A delighted Jakob Fuglsang of Denmark donned the first leader’s red jersey of the Vuelta a Espana on Saturday after his Leopard Trek team pulled off a narrow victory in the opening team time trial.
The 26-year-old all-rounder and triple winner of the Tour of Denmark hit the front of his team’s line of riders with 200m to go to the finish to take his first lead in a major Tour.
Last year’s winner Vincenzo Nibali of Italy and his Liquigas team ran Leopard Trek the closest to finish four seconds slower on the highly technical, windswept 13.5km course. HTC-Highroad were third.
“I’m surprised to be leading, I hadn’t talked about who would be the first rider across the finish line and I was expecting someone to come past me after I hit the front, but my objective is the overall classification here and this is the perfect start. I don’t think I can get much higher than this,” Fuglsang said.
Fuglsang’s sports director at Leopard Trek, Lars Michaelsen, had previously been the only Dane to lead la Vuelta, holding the top spot for three days in 1997.
“We knew if we gave it 100 percent we could win, but it was a very difficult course,” Fuglsang said. “There was a really hard start with a tough climb and you had to be careful the team didn’t fall apart early on. We lost one rider [Italian Davide Vigano] at the top of the climb when he crashed.”
Nibali confirmed his status as a top contender with his team’s second place, while local favorite Igor Anton of Euskaltel-Eudiskadi put in a solid ride on unfavorable terrain to finish 12th.
Stage favorites Team Sky had a disappointing day, finishing third last after two riders’ bikes clipped wheels early on, causing Norwegian Kurt-Asle Arvesen to fall.
“On an uphill it was difficult for him to regain contact and his crash broke up things up for us badly, but at least [Bradley] Wiggins showed he’s in good shape and there are 20 stages left. We’ll be back,” Sky director Marcus Ljungkvist said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
HOTSHOT: Luis Suarez scored his 194th goal for Barca, tying him with Ladislao Kubala as the club’s third-highest scorer, behind Cesar Rodriguez and Lionel Messi With another decisive penalty from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid on Sunday extended their perfect run after the COVID-19 suspension and moved closer to their first Spanish title in three years. Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed as Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to maintain a four-point lead over Barcelona, who beat fifth-placed Villarreal 4-1. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were among the scorers for Barcelona after assists from Lionel Messi. Ramos converted a 73rd-minute penalty to give Madrid their seventh straight victory and they remain the only team with a perfect record since La Liga resumed. “These three points are very