Van Avermaet wins title
Belgian rider Greg van Avermaet won the Tirreno-Adriatico title by one second on Tuesday, 39 years after compatriot Roger de Vlaeminck. The final 10.1km time trial was won by Fabian Cancellara of Trek-Segafredo, with BMC Racing Team’s Van Avermaet more than 30 seconds back in 24th place, but crucially still only seven seconds behind Peter Sagan. Tinkoff’s Sagan finished second in the overall classification behind Van Avermaet, who benefited from Sunday’s mountainous stage — a 178km ride from Foligno to Monte San Vicino — being canceled because of snow. Van Avermaet says triumphing by “one second is not a lot, but it’s enough for me to win. It was not my best time trial today, but I’m happy that this one second is my side.”
Ebner aims for rugby spot
Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots special teams player Nate Ebner has been drafted into the US seven-a-side rugby set up with the aim of securing a spot in the team’s Olympic squad, it was confirmed Tuesday. Ebner, a talented schoolboy rugby player who recently signed a two-year contract extension with the Patriots, is to train with the US team at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, southern California, a statement said. “We are excited and looking forward to Nate joining the program and working with the squad,” USA Rugby Men’s Sevens head coach Mike Friday said. “We are aware of Nate’s rugby background from his high-school and college days and this was the key to him being in a position to compete with the current squad. He is in great shape and we will be able to condition him over the next six to eight weeks to be more aligned with rugby and work with him to get him up to speed on his skills and tactical understanding.” Ebner played rugby while studying at Ohio State.
Lupu to miss indoors
Former European indoor 800m champion Nataliya Lupu of Ukraine will miss this week’s world indoor championships in Portland over her use of meldonium, the same substance which led to tennis star Maria Sharapova’s positive test at the Australian Open. The Ukrainian track and field federation said Lupu withdrew from the championships, which begin today, after the World Anti-Doping Agency “raised concerns about the use of meldonium.” It was not immediately clear if Lupu, who won European indoor gold in 2013 and world indoor silver the year before, had been suspended from competition. In a statement on the federation Web site, Lupu says she had used meldonium for 15 years for medical reasons with doctors’ prescriptions. She says she stopped taking the drug in November last year, two months before it was officially banned.
Horse wears Harris Tweed
Veteran race horse Morestead upped the style stakes for this year’s Cheltenham Festival by modeling the word’s first Harris Tweed suit designed for a race horse. Complete with a flat cap and tie, Morestead wore the three-piece suit alongside champion jockey A.P. McCoy. Bookmaker William Hill commissioned former Alexander McQueen apprentice Emma Sandham-King with making the suit, which took four weeks to make and used up more than 18m of tweed. Britain’s Cheltenham Festival, a horse racing event held each year in the western English county of Gloucestershire, started on Tuesday.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
TAIWANESE TO PLAY: Jason Jung faces Frederico Coria in the men’s singles first round today, while in the women’s singles, Hsieh Su-wei is to take on Barbara Haas Novak Djokovic is to renew his love-hate relationship with Roland Garros in the knowledge that it is himself rather than seemingly unsettled 12-time champion Rafael Nadal who could pose the greatest threat to winning a second Paris title and 18th Grand Slam crown. The only man to beat Djokovic this year is Djokovic after the Serb’s hair-trigger temper prompted a sensational disqualification from the US Open. The 33-year-old arrives in the French capital with a 31-1 record this year after his New York brain-fade was followed by a record 36th Masters title in Rome. Djokovic’s 2016 triumph at Roland Garros allowed him to
Taiwan’s Jason Jung was knocked out of the first round of the French Open in straight sets on Sunday, while Andy Murray said it was going to be “difficult” for the former world No. 1 to reach his level of old after he also fell to a lopsided defeat by fellow three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka. Jung fell to a 7-5, 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/3) defeat to Argentina’s Federico Coria in 3 hours, 19 minutes at Roland Garros, despite hitting 55 winners. Jung served for both the first and second sets, then failed to convert two set points at 5-4 in
Michael Schumacher’s son Mick said that the prospect of Lewis Hamilton equaling the Ferrari great’s all-time record of 91 wins has given him something to aim for when he gets to Formula One. Hamilton, who replaced Michael Schumacher at Mercedes in 2013, can take his 91st victory in today’s Russian Grand Prix in Sochi — a race he has won four times previously. “One sentence my dad always used to say was: ‘Records are there to be broken.’ It’s everybody’s aim in this sport to do that,” Formula Two championship leader Mick Schumacher said on Friday. “I think Lewis had a very, very