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In brief: Gilbert reigns as Irish crash

Belgian Philippe Gilbert continued to reign supreme in the Ardennes Classics by winning the Fleche Wallonne race yesterday, but the Irish duo of Nicolas Roche and his cousin Daniel Martin finished the day in hospital after crashing into each other 90km from the finish.

Roche hurt his hip in the fall but he confirmed on his Twitter account that he escaped without any broken bones -- he also apologised to Martin for taking him down.

Omega Pharma-Lotto rider Gilbert ripped out of the pack with 300 metres to go to cross the line three seconds ahead of Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez, while Samuel Sanchez, also of Spain, was third.


Britain's WBA heavyweight champion David Haye and Ukraine's WBO, IBO and IBF champion Vladimir Klitschko have set their title fight for July 2 in Hamburg's Football Arena.

"I am happy that Haye is finally coming into the ring. He has twice avoided a Klitschko fight in the past," Vladimir, whose brother Vitaly holds the WBC crown, said in a statement.

A Haye-Vladimir Klitschko clash has been on the cards for two years, but twice the two sides failed to finalise a deal after disagreeing on how to split revenues.

Since the Klitschko brothers won't fight each other, the Haye bout has long been considered the one that could establish them as undisputed champions.

Maria del Carman Moreno has been named as Katie Taylor's new opponent after Moreno's Spanish compatriot Jennifer Miranda pulled out.

Both women will meet over four, two-minute rounds at the Royal Hotel in Bray on Friday night.

Meanwhile, Taylor will face German champ Maike Klueners at Walter Raleigh Hotel in Youghal, Cork, on a St John's Boxing Club-hosted show on May 6.


Rafael Nadal opened his bid for a sixth Barcelona Open title with a 6-1 6-1 win over Daniel Gimeno-Traver yesterday.

The top-ranked Nadal hammered his fellow Spaniard with hard groundstrokes, cruising to victory after breaking Gimeno-Traver's first two service games.

Nadal, who sat out last year's event after winning five straight titles from 2005 to 2009, will face Santiago Giraldo of Colombia in the third round of the outdoor clay-court event.

Irish Independent