Chris Froome still on top at the Tour de France af­ter nine stages

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - SPORTS -

TOUR DE FRANCE Froome re­tains yel­low

Three-time Tour de France cham­pion Chris Froome sur­vived a break­down on his bike dur­ing a wicked ninth stage that put 12 rid­ers out of the race, and left oth­ers blood­ied and ban­daged, to re­tain the race leader’s yel­low jer­sey in Cham­berry, France. Eight rid­ers had been within a minute of Froome in the over­all stand­ings at the start Sun­day, but that num­ber is down to three. Among top names gone com­pletely: Richie Porte and Froome’s team­mate Geraint Thomas, who led the Tour for its first four days. Both crashed out. Porte, who had been fifth over­all, was zoom­ing down­hill in pur­suit of Froome when he missed a left-hand bend, cartwheeled across the road and bowled over an­other rider, Dan Martin, be­fore slam­ming into a stony, vine-cov­ered bank. Medics first treated the Aus­tralian on the tar­mac and then took him to a hos­pi­tal where he was di­ag­nosed with a frac­tured pelvis and col­lar­bone. Thomas broke his col­lar­bone. Froome placed third in the stage, nar­rowly beaten in a fi­nal sprint by Colom­bian Rigob­erto Uran at the fin­ish in the Alps. French rider War­ren Bar­guil was just mil­lime­ters be­hind in sec­ond place. Froome was awarded four bonus sec­onds for his third-place fin­ish that al­lowed him to con­sol­i­date his over­all lead. Ital­ian Fabio Aru climbed to sec­ond spot in the race rank­ings — 18 sec­onds be­hind Froome over­all. French rider Ro­main Bardet, run­ner-up to Froome last year, is third over­all, 51 sec­onds be­hind Froome. The only other rider within a minute of Froome is Uran, who jumped from 11th to fourth over­all, 55 sec­onds be­hind the leader. Seven rid­ers fell so far back dur­ing the 112mile stage that they missed the time cut and are now out of the Tour. Froome had to deal with a break­down of his bike gears that forced him to change machines just when he was rid­ing fu­ri­ously in a bunch with other top con­tenders. Aru choose that ex­act moment to ac­cel­er­ate away, fol­lowed by other top chal­lengers, in­clud­ing Porte. But Aru and the oth­ers then slowed rather than press home their ad­van­tage — ap­par­ently ad­her­ing to the Tour’s un­writ­ten rule that chal­lengers shouldn’t at­tack the race leader when he’s in dif­fi­culty not of his own mak­ing. “I want to say ‘thank you’ to the other rid­ers for not at­tack­ing,” Froome said. “They waited un­til I had changed bikes. That’s sport­ing and pleas­ing to see.”

MO­TOR SPORTS Cas­tron­eves a win­ner

He­lio Cas­tron­eves the IndyCar race on the short oval at Iowa Speed­way in New­ton, lead­ing 217 of 300 laps for his first vic­tory since 2014 and Team Penske’s first vic­tory in 11 tries in Iowa. It also was the 30th ca­reer vic­tory for Cas­tron­eves, the Brazil­ian who was win­less since the first race of the Belle Isle dou­ble­header in Detroit in June 2014. J.R. Hilde­brand was a ca­reer-best sec­ond, fol­lowed by Ryan Hunter-Reay, Penske’s Will Power and Gra­ham Ra­hal. Se­ries leader Scott Dixon fin­ished eighth, two weeks af­ter win­ning at Road Amer­ica. Cas­tron­eves has won the In­di­anapo­lis 500 three times and re­mains among the most pop­u­lar driv­ers in the se­ries. Hilde­brand, best known for crash­ing out on the fi­nal lap of the In­di­anapo­lis 500 in 2011, got ahead of Cas­tron­eves af­ter the field came in for their fi­nal pit stops. But Cas­tron­eves was back in front with just over 30 laps to go and dom­i­nated Cas­tron­eves used the fresh air — and the good for­tune of a long, green­flag run — to cruise to vic­tory.

Vet­tel ex­tends se­ries lead

Mercedes driver Valt­teri Bot­tas won the Aus­trian Grand Prix in Spielberg on Sun­day, while Fer­rari’s Se­bas­tian Vet­tel fin­ished just be­hind in sec­ond to ex­tend his cham­pi­onship lead over main ri­val Lewis Hamil­ton to 20 points. Bot­tas held off Vet­tel’s late charge, with the Ger­man driver cross­ing the line 0.6 sec­onds be­hind. Vet­tel had never fin­ished higher than fourth in Aus­tria, twice re­tir­ing from races. Mean­while, Red Bull’s Daniel Ric­cia­rdo showed great abil­ity to de­fend third place from Hamil­ton, who al­most passed the Aus­tralian driver on the last two laps but had to set­tle for fourth.

BOXING Rus­sian re­tains ti­tle

Rus­sian boxer De­nis Lebe­dev (30-2) won by unan­i­mous de­ci­sion against Aus­tralia’s Mark Flana­gan on Sun­day to re­tain his WBA su­per world cruis­er­weight ti­tle. Lebe­dev was in con­trol of the fight through­out in Yeka­ter­in­burg, Rus­sia, dic­tat­ing a slow pace and re­ly­ing on his coun­ter­at­tack­ing skills. He knocked Flana­gan down in the ninth round as he bounced back from de­feat in De­cem­ber to fel­low Rus­sian Mu­rad Gassiev. Flana­gan, who had never pre­vi­ously fought out­side Aus­tralia, drops to 22-5.

GOLF Rahm runs away

Jon Rahm won the Ir­ish Open by six strokes, shoot­ing a 7-un­der 65 in a fi­nal round marked by two ea­gles and a rules con­tro­versy in Port­stew- art, North­ern Ire­land. Rahm, a 22-year-old for­mer Ari­zona State star from Spain, avoided be­ing handed a two-shot penalty for re­plac­ing his ball in­cor­rectly on the sixth green, fol­low­ing email and calls from TV view­ers. Andy McFee, chief ref­eree of the European Tour, said Rahm made a “rea­son­able judg­ment” af­ter hav­ing moved his marker one put­ter length to the side to get it off the line of play­ing part­ner Daniel Im. Rahm fin­ished at 24-un­der 264. Richie Ram­say (65) and Matthew South­gate (66) tied for sec­ond.

Hadley locks up card

Ches­son Hadley shot a 7-un­der 65 on Sun­day for a one-stroke vic­tory over Beau Hossler in the Tour’s LECOM Health Chal­lenge at Clymer, N.Y. The win­ner of the PGA Tour’s 2014 Puerto Rico Open, Hadley, 30, fin­ished with a tour­na­ment-record 23-un­der 265 to­tal on Peek’n Peak’s Up­per Course. He earned $108,000 to jump from 22nd to fourth on the money list with $218,450, more than enough to wrap a re­turn to the PGA Tour as a top-25 fin­isher. Austin Cook (Jones­boro, Arkansas Ra­zor­backs) tied for sev­enth at 15-un­der 273 to earn $19,350 and move from 33rd to 27th on the money list, less than $8,970 be­hind Chris Baker, who is cur­rently No. 25 in money. Zach Fis­cher (Lit­tle Rock) fin­ished at 7-un­der 281 to earn $1,755.

LPGA: Kirk tri­umphs

Kather­ine Kirk won the Thorn­berry Creek LPGA Clas­sic, match­ing Ash­leigh Buhai with a birdie on the fi­nal hole for a one-stroke vic­tory in Oneida, Wis. Four strokes ahead of Buhai en­ter­ing the round, Kirk made a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th for a 2-un­der 70. She fin­ished at 22-un­der 266 in the first year event at Thorn­berry Creek — the Oneida Na­tion-owned re­sort near Green Bay. Kirk, a 35-year-old Aus­tralian won her third LPGA Tour ti­tle and first in 152 starts since the 2010 Nav­is­tar LPGA Clas­sic. Kirk earned $300,000 and se­cured a spot next week in the U.S. Women’s Open.


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