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