Freire wins Cyclassics
Three-time world champion Oscar Freire won the Cyclassics race on Sunday in a three-rider sprint to the finish. The Spanish rider for Rabobank captured his 48th race by covering the 243.2 kilometers through Hamburg in 5 hours, 30.02 seconds on a hot day. All the top 35 finishers shared the same time. Freire caught second-place Erik Zabel of Milran and Filippo Pozzato of Quick Step at the finish line as the trio pulled away from the pack over the last few hundred meters. "I thought I wouldn't catch Zabel," Freire said. "Some people slapped me on the back, some said Zabel had won -- I had to wait for the photo finish."
Roger Goodell, the NFL's chief operating officer and one of Paul Tagliabue's chief aides, was one of five finalists announced to succeed Tagliabue as commissioner on Sunday. The 47-year-old Goodell was the only one of the five who actually works in the NFL office although another, Gregg Levy, is the league's outside counsel. That is the same job Tagliabue held when he was elected commissioner in 1989. The other three finalists are Frederick Nance, a Cleveland lawyer; Robert Reynolds, of Concord, Massachusetts, the vice chairman and chief operating officer of Fidelity Investments; and Mayo Shattuck of Baltimore, chairman of the board, president and CEO of Constellation Energy.
Lyon win Champions Trophy
French league champions Lyon won the Champions Trophy season-opener for the fifth straight year on Sunday, beating French Cup winner Paris Saint-Germain in a penalty shootout. With the score 1-1 at the end of regulation, Lyon won 5-4 on penalties after Ivory Coast midfielder Bonaventure Kalou missed PSG's last shot. John Carew, Jeremy Toulalan, Hatem Ben Arfa, Karim Benzema and Mahmadou Diarra all converted their penalties for Lyon.
Lerner vague on Aston Villa
Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner's interest in purchasing English Premier League club Aston Villa will never match his passion for his NFL team. "It will fundamentally and will always be a privilege," Lerner said on Saturday. "You know, it's the Browns." Lerner spent about 10 minutes discussing the state of his NFL team on Saturday. Lerner, who prefers to stay out of the spotlight, addressed several topics, including his reported pursuit of Aston Villa. Lerner was vague on his interest in buying the English club. "There are opportunities, but they are nothing more than opportunities right now," Lerner said. "My concern is if I put myself in a position to try and speak clearly on it I'm going to be misleading."
■ Rugby Union
Stricter rules for Islanders
The Pacific Islanders rugby team which will tour Britain in November will be made up exclusively of players who have chosen to play for Fiji, Tonga or Samoa, the Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance has ruled. The first Islanders team, which played matches against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in 2004, included players such as Sione Lauaki and Sitiveni Sivivatu who went on to play for the New Zealand All Blacks. PIRA chief executive Sakopo Lolohea said eligibility rules for this year's team would be changed to ensure the Islanders tour served the development of Pacific Islands rugby. "The team will definitely not be selected as in 2004," Lolohea said.
■ Field Hockey