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Roche linked to Contador team

NICOLAS ROCHE appears to be on the verge of leaving the Ag2r la Mondiale team he has been with since 2009.

Roche is in the final year of his contract with the French team and has just finished his most successful Tour de France, finishing in 12th place overall.

UCI rules state that no contract announcements can be made until August 1, but the 28-year-old Irishman, who is in London ahead of Saturday's Olympic road race event, has been linked with the Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank team, whose team leader is Alberto Contador.

"He is definitely interested in considering offers from teams from elsewhere," said Roche's agent, Andrew McQuaid.



McGee ensures King bows out

TENNIS: Defending champion James McGee beat Barry King in the second round of the FBD Irish Open at Fitzwilliam yesterday.

McGee booked a quarter-final spot with a 6-2 6-3 defeat of King, who retired from the full-time professional circuit following last year's semi-final exit in this event. "The way he (King) played I know he could still hold his own against guys in the top 500," said McGee, the lone Irish player left in the singles. He faces 20-year-old Kiwi Ben McLachlan today.

Meanwhile, Ireland's James Cluskey marked his first visit to Kazakhstan with an opening-round doubles success in the ATP Challenger Tour event in Astana yesterday.



Carty and Ryan way off leaders

Golf: Newly crowned Irish Girls champion Jessica Carty and international Chloe Ryan flattered to deceive in the European Ladies' Amateur Championship first round in Slovenia yesterday.

Carty bogeyed five of her last seven holes to return a 76, 10 strokes off the pace. Ryan finished with a three-over-par 74.

F1: Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali is adamant he remains immune to the euphoria currently surrounding the Maranello marque, as Fernando Alonso holds a 34-point lead in the drivers' championship.

Domenicali said: "It's nice to see our fans are happy, but no one at Maranello is under any sort of illusion."

MLB: NY Mets 2 Washington 5, Pittsburgh 3 Chicago Cubs 2, Miami 1 Atlanta 7, Philadelphia 7 Milwaukee 6 (10 innings), Chicago White Sox 8 Minnesota 2, LA Angels 11 Kansas City 6, Seattle 2 NY Yankees 5, San Francisco 3 San Diego 6, Baltimore 1 Tampa Bay 10, Cleveland 3 Detroit 5, Toronto 0 Oakland 16, Texas 5 Boston 3, Houston 3 Cincinnati 5, St Louis 3 LA Dodgers 2 (12 innings), Arizona 2 Colorado 4.