Quintana posts surprise victory in Tour of Basque Country

Updated 07 April 2013
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Quintana posts surprise victory in Tour of Basque Country

BEASAIN, Spain: Colombia’s Nairo Quintana fended off overwhelming favorite Richie Porte of Australia to take a surprise overall win in the Tour of the Basque Country yesterday.
The 23-year-old Movistar rider finished second in the final, hilly individual 24-kilometer time trial at Beasain, 17 seconds down on world champion Tony Martin which was enough for Quintana to claim the biggest win of his career.
Paris-Nice winner Porte, victorious on Friday’s mountain stage, was a below-expectations fourth in the time trial, 40 seconds behind German Martin, and had to settle for second overall, 23 seconds adrift of Quintana in the final standings.
Porte’s Sky team mate and former race leader Sergio Luis Henao of Colombia dropped to third at 34 seconds.
“I’ve been looking for a big win like this since Paris-Nice,” Quintana told reporters. “I don’t know if you can call this (victory) a surprise.
“This time trial definitely suited me, with so many hilly sections, and I’ve been gambling on a good performance here all week.
When a time trial is not flat, then I can be up there with the big names in races like this one.”
Having beaten Sky’s two favorites, while Spain’s top contender Alberto Contador faded badly to finish 10th in the time trial, Quintana said he had bigger goals.
“I’ve got to go on learning, but my idea is to fight for a Grand Tour in the future.”
In 2010, Quintana took the Tour de L’Avenir, cycling’s top stage race for young riders and was snapped up by leading Spanish squad Movistar in 2012.
Last year, he inflicted a rare defeat on the all-powerful Sky in the hardest Alpine stage of the Criterium du Dauphine, the key warm-up race for the Tour de France.
Victorious in a mountain stage of the Tour of Catalonia two weeks ago, Quintana moved into second overall in the Basque Country race with a win on the Arrate summit on Thursday.
Martin repeated his 2011 victory in the Basque Country’s final stage on a rain-soaked, technical course, but said he had come looking for a bigger prize.
“The week was not perfect for me, I crashed on the first stage and I’d wanted to go for the overall victory,” the Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider told reporters.
“It was a dangerous time trial, with the bad weather and a lot of corners, so I really hope that in the Basque Country in the future there will be a better one.”


Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 to win Champions League

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale celebrates scoring their third goal. (REUTERS/Andrew Boyers)
Updated 27 May 2018
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Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 to win Champions League

  • adrid is the first team to achieve that feat since Bayern Munich in 1976. This is their fourth title in five years, and their 13th overall.
  • Jurgen Klopp’s and Liverpool’s own evening was marred by the loss of a distraught Mohamed Salah to injury in the first half, the Egyptian coming off half an hour in having damaged his shoulder.

KIEV, Ukraine: Gareth Bale’s eye-catching scissor-kick helped Real Madrid to a third successive Champions League title on Saturday with a 3-1 victory over a Liverpool side thwarted by a pair of goalkeeping blunders and Mohamed Salah being forced off injured.

Bale’s jaw-dropping overhead kick put Real 2-1 up moments after his introduction, following a dramatic start to the second half in which Karim Benzema gave Real the lead as a result of a Loris Karius howler.

Sadio Mane had briefly restored parity, but Bale put Real in front again and then made it 3-1 late on with a long-range strike that the unfortunate Karius could only punch into the net.

Jurgen Klopp’s and Liverpool’s own evening was marred by the loss of a distraught Mohamed Salah to injury in the first half, the Egyptian coming off half an hour in having damaged his shoulder.

This was not to be Salah’s night, with Real allowing Zinedine Zidane to become the first coach ever to win the Champions League three years in a row.

Madrid is the first team to achieve that feat since Bayern Munich in 1976. This is their fourth title in five years, and their 13th overall.

Cristiano Ronaldo has now won five in his great career, but even he could not argue that this was Bale’s evening.

The Welshman had been tipped to feature in the Real starting line-up but in the end was left out for Isco — just as he had been in the final win over Juventus last year — before making an emphatic impact as a substitute.

For Liverpool, this game will be remembered for the disaster that befell goalkeeper Karius in the second half, and for Salah’s tears as he departed the pitch at the NSC Olympiyskyi.

The Egyptian hurt his left shoulder as he went down in a challenge with Sergio Ramos in the 25th minute. Five minutes later he made way for Adam Lallana.

His presence at the World Cup could now be in doubt, as could that of Dani Carvajal — the Real right-back came off with a hamstring injury before the interval.

Those injuries temporarily took the sting out of the game after an enthralling start, with Liverpool on top.

It had been uncomfortable for Real, but after Salah departed, they sensed their chance. They even had the ball in the net in the 43rd minute, only to be denied by a marginal offside call.

Ronaldo’s header from Isco’s cross was parried by Karius, and Benzema turned in the loose ball, but the Frenchman had come from a fraction ahead of the last defender and the flag came up.

If that was a let-off for Liverpool, they were their own worst enemies at the start of the second half.

Isco struck the bar after Lallana diverted the ball into his path, before Benzema opened the scoring in the 51st minute.

It was a moment of unbelievable carelessness from Karius, who attempted to roll the ball out to the nearest red shirt only for Benzema to stick out a leg and send it trickling into the net.

Klopp’s side really could have let their heads drop, and yet they were soon back level, Mane turning the ball in after Dejan Lovren headed down James Milner’s corner.

But their renewed hope was crushed upon the introduction of Bale.

The Welshman had been on the field barely two minutes when he met Marcelo’s cross from the left with an improbable leap, back to goal, 15 yards out, to send an overhead kick on his left foot arcing over Karius and in.

Such a strike deserved to be the winner, although it was his long-range shot that beat the embarrassed Karius in the 83rd minute that made sure of the victory.

Mane hit the post for Liverpool in between Bale’s strikes, but they will have to wait a while yet before winning their sixth European Cup.