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In Brief: Rogers sprints to win in Carlow

CYCLING: The Azerbaijan Synergy Baku Team picked up their second stage win of this year's An Post Rás when Rico Rogers won a mass bunch sprint into Carlow on race day six.

The Aussie rider finished narrowly ahead of Owain Doull (Great Britain National Team), who took second place, and yellow jersey leader Marcin Bialoblocki (Britain UK Youth Pro Cycling), who claimed third.

There is no change at the top of the general classification after stage six, from Mitchelstown, Cork, into Carlow, with Polish rider Bialoblocki on top, ahead of Belfast's Connor McConvey (Azerbaijan Synergy Baku) and Rasmus Guldhammer (Denmark Blue Water Cycling). All three riders remain on the same time going into the penultimate day today.

 

SNOW FORCES GIRO RETHINK

CYCLING: Heavy snow forced Giro d'Italia organisers to call off yesterday's mountainous stage 19 from Ponte di Legno to Val Martello and the route for the next day's stage was redesigned.

Today's stage includes far fewer descents to ensure another day of mountain racing is not lost, but it will still finish on the Tre Cime di Lavaredo at 2,304 metres above sea level.

"Descents on mountains that are covered in snow are the worst thing for the riders," the race's technical manager Mauro Vegni said at yesterday's cancelled finish.

"If it's snowing, we'll clear the roads. Knowing how cold it will be is essential. Snow is cold, but it's the descents that really matter."

Three classified climbs through the Dolomites have been annulled in today's redesigned 210km stage and only two short descents near the final climb of Tre Cime di Lavaredo are still in place.

 

ENGLAND TEST RAINED OFF

CRICKET: The first day of the second test between England and New Zealand was washed out after persistent rain at Headingley.

Umpires Steve Davis and Aleem Dar decided to abandon play for the day shortly before 4pm, by which point even the most hardy of supporters had departed the stadium. After the excitement of the final day at Lord's, when Stuart Broad's seven-wicket haul fired England to a 170-run victory, yesterday proved a damp squib for all concerned.

 

MONFILS INTO NICE FINALE

TENNIS: Gael Monfils reached his first ATP World Tour Final since February 2012 at the Open de Nice Cote d'Azur with victory over Pablo Andujar.

A knee injury that put him out for much of last season, coupled with indifferent form at the start of this year, has seen the former top-10 player drop to 109 in the rankings.

But Monfils got the winning feeling back by triumphing in a Challenger event in Bordeaux last week and made it nine victories in a row by defeating Spain's Andujar 7-5 6-4.


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