Pinot maintains Suisse lead
Sprint specialist Peter Sagan of Slovakia tied a Tour de Suisse record with his 11th career stage win in the 82-year-old race, and Thibaut Pinot retained the overall lead on Thursday. Sagan’s victory in a 193km sixth stage from Wil to Biel tied him with Swiss greats Hugo Koblet and Ferdi Kuebler, who raced in the 1940s and 1950s. The Tinkoff-Saxo rider outpaced Jurgen Roelandts of Belgium and Alexander Kristoff of Norway after more than four-and-a-half hours in the saddle. Pinot conceded five seconds in the overall standings to Geraint Thomas of Britain, who placed 11th and trails the Frenchman by 42 seconds. The nine-day race, the last major warm-up for the Tour de France, should be decided in a final time trial stage tomorrow.
ARU announces three Tests
The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has announced a three-Test series against England scheduled for June next year in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. The ARU yesterday said that the Tests would be in Brisbane on June 11, Melbourne on June 18 and Sydney on June 25. The Melbourne Test is to take place at the 30,000-capacity AAMI Park rather than the 53,000-seat Docklands Stadium used in the past, while the last match is to be at the 45,000-capacity Sydney Football Stadium and not the 80,000-seat Olympic stadium in the city’s west. The ARU said smaller venues would improve the atmosphere for fans. It will be the first time that Australia and England, who first played each other in 1909, have met in a three-Test series in Australia.
Mustafina secures title
Russian gymnast Aliya Mustafina won the inaugural European Games women’s all-around title to lay down a marker to her rivals for Olympic gold medals next year. Mustafina won with a score of 58.566 points, exactly one point lower than the score that won her Olympic bronze in 2012. Second place went to Switzerland’s Giulia Steingruber on 56.699, with bronze for Lieke Wevers of the Netherlands, who scored 55.065. Mustafina can add to her medal haul tomorrow, when four gold medals are on offer in individual apparatus events. Also on Thursday, Ukraine’s Oleg Vernyaev won the men’s all-around with a 90.332, with silver for Azerbaijan’s Oleg Stepko on 89.065 and bronze for Russian Nikita Ignatyev on 87.365.
Lemieux, N’Dam to face off
David Lemieux and Hassan N’Dam are to clash today for the vacant International Boxing Federation middleweight world title, both eyeing elite status in one of boxing’s hottest divisions. Canada’s Lemieux is an explosive puncher who hopes a title will put him in line for potentially lucrative bouts with the likes of unbeaten Kazakh Gennady Golovkin and the devastating Miguel Cotto. “I’ve been waiting for a long time to be able to become a world champion. It is my time,” said Lemieux, who has won eight straight fights since enduring back-to-back defeats in 2011. With 31 of his 33 career victories coming by knockout, Lemieux believes he has the warrior mentality that fight fans crave — and that makes him a worthy opponent for the division’s best. “I want to destroy people and win the fight. That’s what people want to see,” he said. The 33-2 Lemieux and N’Dam — 31-1 with 18 knockouts — will be fighting for the title stripped in February from Jermain Taylor, who is contesting assault charges in Arkansas.
‘CRIMINAL ACT’: The UCI said it ‘strongly condemns’ Dylan Groenewegen’s ‘dangerous behavior,’ which left Jakobsen in critical condition and injured other cyclists Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was in a coma on Wednesday, in “serious” condition, after he was thrown into and over a barrier at 80kph in the conclusion to the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne. Footage showed 23-year-old Jakobsen, of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step, racing elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma as both men frantically tussled in a tight sprint to the line in Katowice. However, Jakobsen came off worst, somersaulting over the barriers before colliding with a photographer after Groenewegen had veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his rival into the security wall. “His condition is very serious. His life is
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on