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Froome lays down Tour marker by dominating at the Dauphine

CYCLING: Chris Froome attacked on the final climb to win yesterday's mountainous fifth stage of the Dauphine Libere race and take the overall lead, showing improved form with the Tour de France starting in less than a month.

The Briton responded to an attack from Alberto Contador to catch the two-time Tour champion and then American rider Matthew Busche for his first career stage win in the Dauphine.

Froome clocked three hours, 28 minutes, 39 seconds across the 139km trek, finishing four seconds ahead of Contador and Busche.

"I think winning a stage was really for my teammates, who did a fantastic job to position me in the climb," Froome said, praising his Sky Procycling team. "Peter Kennaugh and Richie Porte controlled all the attacks. I didn't think I'd catch the RadioShack rider up the road.

"I had to go for the stage win to say thank you, even though I knew the yellow jersey was secured."

Froome is 52 seconds ahead overall from Porte and 54 clear of overnight leader Rohan Dennis.

The Tour de France runs from June 29 to July 21.



GOLF: Davis Love III headed six players on four under par after the first round of the FedEx St Jude Classic in Memphis.

The 2012 United States Ryder Cup captain, who underwent back surgery in February and is looking for his first title since 2008, took a share of first place alongside compatriots Martin Flores, Glen Day and Harris English, as well as Stuart Appleby and Nathan Green of Australia.

The 49-year-old carded seven birdies against three bogeys and saw room for improvement. Love said: "I'm excited to be back and I'm anxious and I want to play better than I'm playing.

"You've got to be a little bit more patient and polished. That's going to take some rounds of golf to get back."

Of the other leaders, Green was the most consistent, carding four birdies in a blemish-free round, English was helped by an eagle at the 16th and Flores was left to rue a double bogey at the par-three 14th.

Ireland's Padraig Harrington was one under, alongside two Englishmen, Brian Davis and Greg Owen, on a heavily congested leader board.



GOLF: England's Tom Lewis put himself in contention for his first European Tour top-10 finish in two years by shooting a nine-under 63 in the opening round of the Lyoness Open yesterday.

His flawless round earned him a two-stroke lead over Joost Luiten of the Netherlands.

Fellow Englishmen Graeme Storm, Richard McEvoy and Simon Dyson, as well as France's Alexander Levy, each shot a 66 to share third.

Lewis made his professional debut at the Lyoness Open in 2011 and won the Portugal Masters that year on his third start as a pro.

On Thursday, he carded nine birdies, including three in a row on his front nine, and earned two more strokes on his final two holes.

"I had some good fortune around the 17th and 18th," said Lewis.

Storm and Levy both made three straight birdies on the front nine and seven in total, but bogeyed the par-four last.

Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain and Austrian amateur Matthias Schwab lie four strokes off the pace.