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In brief: Webber sets the Barca standard

Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber set the standard on the opening day of the final Formula One test in Barcelona.

Unlike at the previous two tests in Jerez, which were blighted by inclement weather, the 11 teams on show managed to get a full day of dry running under their belts, with Webber easily the quickest.

But, given the nature of the forthcoming season's re-fuelling ban, with cars potentially carrying anything up to 160 kilograms of fuel on board, times continue to be notoriously difficult to judge.

Nico Rosberg finished just over a second down on Webber in his Mercedes GP, with Pedro de la Rosa fourth quickest for Sauber, 1.6secs adrift. They were followed by world champion Jenson Button for McLaren, Force India's Vitantonio Liuzzi and the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso.


Justin Rose put himself in the mix at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in Arizona with a six-under-par 65 in the opening round yesterday.

Rose's round did not get off to the best of starts as he bogeyed the par-four first, but he compiled eight birdies -- including a run of four from the eighth -- before his only other blemish on the 18th.

Camilo Villegas, fresh from his third-place finish at the Accenture Match Play Championship last Sunday, claimed the clubhouse lead, a nine-under-par 62 putting him one stroke ahead of Matt Every of the United States, who still had five holes to play on the back of six consecutive birdies.


The An Post Sean Kelly team are in action in three different one-day races this weekend, including the first Belgium Classic of the season, the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, tomorrow.

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All of the events are on in Belgium, with the Beverbeek Classic also taking place tomorrow, followed by the Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne on Sunday, and every member of the Irish contingent within the An Post team will be taking part.

Beverbeek race organiser Wm Van Herreweghe announced the final team line-up recently, saying that An Post-Sean Kelly's recent performances, "have managed to totally convince me."


The Republic of Ireland women's team were narrowly beaten 2-1 by their French counterparts in last night's friendly international at Richmond Park thanks to an 82nd winner from Marie Laure Delie.

Les Blues took the lead after 51 minutes when Sonia Bompastor slotted home a penalty.

But the Irish struck back when Stephanie Roche took advantage of some hesitant goalkeeping to dribble past Celine Deville and finish calmly with just 15 minutes left to play.

But the comeback was something of a false dawn as France hit back with Delie's late goal.