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Wiggins may give Tour miss

CYCLING: The route for the 2013 Tour de France was announced yesterday and it will not lend itself to Bradley Wiggins staking a claim for consecutive wins.

WITH more mountain stages and only 65km of individual time-trials, the 100th Tour will be a different challenge.

Tour director Christian Prudhomme revealed a 3,360km route, beginning on Corsica on June 21. The battle for the yellow jersey could be decided on the 18th stage which, for the first time, features two ascents of Alpe-d'Huez.

Team Sky have been coy on claims Wiggins will not defend his title, and the 32-year-old admits he could change targets.

"If everything goes to plan and I get the nod to do the Giro d'Italia, that's what is going to happen," he said.

Meanwhile, Wiggins has compared the demise of Lance Armstrong to realising "Father Christmas doesn't exist".

However, Armstrong's one-time foe Alberto Contador, who recently returned from a drugs ban, said the American had been shown a "total lack of respect".

Strong start for Hoey in Masters

GOLF: Welshman Jamie Donaldson left a strong field trailing in his wake with a flying start to the BMW Masters in Shanghai today.

Donaldson birdied seven of the first 11 holes at Lake Malaren to lead Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey by two. England's David Horsey was the early clubhouse leader, coming home in 33 for a 68.

World No.1 Rory McIlroy was back on the course where he won the Shanghai Masters a year ago, and was one under after six playing alongside Justin Rose, his closest challenger on the 'Race to Dubai' Order of Merit.

Rose stood level par along with Ian Poulter.

O'Brien signs up for Leicestershire

CRICKET: Ireland international Niall O'Brien will join Leicestershire next season, his former club Northamptonshire confirmed.

The 30-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman moves on after five years at Wantage Road. Head coach David Ripley said: "It's sad to see Niall leave the club as he has been a big part of the changing room since he arrived from Kent."

BASEBALL: Pablo Sandoval became only the fourth player to hit three home runs in a World Series game as the San Francisco Giants opened the best-of-seven series with an 8-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers.


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