Voeckler seals stage win
Thomas Voeckler won the sixth stage of the Criterium du Dauphine in France on Friday and Chris Froome kept the race leader’s yellow jersey with two stages remaining. Voeckler attacked about 300m from the end and held off three other riders in a sprint finish to secure his first stage win of the season and the first of his career at the Dauphine. The 33-year-old Frenchman clocked a time of three hours, 24 minutes, 13 seconds on the 143km trek from La Lechere to Grenoble, with Spaniard Jose Lopez finishing second ahead of Belgium’s Kevin Seeldrayers and Russia’s Egor Silin. The top three in the overall standings remained unchanged with Froome still 52 seconds ahead of Sky teammate Richie Porte and 54 seconds clear of Rohan Dennis, both of Australia.
Lions lose another prop
The British and Irish Lions lost a second prop in as many days when Welsh forward Gethin Jenkins was sent home from the tour of Australia because of a calf problem yesterday. Jenkins, who was on his third Lions tour, had missed the first two matches because of the injury but was named in the side to face the Queensland Reds at Lang Park yesterday. The 32-year-old was withdrawn from the team on Friday when the calf tightened up and yesterday was sent home with fellow prop Cian Healy, who suffered ligament damage in Wednesday’s 69-17 victory over the Western Force. England prop Alex Corbisiero arrived from England’s tour of South America yesterday to link up with the Lions squad as cover and will be joined by Ryan Grant, who was on tour with Scotland in South Africa. “It was a long journey but I’m not complaining — I would do it again just to be here,” Corbisiero said. “You never like to come in for anyone who is injured, and I feel for Cian and Gethin, but I just feel so privileged to be given this opportunity.”
Heavyweights line up in US
World No. 1 Tiger Woods, second-ranked Rory McIlroy and reigning Masters champion Adam Scott will play alongside each other in the first two rounds at next week’s US Open. The US Golf Association announced in a Twitter posting on Friday that Woods, a 14-time major champion chasing the all-time record 18 won by Jack Nicklaus, will join Scott and McIlroy off the first tee on Thursday at 1:14pm. Scott, who became the first Australian to win a green jacket when he captured the title in April at the Augusta National in Georgia, and McIlroy, the 2011 US Open and last year’s PGA Championship winner, join Woods off the 10th tee on Friday at 7:44am for round two.
Novikov fails drugs test
Russian rider Nikita Novikov has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for a banned steroid in an out-of-competition test, cycling’s world governing body, the UCI, announced on Friday. Novikov, who is a former Tour of Slovakia winner and has been with the Dutch team Vacansoleil since last year, tested positive on May 17. The UCI confirmed that traces of banned steroids were found in the 23-year-old’s urine sample. “As a team you try to give your riders a safe environment with good coaching and staff and that makes it very disappointing when a rider does something wrong, like it appears is the case now,” Vacansoleil general manager Daan Luijkx was quoted as saying by the Web site Velonation. “When I talked to the rider last night, after the UCI informed us, he said he had no idea how the substance got in his body.”