| 7.2°C Dublin

Confidence-boosting Sky win has Wiggins back in Giro hunt

CYCLING: Team Sky took a morale-boosting victory in the Giro d'Italia team time trial as overall contender Bradley Wiggins moved up to second overall and gained time on his rivals yesterday.

Second in the short, hilly and very technical second stage were Spanish squad Movistar, nine seconds back, with Astana, led by Wiggins's key rival Vincenzo Nibali, third at 14 seconds.

The first Team Sky rider to cross the line in Saturday's first stage, Italian Salvatore Puccio, took the overall leader's pink jersey. "It's a surprise to have taken the pink jersey but I'm very happy," Puccio said. "The idea was for it to go to (Italian team-mate Dario) Cataldo, but I hung on in there, and finished in the same time as the rest of the squad."

His best professional result to date was third place in a stage of last year's Tour of Switzerland.

Despite losing American Danny Pate early on in the team time trial course, the British team clocked the second best time at the midway checkpoint behind Movistar. After shedding more riders to shrink to a minimum unit of five at the finish, Sky were still the fastest squad home, netting the British squad their first Grand Tour team time trial victory.

Rumford pulls clear of rivals to claim second successive victory in China

GOLF: Australia's Brett Rumford eased to a second successive victory on the European Tour when he pulled away from the field to record a four-shot triumph at the China Open yesterday.

The 35-year-old, who won last week's Ballantine's Championship in South Korea in a play-off, had a much smoother ride at the Tianjin Binhai Lake Golf Club as he surged ahead of the chasing pack with six birdies over his first 14 holes. A pair of bogeys on the closing holes made little difference as Rumford carded a four-under-par 68 for a 16-under 272 total, four clear of Finland's Mikko Ilonen.

The Perth golfer's fifth European Tour title took him to the top of the money list, a huge leap from his 138th position a fortnight back.

Rumford climbed from 122nd to 76th in the world rankings thanks to his second consecutive victory, a rise of 177 places in two weeks.

France's Victor Dubuisson finished third on 11-under.

Meanwhile, Austrian Bernd Wiesberger held off the challenge of South Africa's Ernie Els to win the Indonesian Masters by one stroke.

Mayweather retains welterweight title after spending year out of ring

BOXING: Floyd Mayweather beat Robert Guerrero on points in Las Vegas to retain his WBC welterweight title and improve his career record to 44-0.

Mayweather, returning after a year's absence, won a unanimous decision 117-111 after taking control of the fight early on.

Guerrero started strongly as he landed a series of blows, pushing the 36-year-old Mayweather back on to the ropes in the second round.

But by the third round Mayweather had taken control and by the eighth inning, Guerrero was showing clear damage about the eye.

That prompted another burst of energy from the 30-year-old but Mayweather had an answer for everything.

Meanwhile, Wladimir Klitschko put on a show for the watching David Haye as he stopped the unbeaten Francesco Pianeta in six rounds in their heavyweight title fight in Mannheim.

Veteran Haas defeats compatriot Kohlschreiber to lift BMW Open title

TENNIS: Evergreen Tommy Haas continues to defy the odds as he lifted the BMW Open title with a straight-sets victory over last year's winner Philipp Kohlschreiber in an all-German final in Munich.

The 35-year-old lifted his first ATP Tour crown of the season with a comfortable 6-3 7-6 (7/3) win over his compatriot.

"It's a sensational feeling to be quite honest," said Haas.

Meanwhile, the Madrid Open appears to have put last year's controversy over the blue clay courts firmly behind it with some of the world's top-ranked men, including fierce critic Rafa Nadal, all praising the newly built red dust replacements yesterday.

Nadal, regarded as one of the greatest clay players of all time and a seven-times French Open champion, threatened to boycott the tournament if the experiment was not abandoned after he was beaten in the third round by Spanish compatriot Fernando Verdasco last year, claiming the courts were too slippery.

All the courts, including the Manolo Santana show court in the futuristic Magic Box arena, have been completely rebuilt and Nadal praised the decision.

"The courts this year fortunately are really good," Nadal said. "The only thing I can say is thank you to the tournament, you know, for the money they have invested to have the highest quality courts in here."


Privacy