Froome extends lead at Tour of Oman

Updated 15 February 2013
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Froome extends lead at Tour of Oman

MUSCAT: Tour de France runner-up Christopher Froome extended his overall lead in the Tour of Oman after holding off Alberto Contador and Oliver Joaquim Rodriguez to win the fifth stage yesterday.
Froome, a Team Sky rider who grabbed the lead after the fourth stage, finished the 144-km trek from Al Alam Palace to Boshar in 3 1/2 hours. Froome beat Team Saxo’s Contador to the line. Katusha’s Rodriguez, who won the fourth stage, also was edged out.
With one stage remaining, Froome leads Contador by 27 seconds overall. Former Tour winner Cadel Evans is a further 12 seconds back.
With about 25 km left, Froome and Contador caught a breakaway group of nine riders.
As they approached the third and final climb, Contador attacked first but couldn’t shake Froome while Tony Gallopin and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins dropped back. Contador, Rodriguez and Froome extended their lead on a group of seven.
The front three held a 20-second lead over the group with 3 km remaining before it came down to a sprint.
“It was a really exciting finish, coming down to a sprint between me, Alberto and Rodriguez. Luckily I just managed to get the better of them on the line,” Froome said.
“Tomorrow, hopefully the sprinters’ teams will take advantage of the flatter profile and it should end in a sprint if all goes to plan. I’ve extended my lead to 27 seconds, so it puts us in a good place going into tomorrow’s stage.” Team Saxo Sports Director Lars Michaelsen praised Contador, a two-time Tour winner stripped of a third title for using a banned substance, for his late attack.
“Our plan was to have a rider out there to support Alberto when he according to plan launched an attack from the bunch. Alberto keeps trying and trying, and even takes bonus seconds along the way to climb up the General Classification,” Michaelsen said. “It’s really admirable that he keeps insisting throughout the stage, and this way he repays his fans, his sponsors and his team. He’s simply a winner and, apparently, no one can hold him back when he gets a smell of victory.”


Heartbreak for Mohamed Salah and Egypt as Russia all but secure last-16 spot

Updated 19 June 2018
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Heartbreak for Mohamed Salah and Egypt as Russia all but secure last-16 spot

ST. PETERSBURG: Russia scored three goals in a 15-minute span early in the second half to set up a 3-1 win over Egypt on Tuesday, moving the host nation to the brink of the World Cup’s knockout stage.
Mohamed Salah won and converted a penalty for a consolation goal on his return from injury but Egypt’s first World Cup in 28 years could be over in barely five days following a second straight loss.
Ahmed Fathi poked the ball into his own net — the fifth own-goal of the tournament — to put Russia ahead in the 47th minute. Then Denis Cheryshev and Artyom Dzyuba scored in quick succession to leave Russia on course for a victory that followed up a 5-0 opening-night win over Saudi Arabia.
It was Cheryshev’s third goal of the World Cup, putting him tied with Cristiano Ronaldo at the top of the scoring chart.
Russia’s place in the round of 16 will be assured if Uruguay wins or draws against the Saudis on Wednesday. Those two scenarios would also eliminate Egypt, which started with a 1-0 loss to Uruguay.
The hopes of 100 million Egyptians were raised when Salah was selected in the starting lineup, the Liverpool forward making his comeback after 3 1/2 weeks out with damaged ligaments in his left shoulder after a tangle with Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final.
Salah trotted out for his pre-match warmup to roars from Egypt fans, who at times appeared to outnumber their Russian counterparts. They shouted every time Salah’s face flashed up on the big screen and when his name was announced before kickoff.
Yet from the start, it was clear that Salah was staying out of anything too physical and there was no concerted effort from his Egypt teammates to pick him out each time. He didn’t touch the ball until the seventh minute.
He did win the penalty — confirmed by the video assistant referee after Salah was pulled down by Roman Zobnin. He converted it in the 73rd minute, but it wasn’t enough. Egypt is still without a victory in six World Cup matches.
Russia is nearly assured of advancing from the group stage for the first time since the Soviet era.
Cheryshev, who entered the World Cup as a fringe player, is proving lethal in front of goal, with his latest a side-footed effort from close range from Mario Fernandes’ cross in the 59th. Dzyuba’s goal was more direct, the striker chesting down a long ball from defender Ilya Kutepov, beating his marker and curling home a low finish.