The Daily Telegraph - Business : 2020-09-14

Sport : 31 : 23


23 The Daily Telegraph Monday 14 September 2020 *** Sport Subject Tour leaders face nervous wait on Covid test results in virus ‘red zone’ Yates even tried a bold attack yesterday, going solo from 7km out, in a bid for glory. But he was reeled in by the Jumbo machine. “I wanted to try something before the rest day,” said Yates, who is now 2min 3sec in arrears. “I’m getting better day by day. In previous days I kind of waited and then suffered just holding the wheel. But Jumbo weren’t happy with me doing that, so they rode me back.” Did they ever. Wout van Aert, MVP of the Tour so far, rode almost 8km on the front before swinging over, his devastatin­g effort enough to kill the GC ambitions of both Bernal and Nairo Quintana (ArkeaSamsi­c) for another year. Even after his exertions, Van Aert was able to recollect himself and ride in with the Bernal group. It almost felt as if he was trolling Ineos. Sepp Kuss, the Coloradan celebratin­g his 26th birthday, took over. Then Tom Dumoulin, who shut down Yates’s attack. It was an incredible show of strength. And it left Ineos’s Tour in tatters. Some wondered whether Bernal’s back injury, which forced him out of last month’s Criterium du Dauphine, might have been a factor. If it was, Bernal did not reach for it. “I lost three years of my life today,” he said. “The back is no excuse. The team are going to have to reconsider our objectives for this final week.” Everyone is. Pog-Rog are making heavy metal. Should Ineos have brought Geraint Thomas, who lies third overall behind fellow Briton Simon Yates at Tirreno-Adriatico with one day remaining? Might they have considered Chris Froome, who told Eurosport yesterday he felt he could have “done a job”? The post-mortem will come later. For now, it is enough to know that for the first time since 2011, Ineos have been beaten by a better team. In days gone it might have been the moment for the headline writers to pull out the “Skyfall” headline. The best anyone could come up with here was “Ineos Horribilis”. Meanwhile, at TirrenoAdr­iatico, Simon Yates will go into today’s decisive time trial with a 16-second lead after Dutch champion Mathieu van der Poel won yesterday’s stage seven. By Tom Cary Slovenians Primoz Roglic and Tadej Pogacar begin the final week of the Tour de France in such a commanding position it is going to take something extraordin­ary to unseat them, but there is always the threat of Covid-19. Beginning yesterday and continuing through today’s second rest day in Grenoble, all 22 teams will undergo Covid-19 tests. Any team found to have two positives will be sent home, although riders will be allowed a second test and a blood test to rule out a false positive. The chances of a riveting GC battle being compromise­d by the virus appear slim, however, as the protocols appear to be working. Every rider came through the round of tests last week, even if the Tour’s race director Christian Prudhomme, and four staff members, one each from Ineos Grenadiers, Mitchelton-Scott, Cofidis and AG2R-La Mondiale, did not. Even then, it was not quite as seemed. broke the news last week that the Ineos staff member who tested positive had since undergone three further tests, including a blood test, all of which had come back negative. It is understood teams, including Ineos, are conducting their own Covid tests regularly to check for any positives. But there can be no complacenc­y. This is still a country where the R-rate is rocketing, particular­ly in some of the regions which the Tour has just visited or is about to visit. The Ain department, which the Tour entered yesterday, is a “red zone”, as is the Isere, where Grenoble is situated. The Tour will hold its collective breath once again ahead of the results, which will be announced tomorrow. Elsewhere, in Italy, Marianne Vos (CCC Liv) won stage three of the Giro Rosa, the only grand tour on the women’s calendar, as defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten [Mitchelton-Scott] retained the leader’s jersey. Bernal defence in tatters as Pogacar reins in rival Roglic The Daily Telegraph Tour de France cycling correspond­ent in Culoz By Tom Cary It looks like being a two-way battle for yellow now, although Wednesday’s Queen Stage in the Alps, from Grenoble to Meribel by way of the Col de la Madeleine and the Col de la Loze, could yet have a say. As could a handful of riders still standing up to Jumbo-Visma. Rigoberto Uran (EF Pro Cycling), Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) are both within two minutes of the yellow jersey. Even Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), who spent four days in the in week one, is hanging in there. Colombian rider cracks as Jumbo-Visma dominate Ineos Yates remains with outside chance after bold solo attack day, the 23-year-old will have to reflect on the fact that his reign as champion is over. A devastatin­g performanc­e from Jumbo-Visma on Stage 15 yesterday put Ineos, and Bernal in particular, to the sword, doing to the British superteam what they have done to so many others in the past. Jumbo-Visma, with numbers on the front, set a searing tempo on the final ascent of the Grand Colombier, and Bernal could not hack it. Not even close. He cracked 13 kilometres from the top, and with his team-mates rallying around him, laboured up the rest of the climb, finishing over seven minutes down on the stage winner Pogacar, who beat his compatriot Roglic in a dramatic two-up sprint. Pogacar’s second stage win of the race, and the 10 bonus seconds he picked up, reduced the deficit to the race leader to just 40 seconds. It was meant to be the day Egan Bernal came roaring back into yellow jersey contention. The Ineos Grenadiers rider was back in terrain he preferred – not quite the Alps, with its high altitude, but a long summit finish at least, featuring a gentler, more consistent average gradient than Friday’s leg-burner in the Auvergne, where Bernal had shipped over half a minute to Slovenian rivals Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) and Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates). As it turned out, the defending champion’s labours last Friday were a sign. When he wakes up this morning, on this Tour’s second rest maillot jaune Tuimavave marks new contract by sending Hull into last eight without stand-off Jake Trueman and suffered another blow when former Cronulla winger Sosaia Feki went off with a knee injury just 24 minutes into his debut. “It’s a huge disappoint­ment for Sosaia,” Daryl Powell, the Castleford coach, said. “He just can’t get any luck. Losing Grant Millington was another blow. He got knocked out and losing a front row for the rest of the game is always difficult, especially when it’s our most experience­d front row. “But I thought we were fantastic today and showed a lot of courage. “We were here Thursday night and didn’t get home until two o’clock in the morning and we’re back here to play another game in a different competitio­n, that was always going to be tough. “We could easily have won that game but for a crazy period around half-time, that was the difference. They scored from an intercept and again early in the second half. Apart from that, there was nothing in it. “Both teams were absolutely busted, there were blokes at the end laid on the floor. It’s asking a bit too much.” time while winger Ratu Naulago, who scored an 80-metre opportunis­t try, came off with a calf problem and half-back Albert Kelly finished with a hamstring injury. “We showed great desire,” Last said. “We had a lot of disruption during the match. The boys were playing with bruises and niggles and, to stay honest and keep going, they deserve tremendous credit. “The boys are doing it really tough, but they are putting their heart and soul into every collision.” Castleford, who are now left with only pride to play for, were again Rugby League By Ian Laybourn Castleford 16-29 Hull FC “Carlos has been a magnificen­t signing since the day he came in,” interim Hull coach Andy Last said. “He is among the top three or four centres in the competitio­n. He will go down as one of the great overseas signings by Hull FC and it’s great business by the club.” The reward for Hull, who were Wembley winners in 2016 and 2017, is a clash with Wigan next Saturday, which will be their third game in 10 days. They lost full-back Jamie Shaul with a head injury at half- Carlos Tuimavave celebrated his new contract with a man-of-thematch performanc­e in Hull’s win over Castleford in the sixth round of the Coral Challenge Cup. Hull announced a new four-year deal for the Samoan internatio­nal on the eve of the match and he responded with a superb display, scoring two tries, as they secured a place in the last eight.