Cavendish takes sprint finish to win stage three in style
SPORTS DIGEST:Team Sky rider Mark Cavendish won a sprint finish to take stage three of the Tour of Britain in Dumfries yesterday.
The 2011 world road race champion, who is hoping to negotiate an amicable split from the successful British team, had suffered a crash in the closing stages of the opening round and finished second best in a dash for the line at Knowsley Safari Park on Monday.
However, after the peleton had finally reeled in the breakaway group heading into the final two kilometres, the Manx Missile was not to be denied as he sprinted clear.
At one stage of the 152km route, a breakaway group of IG’s Peter Hawkins, Raleigh’s Bernard Sulzberger, Kristian House of Rapha Condor, Peter Williams of Node4-Giordana Racing and Vacansoleil’s Wesley Kreder opened up an advantage of a almost four minutes on the peleton. However, as the course, weaved back into the final lap of Dumfries, that was eaten away.
Second place was enough for Monday’s winner, Australian Howard, to claim the IG Gold jersey. Aidis Kruopis of Orica was third and Luke Rowe fourth.
Consistent Mueller extends his lead
SAILINGLighter winds and a flat sea marked the third day of racing off the Old Head of Kinsale yesterday where 60 crews from 16 nations are competing in the Dragon Gold Cup.
Germany’s Tommy Mueller extended his overall lead thanks in part to a highly consistent third place, but more down to a massive wind-shift that punished the unwary.
Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen finished back in 34th place, a result that dropped the Dane from second overall to eighth.
However, he can take some consolation from Lawrie Smith’s recovery to third overall despite torn ligaments from Sunday’s racing. The former round the world skipper still needs crutches to walk and could yet have problems if today’s forecast of fresh winds puts more physical demands on the crews.
Martin Byrne, with Adam Winkelmann and Pedro Andrade, finished 33rd and dropped from fifth overall to 12th place. Kinsale YC commodore Cameron Good, with Simon Furney and Henry Kingston, re-entered the top 10 overall and retook the lead of the Corinthian event in ninth overall.
– DAVID BRANIGAN
King hails emerging young Irish talent
SOCCERThe Republic of Ireland Under-21 manager Noel King yesterday praised the quality of his side’s football following their outstanding away victory over Italy in Casarano.
It was 10 years since the Italians lost a home competitive Under-21 game but that record was smashed on Monday as King’s side sealed a 4-2 success – although qualification for next year’s Uefa finals was beyond them.