Bennati edges out Cavendish
Daniele Bennati edged the 12th stage of the Tour of Italy on Thursday by the width of a tire rim, with fellow Italian Giovanni Visconti holding on to the race leader’s pink jersey. A photo-finish was required to separate Bennati, whose stage win was his third on the Giro, and British rider Mark Cavendish, who shot through to the finishing line after this 169km stretch from Forli to Carpi. Third place was taken by Australian Robbie McEwen, who shadowed Bennati without being able to overtake him. The 27-year-old Tuscan Bennati said afterward: “This is the first time I have won by 3cm, but I have lost by that margin once before. It was also the first time I had led a sprint for such a long way and it was a risk because I was vulnerable to those behind me, who had me in their sights.” Bennati, who came out in front at the last corner to sprint the final 200m to add this to his wins in Milazzo (Stage 2) and San Vincenzo (Stage 9), added: “At the line, I was calm about things and I thought I had lost to Cavendish. Cavendish is a real sprinter in the final 150m, with amazing explosive power.”
Keeper in child abuse probe
Santiago Canizares, who has recently quit as goalkeeper for Valencia, faces child abuse charges in a scandal that has already seen one man sent to prison, judicial sources revealed on Thursday. The 38-year-old Canizares has already faced questioning as a witness in the affair involving Tomas A.R, a guru-therapist who was found guilty of abusing girls and women aged between 11 and 22 in February last year. But reports suggest the instructing judge in charge of the inquiry, Pablo Mendes, wants to quiz Canizares again to determine if he too had unlawful sex with minors. Canizares’ agent, Alberto Toldra, issued a statement declaring the player was a victim of “false accusations.”
Hatton to fufill ambition
Ricky Hatton will fulfill a lifetime's ambition when he fights Juan Lazcano in Manchester today, but the Briton is more concerned with proving he is still the world’s best light-welterweight. Avid Manchester City fan Hatton can’t wait for his first bout at the Eastlands home of his soccer heroes and is guaranteed a raptuous reception after tickets sold out in just four hours. It is Hatton’s first bout since losing for the first time in his 44-fight career — to Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas in December — and he said: “It’s an absolute dream come true, being a big Manchester City football fan, to get my dream to fight at the home ground of my heroes.” But with memories of his defeat to Mayweather still painfully clear for Hatton, he is determined to make short work of Lazcano in the IBO light-welterweight title fight. “I think this is the biggest fight of my career and I think I’ve improved since my last fight,” he said. “Because of what happened against Mayweather, I had to. Losing again is not an option.”
Police search for president
Bulgarian police announced they were launching a search for the president of Litex Lovech who disappeared early on Thursday. Angel Bonchev, 47, who is also a former wrestling international and motorcycling federation chief, was reported missing by his wife. Bonchev was not answering his mobile phone all day on Thursday. Litex Lovech won the Bulgarian Cup last week and finished fourth in the league this season. Several Bulgarian soccer club owners have been assassinated and several others have survived murder attempts in recent years.