UK's Thomas takes lead at Tour Down Under

Updated 23 January 2013
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UK's Thomas takes lead at Tour Down Under

ADELAIDE, Australia: Britain’s Geraint Thomas launched an audacious attack on Corkscrew Hill then outsprinted his rivals to record a brilliant win in the second stage of the Tour Down Under on Wednesday.
Thomas, who won gold in the team pursuit at the London Olympics, broke clear halfway up Corkscrew Hill five kilometers from the finish line and was too strong in the closing stages, taking both the stage win and the overall lead in the season-opening WorldTour race.
The 26-year-old said he had been training hard heading into the new season, using London teammate Bradley Wiggins as motivation.
“Seeing what Brad did (at the Tour de France) last year has definitely given me the confidence to really push on on the road,” Thomas said after winning the stage in 2hr 44min 18sec.
Thomas took the field by surprise when he attacked on Corkscrew.
Although he was caught by three other riders on the downhill run to the finish line, he attacked again 400 meters from home to claim the 116.5km stage from Mt Barker to Rostrevor.
Spaniard Javier Moreno from Movistar was second with Radioshack Leopard’s Belgian rider Ben Hermans third, both a second behind Thomas.
Thomas also took over the ochre jersey as outright leader from Andre Greipel, the big German sprinter finishing more than six minutes back.
Thomas said afterwards he had been determined not to suffer a let down after claiming gold in the team pursuit in London.
“As soon as I finished the Olympics I was straight back on the road,” he said. “I wanted to start the year strong and that’s what I’ve done — it’s definitely a nice reward for all the hard work over winter.”
World road race champion Philippe Gilbert’s chances of overall victory are all but gone after he was involved in a crash soon after getting over Corkscrew.
The Belgian was not badly hurt, but he limped home two minutes and 49 seconds behind the leaders. Frenchman Arnaud Courteille and Giovanni Visconti of Italy were taken to hospital for assessment following the crash, but no riders were seriously injured.
Last year’s champion, Australia’s Simon Gerrans, conceded his hopes of defending the title were also gone after losing contact with the leading group and finishing 2min 36sec behind Thomas.
Thomas said he was worried he had attacked too early on the 2.4km climb up Corkscrew.
“At one point I did think perhaps I’d gone a bit early, got a bit keen up that climb, but I managed to just hang on over the top and fortunately there was another little group behind and we worked really well together,” he said.
“I just took a bit of a run at them and hit them with 400-350 meters to go. I knew it was a fast finish and I just gave it everything.”
The Welshman was quietly confident of hanging on to the lead, although he conceded Thursday’s stage from Unley to Stirling would not be easy.
“Tomorrow’s a tough stage, it’s a hard start so potentially there could be a strong group go away which would be pretty dangerous,” he said.
“But we’ve got a strong team, we’re just going to try and defend it tomorrow and if we do that it will be a real step forward.”
Thursday’s 139km stage starts in inner-city Unley and finishes with an uphill sprint into the town of Stirling.


LeBron’s last-second shot gives Cavs 98-95 win in Game 5

James pushes the Cavaliers within one victory of advancing in the Eastern Conference playoffs. (Getty Images/AFP)
Updated 26 April 2018
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LeBron’s last-second shot gives Cavs 98-95 win in Game 5

  • James' 3-pointer buzzer beater puts Cavaliers within one victory of advancing in the Eastern Conference playoffs
  • James finished with 44 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists.

CLEVELAND: LeBron James hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, a crowning moment for another brilliant performance, to give Cleveland a 98-95 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night in Game 5, putting the Cavaliers within one victory of advancing in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Moments after blocking Victor Oladipo’s possible go-ahead driving layup, James caught the inbounds pass, took two dribbles and dropped the winner over Thaddeus Young.
As Cleveland’s sellout crowd exploded, James hugged rookie teammate Cedi Osman before jumping on the scorer’s table to celebrate another of those moments that will define his career.
James finished with 44 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and went 15 of 15 from the line.
Kyle Korver added 19 points and Cleveland’s much-maligned defense tightened just in time as the Cavaliers seized their first lead in the first-round series after being down 1-0 and 2-1.
Cleveland can close out Indiana with a win Friday night in Indianapolis.
Domantas Sabonis scored 22 points, and Young had 16 for the Pacers, who battled back to tie it 95-all on Sabonis’ 15-foot jumper with 33 seconds left. Indiana, which held Cleveland without a field goal for more than seven minutes during their fourth-quarter rally forced James into a turnover and had a chance to re-take the lead.
Oladipo, who shot just 2 of 15, drove the left side and was at the rim when James swooped in for a block on a play reminiscent of his Game 7 block on Andre Iguodala in the 2016 NBA Finals.
Oladipo’s shooting woes continued. He’s only 12 of 50 from the field in the last three games. He scored 32 in the Pacers’ Game 1 win, but the Cavs have been double-teaming him ever since.
The third quarter has been a major problem for Cleveland all season. The Cavs had tried everything to try and shake things up after halftime, even doing layup lines at the break in Game 4 like a high school squad.
Turns out, all it took was some defensive intensity.
Down by seven at half, the Cavs swarmed the Pacers in the third quarter, forcing five turnovers in the first six minutes and holding Indiana to one field goal over the first 6:52 while opening with a 19-3 run.
Cleveland outscored Indiana 32-17 in the third, when the Pacers shot just 5 for 16 (31 percent) and committed seven turnovers.
The Cavs were again without starting point guard George Hill, who missed his second straight game with back spasms.
DWYANE’S WORLD
James had enough to worry about with the Pacers that he didn’t want to discuss close friend Dwyane Wade’s future.
Miami’s star is mulling retirement after the Heat were eliminated Tuesday in Philadelphia. James spent four years playing in Miami with Wade, who began this season with the Cavs before being traded.
James said that following his last game against Wade he told him, “’If it’s like our last time going against each other, then it’s been everything and more.” James wants to wait for Wade to make his decision and will then “give a more in-depth analysis of his career if he decides to hang ‘em up.”
TIP-INS:
Pacers: Following Lance Stephenson’s aggressive, wrestling-like takedown of Jeff Green in the waning moments of Game 4, coach Nate McMillan said he reminded the fiery forward to be careful. “The officials are going to be watching that, Lance knows that and there are some times where I think they (the Cavs) are taking advantage.” ... Dropped to 2-12 in their last 14 games in Cleveland. ... James’ triple-double in Game 4 was the sixth against Indiana in the playoffs. James has done it to the Pacers three times.
Cavaliers: With his 21st 40-point game in the playoff, James tied the logo — Jerry West — for the second-most all-time. Michael Jordan scored at least 40 in 38 postseason games. .... Hill’s back has improved in the past few days, but he didn’t look close to playing while sitting stiffly in his locker-room chair before the game. ... Browns Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown sat courtside.
UP NEXT
Game 6 is Friday night at Indianapolis.