Friday 23 March 2018

In brief: Tour route to suit climbers


The 2011 Tour de France route unveiled yesterday will suit climbers such as Alberto Contador perfectly, although it is still unclear whether the three-times champion will be allowed to take part.

The Spaniard has been provisionally suspended pending further investigations into his positive test for the anabolic agent clenbuterol.

Should, however, the 2007, 2009 and 2010 champion take part next year he will find the route ideal. There will be four mountaintop finishes, two in the Pyrenees and two in the Alps, with a mountain finale on the Alpe d'Huez two days before the Champs Elysees parade.

Changes in the points classification should help the Manx sprinter Mark Cavendish win a green jersey for the first time. From next year there will be only one intermediate sprint on each stage yielding points to 15 riders instead of three.

The Tour will start on July 2 in Brittany.


JOHN DUDDY and Andy Lee will meet at Madison Square Garden in New York early in the new year -- if the promoters put the right offer on the table.

Limerick southpaw Lee said yesterday that his manager Emanuel Steward and Derry-born John Duddy's manager Craig Hamilton had agreed to make the fight in January.

However, whether the middleweight showdown goes ahead or not depends on what offer New York-based promoters, 360 Boxing, come back with.

Lee's next fight before Duddy could be on the undercard to Wladimir Klitschko's IBF/WBO heavyweight defence against Zimbabwe-born Londoner Dereck Chisora at the SAP Arena in Mannheim, Germany on December 11.


RYDER CUP hero Graeme McDowell conjured up another high-powered finish at Port Royal Golf Club in Bermuda yesterday.

Yet, despite a beautiful brace of closing birdies, the Portrush man still trailed first-round leader David Toms by five after day one of the $1.35m Grand Slam Championship.

Both of Europe's Major-winners, McDowell (72) and Martin Kaymer (74), were caught cold by Grand Slam super-subs Toms (67) and Ernie Els (68).

US Open champion McDowell did well to finish one-over after an ugly treble-bogey seven at 11, where he hit his ball out of bounds from a greenside bunker.

The 36-hole race for a $600,000 first prize comes to a climax today.

Irish Independent

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