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onference. Houston (6-6-5) remained w

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onference. Houston (6-6-5) remained w

Postby kaisy on Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:01 am

BESANCON, France -- At this years Tour de France, Team Sky doesnt need to worry. After just nine stages and two weeks to go before the peloton reaches Paris, Bradley Wiggins has already stamped his authority on the race and, barring an accident, will become the first British winner of cyclings most prestigious event on July 22. But in cycling, accidents happen. Wiggins knows it well after crashing out of last years Tour with a broken collarbone. Never mind. Sky has the perfect plan B in Christopher Froome, another Brit who would be Wiggins main challenger if he was with another team. The Kenyan-born Froome came to prominence last year when he finished second at the Vuelta ahead of Wiggins. He has been the perfect domestique for the Londoner so far on the Tour, working hard in the first batch of medium mountain stages to defend his leaders yellow jersey. Doing this, he claimed his maiden Tour stage win over the weekend, finished second in Mondays time trial behind Wiggins and is third in the overall standings. Froome conceded 35 seconds to Wiggins in the 41.5-kilometre effort from Arc-et-Senans to Besancon but took 68 seconds off defending Tour champion Cadel Evans. Wiggins leads Evans by 1 minute and 53 seconds overall while Froome sits in third place, 2:07 off the pace. "The plan has always been to have a backup leader in the team," Sky sports director Sean Yates said. "It gives us a little bit of freedom, the freedom to use different cards when we need to. And at this moment of time, Froome is more than capable of winning this Tour if something happens to Brad." Froome, a mildly spoken 27-year-old whose polite manners contrast with Wiggins off-colour outbursts, is adamant he is not on the Tour to fulfil his own ambitions. "Im here for Brad," he said. "Id love to be up there, the best I can be, fifth, eighth, tenth, whatever it is. If I give everything, I will be happy. The team objective is to look after Bradley and thats my job to make sure that he arrives in the best position in Paris." After his great showing at last years Vuelta, the lanky Froome was expected to be one of Wiggins top lieutenants at the Tour. He is now proving to himself that he can also win the race. "He is a very intelligent guy, he comes from a very nice family," Sky manager Dave Brailsford said. "But he is also a fun guy. He is a real character and all the guys really like him. He is still young, he has got a great future ahead of him." Froome was born in Nairobi and moved to South Africa as a teenager with his family. Having started his career as a mountain biker, he turned professional in 2007 and competed for Kenya at the world championships. He opted for British citizenship in 2008 and joined Sky two years later. During his first year with the British outfit, Froome made the headlines when he was disqualified from the Giro for holding onto a motorbike during a climb. His rise to notoriety was hampered by bilharzia, a water-borne disease he caught in 2010. "He showed some fantastic numbers in training and the question for us was why did he not perform like he did in the Vuelta before. But he got this disease and once he got on top of that his performances improved," Brailsford said. "What he is doing on the Tour is just a continuation of what he did at the Vuelta last year. Had he not punctured (earlier in the race) he would be right up there with Bradley, and the biggest challenger would have been within the team." Jamaal Charles Elite Jersey . When Minnesota showed new interest in the 6-foot-11, 260-pound defensive specialist, well, he didnt exactly have to mull his decision over. Jamaal Charles Womens Jersey . Then again, thats what many said about his first season at the helm of a program in tatters. OBrien won the 2012 Paul "Bear" Bryant College Coach of the Year Award on Thursday night, beating out five other finalists. . Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - The Tampa Bay Rays finalized their roster for the start of the 2011 campaign on Thursday, placing pitcher J. Jamaal Charles Youth Jersey . McIlroy only had four birdie putts on the front nine, none closer than 20 feet. He took two chips to reach the second green. Jamaal Charles Authentic Jersey . -- Cristie Kerr watched her short winning par putt fall on the second hole of a playoff against Suzann Pettersen, hugged her caddie, a few players who stayed around to watch and had one more hug she had waited a long time to give.HARRISON, N.J. -- Before Saturdays practice, Tim Cahill had a premonition about New York Red Bulls teammate Fabian Espindola. "I told Fabian yesterday that he was going to score," Cahill said of the Red Bulls forward, who got his first goal since April 20 in a 2-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo on Sunday. "It didnt matter how long he had been without a goal," Cahill said. "Hes been playing well. When our front line plays well, it takes the pressure off the midfield. Im so happy for him. Ive said time and time again that this team cant worry about stats. We have to worry about getting wins." Espindola broke a scoreless tie in the 60th minute off a feed from Eric Alexander. Jonny Steele put the game away with two minutes left in regulation, giving the Red Bulls (8-6-4) their first win since defeating Los Angeles on May 19. They were 0-2-1 during that span, which included a three-week hiatus. "It was huge for us," said first-year coach Mike Petke. "I think todays game was vital. I wont say the must-win thing, but it was a very vital game. If we dominated like the way we did, thats a positive step to get back to the mentality we had before the break." The Red Bulls moved within one point of first-place Montreal in the Eastern Conference. Houston (6-6-5) remained winless in its last seven matches, going 0-4-3. "Were just making too many mistakes and those mistakes punish you," Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear said. "Overall, our play has been good, but sometimes it comes down to what youre doing in both boxes. You go through things like this in the MLS, but just because youve done it before doesnt mean Im not worried and upset." Espindola, who had two goals in the season opener, got behind the defence after Aleexander fed him with a perfect lead.dddddddddddd He made a solid 20-yard run with the ball, then touched a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Tally Hall for Espindolas fourth of the season. Steele then put the game away in the 88th minute. He took a return pass from Thierry Henry and buried it hard into the upper right corner of the goal. It was Steeles second goal of the season. "We were playing very hard and we got some good chances," Steele said. "We had our chances in the second half and we capitalized. If you keep a clean sheet, then you have a good chance to win." Steele took a kick to the face from Kofi Sarkodie in first-half stoppage time and received a cut to the chin that required five stitches. "But nothing was going to keep me off the field today," Steele said. Petke credited the play of his two goal scorers. "If you would have told me before the season that Fabian and Jonny would be front-line starters for us at this point, I would have said, Probably not," Petke said. "The two of them work so hard. They epitomize what hard work means. They got rewards for their hard and work and it was good for them." Luis Robles made three saves for his fifth shutout of the season. "It was a real important win for us," Cahill said. "We needed to bring back some stability. We hadnt won in a while. But I felt confident from the start. I knew we had the upper hand. I didnt feel like they could hurt us as long as we played with discipline." The Dynamo failed to score a goal for their third straight game. "Its been a difficult time for us and things have been going against us," Giles Barnes said. "Its a game of inches. ... Once we get one, then things will open up for us." ' ' '
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