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Roche forced to quit after illness

Irish duo Nicolas Roche and Dan Martin had a mixed day at the Tour of Catalonia yesterday with Roche abandoning the race midway through the stage as Martin moved up one place to third overall, writes Gerard Cromwell.

Roche withdrew from the week-long event after failing to recover from illness that saw him spend three days in bed the week before the WorldTour race began.

"I stopped at the feed zone," he said afterwards. "I've been feeling crap all week and just haven't recovered at all.

"I was hoping for a couple of easy days to ride myself in but with the snow and the cold, I didn't get them."

Roche's younger cousin, Martin, had another good day in his adopted home race. Based in Girona with Garmin Barracuda, he took ninth place on the stage as French sprinter Julien Simon of Saur Sojasun took his first victory in a WorldTour race ahead of Rigoberto Uran of Sky and Liquigas' Sylvester Smyd.


SCOTLAND'S Andy Murray booked his place in the third round of the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami with a routine straight-sets win over Colombia's Alejandro Falla.

Murray was quickly into his stride at the hard-court event, forcing five breaks of his opponent's serve on his way to a 6-2 6-3 win in 76 minutes.

The triumph was Murray's first at this event in three years.

IRELAND'S Sam Barry yesterday powered his way to the men's doubles title alongside Britain's James Marsalek in the ITF Futures events in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, writes Paddy Hickey.

As No 2 seeds, the pair edged out the No 1 seeds, Alexander Satschko and Mikhail Vasiliev, 6-4 7-6 (7/4) in the final.

It was the third career adult world-ranking doubles title success for the 20-year-old.

Irish Independent