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Quintana plays it safe in Giro

CYCLING: Italian Stefano Pirazzi won the 17th stage of the Giro d’Italia as the top guns stayed quiet following Tuesday’s chaotic ride.

Pirazzi prevailed at the end of a 208km trek from Sarnonico, beating breakaway companion Tim Wellens of Belgium and Australian Jay McCarthy to hand his Bardiani team their third win of this year’s Giro.

Overall leaders Nairo Quintana, who took over from fellow Colombian Rigoberto Uran in controversial circumstances on Tuesday, finished safe in the pack 15:36 behind the winner. He still leads Uran by 1:41 with Australian Cadel Evans in third place overall, 3:21 off the pace.

On Tuesday, Quintana seized the lead by winning the stage after breaking clear in a descent which some teams thought had been neutralised by organisers because of bad weather conditions.

Watson hoping for swing to left

CRICKET: US Masters champion Bubba Watson hopes to add Muirfield to the list of courses where the left-handers’ hoodoo has been broken.

The 35-year-old arrives at Muirfield Village for Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament knowing his best finish on the course is tied-23rd in 2007 and 2009. But Watson is not willing to accept he cannot win around the Ohio venue - even if a left-hander has not succeeded there for 38 years.

“I don’t think I’ve ever played very well here but I love coming back and challenging myself,” he said. “Obviously with more righties in the field it makes it a little bit easier for righties.”


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