Greipel wins Aussie Tour
German rider Andre Greipel won his fourth stage of the Tour Down Under yesterday to take the overall race title by 15 seconds over Australian Allan Davis. Greipel led by four seconds going into the 88km final stage around Adelaide's East End. But Davis, who trailed by four seconds going into yesterday's last stage of the six-day race, won a first intermediate sprint to reduce the margin to one second. Greipel was unhappy about the tactics of one of Davis' teammates at the first sprint and then dominated the second sprint and the finish. The German rider's four stage wins equals the Tour Down Under record set by Australian Robbie McEwen in the 2002 race. The race marked its 10th anniversary by having ProTour international status for the first time.
Chris John retains title
Indonesia's long-reigning World Boxing Association featherweight champion Chris John retained his title on Saturday, stopping Roinet Caballero of Panama in the seventh round. Fighting before a packed home crowd at Jakarta's Senayan Indoor Tennis Stadium, 28-year-old John dominated the scheduled 12-round bout. American referee Raul Caiz Jr stopped the fight after Caballero's trainer threw in the towel at the start of the eighth round, giving John a win by technical knockout. It was Caballero's first fight outside Panama, and possibly the toughest bout of his career. "Thanks for the blessing from God, Jesus and Mother Mary," said John, who won the featherweight belt in September 23, 2003. The victory extended John's record to 40-0-1.
Loeb extends lead
Four-time world champion Sebastien Loeb won four of six stages in the Monte Carlo Rally on Saturday to extend his lead in the season-opening race. The Frenchman leads by 2 minutes, 10.6 seconds over Mikko Hirvonen of Finland, who has become Loeb's main title rival since Marcus Gronholm's retirement. Loeb's teammate, Daniel Sordo of Spain, won the opening stage of the third leg to consolidate second spot. But the Citroen driver had to retire in the 11th stage because of turbo problems. Chris Atkinson of Australia, driving a Subaru, managed to beat Loeb in the 13th stage, climbing up to third place and trailing Hirvonen by 52 seconds.
Yamauchi wins Osaka race
England's Mara Yamauchi won the Osaka international women's marathon yesterday, knocking three seconds off her personal best. The 34-year-old caught crossed the finishing line in two hours, 25 minutes and 10 seconds. It was her 10th full marathon. Japan's Tomo Morimoto came in second in 2:25:34, followed by Julia Mumbi of Kenya in 2:26:00. "When I ran in the world championships in Osaka last year, I spurted too much and slowed down later, so I tried to keep running strongly until the end this time," said Yamauchi, who is married to a Japanese national. "When I saw the Osaka castle, I also saw a big group was following me, so I felt like I was seeing a nightmare, but I didn't give up. I'd like to thank the spectators who supported me despite snow falling and cold conditions. "It was my personal best by three seconds. I wanted to run a little bit faster, but a victory is a victory. I'm really happy about my first marathon victory," she said.