Team Sky's best ever moments. — LottoNLJumbo Cycling (@LottoJumbo_road) May 25, 2018
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Jeff Lemire and Mark Millar have never met, but they have shared a mutual admiration for years. So when Millar cold-called (well, emailed) Lemire asking him to write Hit-Girl — featuring the breakout star of Millar’s Kick-Ass franchise — the Canadian cartoonist didn’t hesitate. And now that it’s happening, Lemire’s bringing Mindy McCready to his home and native land, complete with Eduardo Risso on art.
CBR connected with Lemire, and the creator of Black Hammer and Descender shared that as he continues to transition his career further and further towards creator-owned projects, he views Millar as the model for success.RELATED: Hit-Girl Invades Canada in this Exclusive First Look Preview
The Toronto-based writer/artist also spilled the bloody details about what to expect from Mindy’s upcoming Canadian adventure, which begins in Hit-Girl #5 on June 20 from Image Comics, and how an ex-NHL tough guy-turned-Canuck crime boss features in the 12-year old psychopath’s story. Lemire also revelled in the greatness of Risso, and the potential for “polite” bad people in Canada.Hit-Girl #5 cover by Eduardo RissoCBR: Hit-Girl #5 opens in a snow-covered field but in a flashback, we find out the story is set in Toronto. While Canada is obviously not without its own level of violence, especially in larger cities, speaking as a fellow Canadian, am I blinded to believe that the adventures of Hit-Girl — and her cohort Kick-Ass — are perhaps not better suited to the streets of New York, Chicago or Los Angeles?Jeff Lemire: There are bad people everywhere, even Canada. They are just way more polite about being bad here. [Laughs]Do you bring Mindy to the Great White North, as well, as I understand that the storyline will also feature some of Canada’s indigenous population, specifically the Cree?
Mindy does indeed head north after a brief stay in Toronto. As you know, the James Bay area is somewhere I have visited and explored in a lot of my recent work, from Roughneck to Secret Path so it was fun to bring an iconic character like Hit-Girl up north, too!Hit-Girl #5 interior art by Eduardo RissoWhat stands out most to you most about Canada’s First Nations population and what makes them such a powerful voice for comic book storytelling? Traditionally, they are collectively wildly underutilized as subjects and/or source material.
This story does not deal directly with indigenous issues or traditions. As I said, I have done that in recent work, but Hit-Girl is a much more high-octane sort of story, and in this instance it was the land itself that I felt would be a beautiful backdrop for her adventure, and I was dying to see how a master like Eduard Risso would render the north.Me too. [Laughs] And we’ve seen some interior pages for your first issue and Eduardo is, indeed, killing it. His collaboration with Brian Azzarello on 100 Bullets is next level and I also love the Batman story he drew with Azz for Wednesday Comics, too. I know you have a relationship with Brian from Future’s End, but did you know Eduardo before this project?
I do know Brian and have worked with him in the past. But I have never had a chance to work with Risso. I thought if I tried, Azz might knife me. [Laughs] But in this case he would have to go through Mark Millar to get to me, so I think I’m safe. But seriously, Risso is a true master. I have adored his work and his storytelling for years and I am truly humbled to be working with him.Hit-Girl #5 interior art by Eduardo RissoWhy is Eduardo the right fit for what you wanted to do with Hit-Girl? 

Are you kidding? He is the right fit for anything. [Laughs] But the landscape where I set the majority of this story is, visually, a place of extremes and extreme contrast. We take Mindy’s hyperactive sort of ultra-adventure, and put it in this stark but beautiful setting. Risso is the master of contrast. Light and dark. And it shows here. He is also able to inject an incredible amount of character and heart into what is a very violent and over-the-top story at times.We’ve also seen some variant covers. Who is the big man in the Canada jersey? He looks amazing.
That’s the Karl Kerschl cover. That man is our main bad guy. A fictional, ex-NHL tough guy turned Canuck crime boss named Billy Baker. He is a really fun, walking, talking Canadian cliché, and I had fun making Mindy dismantle him piece by piece.Hit-Girl #5 interior art by Eduardo RissoWere you a fan of the original Kick-Ass series and more broadly, the work of Mark Millar as a whole?
I greatly admire what Mark has built. As someone looking more and more to do creator-owned work, Mark is the model for where I would like my career to go. I am flattered beyond words that he asked me to follow him on Hit-Girl.How did you end up working with him on Hit-Girl? Did you have a previous relationship?
Mark and I have never met, but we are mutual admirers and have expressed that admiration via email a number of times. Mark emailed me out of the blue asking me to take over Hit-Girl after him and, like I said, I was very flattered and excited by that offer.RELATED: Mark Millar’s Hit-Girl Is Taking a Page From Suicide Squad’s Amanda WallerAny further/future plans to work with him?
I sure hope so. All he needs to do is ask.And when can we expect your Netflix deal to be announced?
[Laughs] Stay tuned.Hit-Girl #5 is scheduled for release on June 20 from Image Comics.
The post Jeff Lemire Takes Over Hit-Girl from Millar, Unleashes Her on Canada appeared first on CBR.

Midway up the Colle delle Finestre, as the tarmac gave way to dirt road, Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) braced himself for the inevitable. Team Sky's startling forcing had already seen maglia rosa Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) jettisoned out the back of the leading group, and now Chris Froome was readying himself to attack. Some 80 kilometres lay between this stretch of steep sterrato and the finish of stage 19 of the Giro d'Italia atop the Jafferau, but a seated Froome accelerated away as though the finish line were just around the corner, his legs spinning as though his bicycle had no chain. Behind, the podium contenders were scattered across the mountainside, scrambling in search of allies of circumstance as Froome disappeared from sight up ahead. They would not see him again until the finish, where he claimed the stage victory by three minutes and moved into the maglia rosa of race leader.ADVERTISEMENT Froome is riding this Giro despite testing positive for salbutamol at last year's Vuelta a España, and it is unclear whether his final result in Rome will last in the record books. Regardless of how the case pans out, however, this most absurd afternoon of racing will linger long in the memory. Pinot, for his part, was simply glad to finish among the best of the mortals, placing third on the stage, some 3:07 down on Froome. Despite that hefty deficit, Pinot made substantial gains on Domenico Pozzovivo (11th at 8:29) and the exhausted Yates (79th at 38:51), and thus climbs to third overall, 4:17 behind Froome. "I'm very happy with my day. I think today we've written a page of the history of the Giro, it was a crazy stage and it's something that marks your career, a stage like that," Pinot said after the finish. Jafferau
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Tom Dumoulin slumped on a stool in front of the Team Sunweb bus at the foot of the Jafferau climb near Bardonecchia, struggling to find something positive to say about his five hours in the saddle and his defeat to Chris Froome. Dumoulin was expected to challenge Simon Yates for the maglia rosa after starting the mountain stage just 28 seconds back. Yates cracked and finished 38 minutes down, but Froome stepped up and enjoyed one of the biggest days of his career; taking the stage 19 victory, gaining 3:23 on Dumoulin, and taking the maglia rosa. Dumoulin remains second overall but is 40 seconds down on Froome, with one final mountain stage to race on Saturday. It appeared to be a huge blow to Dumoulin after two weeks of intense racing.ADVERTISEMENT "It was a crazy stage. I expected Sky to go on the Finestre and they did. I had good legs, but I didn't have the legs to follow. I think I did everything right, but Froome was way too strong. I thought I rode well but Froome rode super well," Dumoulin said, every word heavy as if he was still hauling himself up the climb to the finish line. Dumoulin suspected that Team Sky had hatched a plan to attack on the Colle delle Finestre and appeared in control when Team Sky upped the pace on the asphalt road first half of the Colle delle Finestre. However, he was unable to go with Froome when he motored away on the dirt roads. Froome was unable to open a huge gap on the twisting dirt roads but then took risks on the descent, and took advantage of the tactical games playing out behind him. Dumoulin decided to wait for Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and his teammate Sebastian Reichenbach. As they chased together, Richard Carapaz and Miguel Angel Lopez refused to help them as the two South American riders fought their own battle for the best young rider's white jersey.
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Bernard Tomic has played just one tour-level match this year, falling as low as No. 243 in the ATP Rankings. But that did not stop the Australian in Roland Garros qualifying.
The former World No. 17 defeated Goncalo Oliveira 7-6(5), 7-5 on Friday to advance to the main draw in Paris for the eighth consecutive year. The 25-year-old, a three-time ATP World Tour titlist, did not drop a set throughout qualifying, advancing with the loss of just 3.5 games per set on average. Tomic’s qualification sets the stage for an interesting first-round matchup against compatriot Nick Kyrgios. It will be the first FedEx ATP Head2Head series meeting between the two talented Aussies.
Another former Top 20 player, 2014 Roland Garros semi-finalist Ernests Gulbis, also moved on. The Latvian will compete in the main draw for the 12th straight year after ousting Alessandro Giannessi 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
This will be Gulbis’ 40th appearance in a Grand Slam main draw. The former World No. 10 seeks his first tour-level victory since the 2017 US Open, where he beat Giannessi in the first round before falling against eventual finalist Kevin Anderson. He will face No. 29 seed Gilles Muller in their second FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting. Luxembourg’s star won their first encounter at the 2011 US Open.
Three #NextGenATP stars also advanced on Friday, with Norwegian Casper Ruud joining Spaniards Jaume Munar and Carlos Taberner in what will be the first Roland Garros main draw for all three players.
Rounding out the qualifiers on the terre battue are Guido Andreozzi, Thomaz Bellucci, Rogerio Dutra Silva, Santiago Giraldo, Martin Klizan, Jozef Kovalik and Elias Ymer.