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Gerrans bags his first Classic

CYCLING: Simon Gerrans outpowered favourite Alejandro Valverde of Spain to become Australia's first winner of the Liege-Bastogne-Liege Classic yesterday.

On a day when several of the favourites suffered bad luck or injuries, defending champion Dan Martin of Ireland crashed on the last corner when making a late attack.

World Champion Rui Costa of Portugal crashed and abandoned with 90km to go with minor injuries and Britain's 2013 Tour de France winner Chris Froome failed to start the race because of a chest infection. After the hilly 263km course had shredded the lead group to two dozen, the Orica-GreenEdge rider tore ahead of Valverde and Poland's Michal Kwiatkowski in the final kilometre to win the centenary edition of Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the last major one-day Classic of the first half of the 2014 season.

"I wasn't expecting to see such a big group coming in together, but it seemed like everyone was a little more tired than expected and no-one had the legs to break away," said Gerrans.

NOH CLAIMS TITLE

GOLF: Noh Seung-yul claimed his first PGA Tour win yesterday as he held off the chasing pack to secure a two-shot victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

The South Korean came into his final round with a two-shot lead and also looking to become the first player to record a bogey-free 72 holes since Charles Howell III at the Greenbrier Classic in 2010.

That dream was extinguished with a bogey on the first but a final round of 71 was good enough to leave Noh 19 under, two shots clear of Andrew Svoboda and Robert Streb.

After the dropped shot on the first, the 22-year-old regained his composure and reeled off six pars before picking a shot back up on the eighth to turn in 36.

Another birdie at the 10th was to follow and Noh would also pick up shots back up on 13 and 16 after bogeying 12 and 15.

A poor tee-shot on the par-three 17th suggested nerves were kicking in as the finish-line approached but an excellent up and down secured a par and Noh made no mistake on 18.

Svoboda recorded a closing 69 with birdies on five, seven, 12 and 18 and a bogey on six while Streb recorded just six pars in a chaotic 70. The American eagled the second before bogeys on the third and sixth were followed by birdies on the seventh and eighth. A double-bogey on nine and a bogey on 10 had Streb over par for the day but he picked up shots on 12,13 and 16 before a bogey on 17 and a closing birdie.


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