Friday 18 January 2019

Froome cuts lead in Spain

CYCLING: Chris Froome maintained his slim hopes of claiming the Vuelta a Espana title despite missing out on victory on stage 18 atop Monte Castrove yesterday.

The conclusion of the 157-kilometre route from A Estrada featured two ascents of Monte Castrove and one of the final opportunities to accrue time.

Italian Fabio Aru (Astana) beat Froome to the line, but the Team Sky leader stole crucial seconds from Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) to move second behind overall leader Alberto Contador.

Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) now leads Froome by one minute 19 seconds after the Spaniard finished fifth, 13 seconds behind Aru.

Ireland's Dan Martin was 12th, 48 seconds behind Aru, to retain sixth place in the overall classification.

Joy for Irish duo

SNOOKER: Irish duo Mark Allen and Fergal O'Brien have progressed to the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters.

Antrim's Allen qualified courtesy of a 5-1 win over former world number one Mark Williams.

He will now face Michael White, who beat Welsh compatriot Ryan Day 5-2.

"I wasn't at my best but I felt I did enough to win. I just needed to be patient and make sure I didn't miss anything silly, and I did that pretty well throughout the match," said Allen.

Dubliner O'Brien saw off Zhao Xintong 5-3, and will now face world number one and conqueror of Ken Doherty, Mark Selby.

Zhao took the opener with an 80 break and led once more at 3-2 with the help of a run of 69, but O'Brien, ranked 29th, fought back to progress despite making only one break over 50 - a 61 in frame three.

Floyd to call time

BOXING: Floyd Mayweather has admitted that his bout with Marcos Maidana this weekend will be one of his last.

The boxing icon faces off against the hard-hitting Maidana for a second time in succession, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas tomorrow (live on BoxNation) and has declared that he will be hanging up his gloves in 2015.

The 37-year-old Mayweather signed a six-fight deal, reported to be worth over $250m, with American TV network Showtime in 2013 and will have only two fights remaining on his contract after Maidana.

"I have only got two more fights after this," said the 11-time world champion in five weight divisions.

"As of right now my focus is on Maidana. I can't focus on the two fights after this. A year from now will be my last fight," he admitted.

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