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#1 09-05-2018 11:09:09

DMT
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Registered: 08-12-2017
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PARIS Adam Henrique Jersey , July 23 (Xinhua) -- British cycling star Christopher Froome won his third straight and fourth Tour de France title as the 104th edition of the world's most pretigious road cycing tournament concluded here on Sunday.


After the 21st and final stage that cannot impact the overall standings, the Sky rider Froome, without a single stage win this year, won on his consistency throughout to clock 86 hours, 20 minutes and 55 seconds during the 3540km ride in 23 days.


The British led Colombian Rigoberto Uran by 54 seconds, and that was the smallest margin from the second-ranked rider in his four triumphs, also in 2013, 2015 and 2016.


Before Sunday's finale, starting from Montgeron and stretching 103km en route to the Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris, Froome effectively bagged away his fourth title. He just needed to finish safely in the French capital, as what he did on Sunday, chatting with Spanish veteran Alberto Contador during the ride.


The 167 riders went past a few landmark sites in Paris such as Les Invalides and Arc de Triomphe. They also rode through the Grand Palais, a proposed venue for fencing and taekwondo by Paris for the 2024 Olympic Games.


The Dutch Dylan Groenewegen managed to claim the eighth bunch sprint victory this year as he outclassed Andre Greipel and Edvald Boasson Hagen in the final several hundred meters.


Tony Martin attacked from the bunch, before the peloton was reunited with 10km to go. With 300m remaining, Hagen launched the sprint but he fell short against Greipel, who expected to finish a hat-trick after winning this prestigious stage in 2015 and 2016.


However, Groenewegen stopped his quest to outsprint the German and take his first ever victory in the tournament.


Local favorite Romain Bardet, last year's runner-up, trailed Froome by two minutes and 20 seconds to sit third.


Froome's teammate Mikel Landa failed to make onto the podium with just one second adrift Bardet. Italian Fabio Aru, who wore the yellow jersey for two stages midway in the tournament, was subject to the fifth position, three minutes and five seconds behind Froome.


The polka-dot jersey representing king of mountains belonged to Warren Barguil with 169 points, and the Frenchman also took away the combative award. Australian rider Michael Matthews comfortably maintained his spinters green jersey. Simon Yates was crowned the best young rider with an advantage of over two minutes. Team Sky stood first on overall team's standings.


Tears often come along with joy, as title favorite Richie Porte, Froome's teammate Geraint Thomas, 30-time stage winner Mark Cavendish and former spinters jersey owner Marcel Kittel all bid farewell to the Tour ahead of time due to injury after crashes.


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SANTIAGO, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- Just one day before of the first match of the South American World Cup qualifying tournament, Chile knows Brazil is a rival that still commands respect and it is ready to face it, local press reported Wednesday.


Chile and Brazil will play the first game of the tournament on Thursday in National Stadium in Santiago.


Both squads will not play with all their best players, but still they will use the game to test their strength.


From the Chilean squad, midfielder Charles Aranguiz is injured and will not play, and it is not sure if Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez will be part of the team against Brazil.


Brazil, led by coach Dunga, will lack the presence of Neymar, who is suspended as a penalty received during Copa America.


Jorge Sampaoli, coach of the Chilean squad, said he is not sure if Vidal will be part of the team on Thursday.


MADRID, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale is looking forward to ending his injury nightmare when his side take on traditional rivals, FC Barcelona on Saturday evening.


The 'Clasico" is the biggest game of the season so far in Spain and marks the perfect opportunity for the Welshman to show he is back to his best 6 weeks after suffering an injury helping his country's historic qualification for the 2016 European Championships.


With Karim Benzema still sidelined and doubts over Cristiano Ronaldo's form, Bale could have the perfect chance to slot into the Madrid starting 11.


"I've been out injured for six weeks and I haven't had the chance to play as much as I'd have liked, but I feel strong, fully fit and ready for battle," he said in an interview on Thursday.


Barcelona and Real Madrid are first and second in the BBVA Primera Liga and Saturday's game already looks like and early title decided between the pair.


"We're the two biggest teams in Spain. We always challenge for the title, the Champions League and other silverware. It's an unbelievable rivalry, which adds pressure and makes these games so very exciting," said Bale, who expects Barcelona, who could also recover Leo Messi after injury, to provide a stiff challenge.


"They will play as they always do, they never change their style and neither do we, that means we will see an attacking game from both sides," commented the forward, who believes that despite a defeat to Sevilla 2 weeks ago, Real Madrid are in a good moment of form.


"We have only lost one match so far this season, and although there is room for improvement. I hope we improve over the course of the season and go on to win the title," he concluded.

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