Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 7th 2015 Contents A51
Tuesday, July 7, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
HUY---British rider Chris Froome
took the Tour de France leader s yellow
jersey after finishing second behind
Spanish veteran Joacquim Rodriguez
in yesterday s crash-marred third
stage, as a second straight day of chaos
caused around 20 riders to fall and
several to quit.
The 2013 Tour winner Froome almost
caught Rodriguez near the top of the
day s final climb, but the Spaniard held
on for his second career Tour stage win
five years after his first.
"I didn t expect to be in yellow this
early on. Couldn t be a better feeling,"
said Froome, whose title defence ended
when he crashed early in last year s
race. "I may look calm on the outside
but I assure you I m not. A huge thank
you to my teammates, they turned
themselves inside out to keep me at
He now leads German rider Tony
Martin---who is not a threat for overall
victory---by just one second and is 13
seconds ahead of American rider Tejay
Van Garderen, who is shaping up as a
More importantly, Froome s touted
main rivals are lagging.
Froome is now 36 seconds clear of
two-time champion Alberto Contador
of Spain, 1:38 ahead of defending cham-
pion Vincenzo Nibali of Italy and 1:56
ahead of Nairo Quintana of Colombia,
the Tour runner-up two years ago.
"I d rather be in this position that
I m in now rather than having to make
up time," said Froome, who took the
race leader s jersey from Swiss veteran
Fabian Cancellara. "I just hope to get
through these next few days without
any major issues."
Froome s relief was understandable,
given how heavy the crash behind him
was. It happened with a little under
60 kilometres (37 miles) remaining,
forcing the stage to be neutralised and
then stopped altogether shortly after---
for nearly 20 minutes.
With the race moving from neigh-
boring Netherlands into Belgium, stage
three was 159.5 kilometres (99 miles)
from Antwerp to Huy. It featured four
short and sharp climbs but the crash
took place shortly before climb No. 1
when Frenchman William Bonnet s
wobbling bike slid forward and down.
Racing at tremendous speed, it was
impossible for those behind to either
slow down or get out of the way, and
one after the other they went up, down,
or sideways in a bewildering flash of
colors, bobbing helmets and spinning
The end result was a tangled mess
of bikes, spewed in all directions. Some
riders lay on their backs in the grass
and others were curled up in agony on
the hot tarmac.
The 34-year-old Cancellara was one
of the last to go down, leaping into the
air with his bike attached to him, then
landing with a thud in the grass.
He finished the stage but later pulled
out of the race after hospital tests
LONDON---Rory McIlroy injured his
left ankle while playing football, leaving
the world s No 1 player in doubt of
defending his British Open title next
week at St Andrews.
In a shocking start to the week, McIl-
roy posted a photo on Instagram show-
ing him on crutches with a walking boot
on his left ankle. He said it was a "total
rupture" of an ankle ligament and the
joint capsule from kicking around a soc-
cer ball with friends in Northern Ire-
"Continuing to assess extent of injury
and treatment plan day by day," McIlroy
said on the post "Rehab already start-
ed.... Working hard to get back as soon
as I can."
His spokeman, Sean O Flaherty, said
he was definitely out of the Scottish
Open, which starts Thursday at Gullane.
O Flaherty said they would not know
until the end of the week the prospects
of McIlroy teeing it up at St Andrews
on July 16.
McIlroy was the joint favourite at St
Andrews with Jordan Spieth, the 21-
year-old Texan who has won the Masters
and US Open and goes to the British
Open as only the fourth player with a
shot at the modern Grand Slam.
McIlroy referred to his ATFL, which
is the anterior talofibular ligament and
the one most commonly sprained. The
left ankle is crucial in a golf swing as
weight shifts to that side while gener-
"That s a big blow to the Open if he
misses it," former Ryder Cup captain
Sam Torrance said from Wimbledon.
McIlroy won the Open last year at
Royal Liverpool by going wire-to-wire
and taking a six-shot lead into the final
round. He also won the PGA Champi-
onship, joining Jack Nicklaus, Tiger
Woods and Bobby Jones as the only
players in the last century with four
majors at age 25 or younger.
Still to be determined is whether
McIlroy can do the same as Woods, who
played through a stress fracture and
torn knee ligaments when he won the
2008 US Open in a playoff that lasted
Woods was determined to play in that
major because it was at Torrey Pines,
one of his favourite courses on tour.
McIlroy already has a reasonable con-
nection with the Old Course, where he
secured his European Tour card in 2007
as an 18-year-old at the Dunhill Links
with a third-place finish. He also tied
the major championship record of 63
when the British Open was held at St
Andrews in 2010, though McIlroy fol-
lowed with an 80 in the wind. He tied
for third at St Andrews five years ago.
Scores of riders
lie on the road
during the third
stage of the Tour
de France cycling
race over 159.5km
with start in
finish in Huy,
McIlroy ruptures ankle ligament playing football
Rodriguez wins crash-marred 3rd stage
TOUR DE FRANCE
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