Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 15th 2017 Contents A44 sports
guardian.co.tt Saturday, July 15, 2017
Barguil delivers Bastille Day win
FOIX---After the setback, the
The day after losing the Tour
de France lead to Fabio Aru, Chris
Froome and his Team Sky showed
yesterday they still have cards up
their sleeves. On the shortest stage
of the 104th Tour, barring the two
time-trials, Sky brought Mikel
Landa into play---sending Froome's
Spanish teammate racing off ahead
on a fast and furious Stage 13 that
became part-chess, part a test of
speed and endurance over a close-
packed succession of three climbs in
End result: Sky has two riders ---
Froome and Landa---in the top five.
From here to the July 23 finish in
Paris, Aru will have to watch both
like a hawk and not let either race
off ahead of him in order to keep the
famed yellow jersey.
"It's perfect for us," Froome said.
At just 101 kilometers (63 miles),
less than half the distance of some
of this Tour's longest stages, the up-
down, up-down, up-down route
through the Ariege region of moun-
tain cheeses and peak-perched for-
tresses delivered exactly what Tour
organisers were hoping for: Full-on
racing. They even got a cherry on top,
with French rider Warren Barguil
winning the stage on Bastille Day---
the first tricolor victory on France's
national holiday since David Mon-
coutie in 2005.
"It's incredible," said Barguil, who
has recovered remarkably quickly
from a pelvis fracture in a crash in
April. "I said before the start it would
be good if a Frenchman won. It's ex-
The Sunweb team rider sped into
the finish in Foix, overlooked by its
imposing 11th century castle deco-
rated with a French tricolor of red,
white and blue, as part of a four-man
group that included Landa, two-time
Tour champion Alberto Contador,
and Nairo Quintana, a podium fin-
isher at three previous Tours.
Contador accelerated first in the
final sprint, but Barguil reacted im-
mediately and adeptly negotiated
the last U-bend on a bridge over the
Ariege river, holding off Quintana to
the line. Contador placed third. Tes-
tifying to the brevity and relentless
racing action of the stage, Barguil
covered the distance in just 2 1/2
hours, half the time of longer stag-
es with twice as much road to cover.
By finishing fourth in that leading
pack that sped in nearly two min-
utes ahead of a chasing group that
included the Tour's top four riders
overall---Aru, Froome, French rid-
er Romain Bardet and Colombian
Rigoberto Uran---Landa clawed back
valuable time in the overall stand-
ings. From seventh overall at the start
of the stage, Landa is fifth, just 1:09
The Italian said there won't be a
next time that he gives Landa such
freedom to escape.
"I knew he would try something,"
he said. "But I could not chase every
single attack. From now he won't get
so much room." (AP)
Federer faces Cilic for 8th title
LONDON---Roger Federer is here
once more, back in a Wimbledon
final for the 11th time, back on the
verge of an eighth championship
at the All England Club, more
than any man has collected in the
storied, century-plus history of
Nearly 36, and a father of four,
Federer continued his resurgent sea-
son and unchallenged run through
this fortnight by conjuring up just
enough brilliance to beat 2010 Wim-
bledon runner-up Tomas Berdych
7-6 (4), 7-6 (4), 6-4 yesterday.
"Can't almost believe it's true
again," Federer said.
He has won every set he's played in
this year's tournament and while he
did not dominate the semifinal, he
was never in much trouble. On Sun-
day, Federer will face 2014 US Open
champion Marin Cilic, who reached
his first final at the All England Club
by eliminating 24th-seeded Sam
Querrey of the US 6-7 (6), 6-4, 7-6
(3), 7-5 with the help of 25 aces and
some terrific returning.
Since equaling Pete Sampras and
William Renshaw (who played in the
1880s) with a seventh title at Wim-
bledon in 2012, Federer has come this
close before to No 8. But he lost to
Novak Djokovic in the 2014 and 2015
Now comes gets another chance.
Federer would be the oldest man
to win Wimbledon in the Open era,
which dates to 1968, as it is, he's the
oldest finalist since Ken Rosewall was
39 in 1974.
"This guy doesn't seem like he's
getting any older or slowing down,"
said Berdych, who wore shoes with a
silhouette of Djokovic's face on the
tongue. "He's just proving his great-
ness in our sport."
Also noteworthy: This is Federer's
second major final of 2017. After tak-
ing off the last half of last year while
letting a surgically repaired left knee
heal, he won the Australian Open in
January for his record-extending 18th
Grand Slam trophy.
"Giving your body rest from time
to time is a good thing, as we see
now," Federer said. "And I'm happy
it's paying off because for a second,
of course, there is doubts there that
maybe one day you'll never be able
to come back and play a match on
Centre Court at Wimbledon. But it
happened, and it's happened many,
many times this week."
Now only Cilic stands in Feder-
er's way at Wimbledon. They met
in the quarterfinals a year ago, when
Federer came all the way back after
dropping the first two sets to win in
five, before exiting in the semifinals.
They love their history around
these parts and they love Federer
and, above all, they love watching
him make history. Spectators roared
at many of his best offerings against
Berdych, who was seeded 11th.
Querrey, in contrast, took the first
set against Cilic under odd circum-
stances. Things were close as can
be between the pair of 6-foot-6
(1.98-meter) big servers in the ear-
ly going, right up to 6-all in games
and 6-all in the tiebreaker. Cilic was
playing so cleanly until that moment,
delivering 12 winners before his ini-
tial unforced error; he would finish
with a 70-21 margin.
But Cilic seemed distracted by a
delay of a couple of minutes after
his first-serve fault at 6-6, when a
female spectator who appeared to
feel ill was helped from her seat and
out of the stands. Awarded another
first serve, he managed only a 113
mph offering that Querrey handled
easily, and the next stroke was a badly
missed backhand by Cilic. Now down
7-6, Cilic flubbed another backhand,
pushing it wide to cede the set.
The fourth turned with Querrey
up 4-3 and serving at 30-love. Cilic
seized the next four points to break,
pounding a forehand return winner,
a down-the-line backhand winner,
another big return that startled
Querrey and led to a drop shot win-
ner, and a massive forehand return
off a 79 mph (127 kph) second serve
that drew a shanked backhand. His
lead gone, Querrey yelled, "No!"
"I don't think it was anything that
didn't work for Sam. It was more
Marin locking in and getting a good
read on Sam's serve," said Querrey's
coach, Craig Boynton. "I haven't seen
someone return Sam's serve like that
in a long time."
Switzerland's Roger Federer kicks the ball after an inconsistent bounce as
he plays his Men's Singles semifinal match against Czech Republic's Tomas
Berdych on day eleven at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London,
yesterday. AP PHOTOS
In this November 27, 2016, file photo, Croatia's Marin Cilic gestures after
winning a point against Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro during their
Davis Cup finals tennis singles match in Zagreb, Croatia.
France's Warren Barguil, wearing the best climber's dotted jersey,
celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the thirteenth stage of the
Tour de France cycling race over 101 kilometers (62.8 miles) with start in
Saint-Girons and finish in Foix, France, yesterday. AP PHOTO
TOUR DE FRANCE
1. Warren Barguil, France, Sunweb,
2. Nairo Quintana, Colombia, Movistar,
3. Alberto Contador, Spain, Trek-Segafre-
do, same time.
4. Mikel Landa, Spain, Sky, :02 behind.
5. Simon Yates, Britain, Orica-Scott, 1:39.
6. Daniel Martin, Ireland, Quick-Step
Floors, same time.
7. Michal Kwiatkowski, Poland, Sky, 1:48.
8. Chris Froome, Britain, Sky, same time.
9. Fabio Aru, Italy, Astana, same time.
10. Rigoberto Uran, Colombia, Cannon-
dale Drapac, same time.
1. Fabio Aru, Italy, Astana, 55:30:06.
2. Chris Froome, Britain, Sky, :06.
3. Romain Bardet, France, AG2R La Mon-
4. Rigoberto Uran, Colombia, Cannondale
5. Mikel Landa, Spain, Sky, 1:09.
6. Daniel Martin, Ireland, Quick-Step
7. Simon Yates, Britain, Orica-Scott, 2:04.
8. Nairo Quintana, Colombia, Movistar,
9. Louis Meintjes, South Africa, UAE
Team Emirates, 4:51.
10. Alberto Contador, Spain, Trek-Sega-
STAGE 13 RESULTS
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