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Cavendish leads way

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Britain's Mark Cavendish celebrates his overall lead after completing the second stage of the Tirreno Adriatico cycling race from San Vincenzo to Cascina, Italy, Thursday, March 13, 2014.  Picture: Gian Mattia D'Alberto, Lapresse.

Britain's Mark Cavendish celebrates his overall lead after completing the second stage of the Tirreno Adriatico cycling race from San Vincenzo to Cascina, Italy, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Picture: Gian Mattia D'Alberto, Lapresse.

Britain's Mark Cavendish celebrates his overall lead after completing the second stage of the Tirreno Adriatico cycling race from San Vincenzo to Cascina, Italy, Thursday, March 13, 2014. Picture: Gian Mattia D'Alberto, Lapresse.

CYCLING: Mark Cavendish retained the lead of the Tirreno-Adriatico yesterday despite being unable to contest the finish of stage two.

Cavendish was thrust into the race leader's blue jersey on Wednesday when his Omega Pharma-QuickStep squad won the team time-trial, but was held up by a crash in the closing stages of the 166-kilometre route from San Vincenzo to Cascina as Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling) triumphed.

The Manxman was in close proximity to rival Marcel Kittel, but the Giant Shimano rider crashed out of contention – angrily tossing his bike to the ground afterwards – and was unable to respond.

Cavendish said: "You saw more than me. I was behind Kittel when he crashed at a narrow little roundabout, two kilometres from the finish.

"The peloton split because of it. Some gentlemen in the peloton gave me a hand to move up but I got to the front with 500m to go, before the sprint even started, and I was already on the limit."

COMPROMISE NEEDED IN EUROPEAN DISPUTE

RUGBY: Sky Sports chief Barney Francis has warned that compromise will be needed on all sides if a deal can be agreed on television rights for European club rugby.

The satellite broadcaster and rivals BT Sport have been in deadlock after signing separate but incompatible deals to cover European rugby and the stalemate must be resolved before a new competition to replace the Heineken Cup can be agreed.

Francis, Sky Sports managing director, said: "Conversations are ongoing. We are absolutely willing to take part in conversations that lead to a successful solution that is in the best interests of the game and for the fans.

Sky and BT Sport remain fierce rivals however, especially after Sky lost out in the bidding to show football's Champions League games from 2015-2018.

IRISH TO FACE SRI LANKA

CRICKET: Ireland will be familiar foes for Sri Lanka this summer with the confirmation of a further three-game series against Sri Lanka A in July.

This follows the announcement that Ireland will play the senior Sri Lanka team at Clontarf in two one-day internationals on May 6 and 8.

The first of the 50-over contests against Sri Lanka 'A' will take place at Stormont, Belfast on July 23/25, with the remaining game scheduled for Coleraine in the North-West on July 27.


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