For American Tour de France teammates Tejay van Garderen and Brent Bookwalter, there is no event bigger in their professional careers than the Tour de France that began on Saturday.But as they rode around the once war-stricken region of Normandy that hosted the Tours start in the days preceding Stage 1, they were reminded of where the race really stands for relevance in the big picture of the world that they - and all of us - live in today.The 27-year-old van Garderen has not downplayed his ambition: to one day win the Tour, if not this year, after two fifth-place finishes. Meanwhile, for Bookwalter, 32, his goal is to help his fellow American win the Tour, if not for their BMC teams Australian co-leader with van Garderen, Richie Porte.But this week, they were struck by the meaning behind the 188-kilometre opening stage finishing at Utah Beach -- one of the key landing sites for the D-Day invasion of June 6, 1944 in World War II that led to the liberation of north-western Europe from German occupation and finally victory in the war.We got a glimpse of it [on Thursday] and it was a really powerful sight, van Garderen said of Utah Beach on Friday. It really puts it into perspective, what we are doing here. We always say that we are soldiers going to war and then you see the real soldiers and we are, OK, maybe this is just bike racing. So you know, we will just try to have a little bit of fun; but I think its a beautiful place to start with the historical significance of this area.Bookwalter, who is riding in his fourth Tour, said he was taken back by the emotion.There is a lot of emotion and feeling. To be honest, I probably under-anticipated it a little bit coming here, Bookwalter told ESPN. I had never been to this little corner of the world, to these beaches. I am familiar with the history, but hadnt really seen it and soaked in the atmosphere.The past couple of days after being here -- seeing the atmosphere, seeing the topography - even seeing the grey kind of bleak weather that we are dealing with right now, he added. For us, it is hard to put into words. It is definitely a powerful place and a powerful memory. Its nice to be here so many years down the road, showcasing the Tour, which is freedom. It is sport and it is opportunity and all those things that were worth fighting for then.For most of Saturday, van Garderen and Bookwalter had to put their emotions in check during the Tours opening stage that was won in a bunch sprint by Great Britains Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data). Cavendish beat German Marcel Kittel (Etixx-QuickStep) and Slovakian world champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), and also claimed the yellow jersey as race leader.The wind-stricken stage was a torrid and fast affair marred by several crashes. One crash with 78km to go included Bookwalter, who finished the stage with cycling kit torn, and one of the Tour contenders, two-time winner Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) of Spain. Contador was also able to finish, while in pain without broken bones.But no sooner had the stage finished, the minds of van Garderen and Bookwalter were refocused on the suffering of World War II and the landing at Utah Beach.They were invited with Cavendish, Briton Stephen Cummings (Dimension Data), Canadian Antoine Duchesne (Direct Energie), Frenchmen Arthur Vichot (FDJ) and Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie), and Germans Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) and John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) to a commemorative D-Day ceremony after the days podium ceremony.The Tour resumes Sunday for Stage 2 - 183 kilometres from Saint Lo to Cherbourg.Whatever happens from here, the Tour will have shown once more that it is an event that will never forget its history, and recognise those who sacrificed so much in France and those who helped liberate the country. Rest assured that respect is reciprocal.As Jim Ochowicz, an American and president of the BMC team, said: Our fathers generation were the men and women who fought those battles, and gave their lives for our country. We have been in these [war] sites [during the Tour] throughout the years - Omaha Beach, Utah Beach. We are very proud of what they did and certainly are here with that in mind. Cheap MLB Jerseys Free Shipping . Luis Suarezs double powered Liverpool to a 4-0 victory over Fulham, and Southampton easily overcame Hull 4-1 to continue the south coast clubs impressive start to the season. Liverpool and Southampton sent Chelsea down to fourth place as the west London club was held to 2-2 at home. Cheap MLB Jerseys Authentic . LOUIS -- Attorneys for the St. http://www.wholesalemlbjerseys.us/ . Shot outdoors against the stunning backdrop of Banff, Alta., the networks 30-minute original production airs tonight at 8pm et/5pm pt on TSN2. 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BOCA RATON, Fla. -- David Washington threw for 416 yards and five touchdowns as Old Dominion overcame a 14-3 first-quarter deficit to earn a 42-24 win over Florida Atlantic Saturday.Down 21-13 at intermission, Washington fired a 6-yard pass to Jonathan Duhart in the third quarter, then knotted the score with a two-point conversion.Duhart, who hauled in a 23-yard scoring pass in the second quarter, caught his third TD pass with a 1-yarder in the final minute of the third quarter that gave the Monarchs a 35-24 lead.Waashington capped his day by finding Jeremy Cox with an 84-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter.ddddddddddddWashington was 26 of 36 passing and Ray Lawry added 117 rushing yards.The Owls (3-8, 2-5 Conference USA) denied Old Dominion a 2015 bowl berth with a 33-31 victory in last years meeting.Old Dominion (8-3, 6-1) plays its season finale Saturday against Florida International. 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