0 View comments Jonny Wilkinson kicked Toulon into the final of the French Top 14 competition on Friday night, scoring 17 points in his club’s 24-9 win over Toulouse.
The final, against Clermont or Castres, is in Paris next Saturday, removing any chance of Wilkinson flying to Hong Kong with the Lions this week.
Celebrations: Jonny Wilkinson and team-mates after Toulon reached the European Cup final Toulon led 8-6 at half-time of the match in Nantes, with a try from Danie Rossouw.
Wilkinson’s boot ensured they always stayed in charge.
And a late score from English full-back Delon Armitage sealed victory for the newly-crowned European champions.
Getting his kicks: Wilkinson in action for Toulon in Nantes on Friday
0 View comments Lance Armstrong, who found himself at the centre of one of the biggest drugs scandals in sporting history, has suggested Vini Fantini-Selle Italia rider Danilo Di Luca was ‘stupid’ for failing his own drugs test.
Di Luca has been provisionally suspended by the International Cycling Union after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs for the second time in his career.
Controversial: Lance Armstrong has been at the centre of one of the biggest drugs scandals in history A surprise doping test carried out at the 37-year-old’s home on April 29 revealed erythropoietin (EPO) in his system.
And Armstrong wrote on Twitter: ‘Knowing I have 0 cred on the doping issue – I still can’t help but think, “really Di Luca? Are you that f****** stupid??’ After being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, Armstrong confessed to doping in a television interview earlier this year with Oprah Winfrey.
Talking about the failed drugs test, Di Luca said: ‘ I wasn t expecting this.
It was a surprise for me.
I m disappointed.
I ll ask for the backup analysis then we can talk again.’ Di Luca was previously handed a two-year ban – later reduced to nine months – after testing positive for CERA during the 2009 edition of the Giro d Italia.
A UCI statement read: ‘This morning the UCI advised Italian rider Danilo Di Luca that he is provisionally suspended.
Failed test: Di Luca in action on the eighth stage of the Giro D’Italia ‘The decision to provisionally suspend this rider was made in response to a report from the WADA accredited laboratory in Koln indicating an Adverse Analytical Finding of EPO in a urine sample collected from him in an out of competition test on April 29, 2013.
‘The provisional suspension of Mr.
Danilo Di Luca remains in force until a hearing panel convened by the Italian Cycling Federation determines whether he has committed an anti-doping rule violation under Article 21 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules.
Danilo Di Luca has the right to request and attend the analysis of his B sample.
‘Under the World Anti-Doping Code and the UCI Anti-Doping Rules, the UCI is unable to provide any additional information at this time.’
Gerald Ciolek moved into the race lead with victory on stage three Britain’s Ben Swift and Geraint Thomas remained in the hunt for overall honours at Bayern Rundfahrt by finishing in fourth and 21st places respectively after Gerald Ciolek had sprinted to victory on stage three.
The duo were thrust right in the mix after some solid work from their industrious Team Sky team-mates, but it was the MTN Qhuebeka man who emerged triumphant by outpacing Arnaud Demare (FDJ) and Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling) in a pulsating finale.
Bonus points accrued on the line saw Ciolek leap to the top of the general classification and open up a six-second advantage over Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge).
Swift, meanwhile, sits 10 seconds back in fourth place overall, with Thomas just three seconds further adrift in sixth.
The third day of action had taken the riders 196.8km in a westerly direction from Viechtach to Kelheim and Blel Kadri (AG2R), Ruben Moreno (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Jerome Cousin (Europcar) broke clear on the day’s first categorised climb.
With 80km in the legs, the trio had edged over six minutes ahead, before Orica-GreenEDGE and Team Sky began working together in the peloton.
With the likes of Joe Dombrowski and Jonathan Tiernan-Locke upping the pace, those time gains were gradually reduced and when the gap had been pegged back to a minute, Kadri shed his collaborators in a solo bid for glory.
The Frenchman’s efforts always appeared in vain, and so it proved when Team Sky went hard to haul him back on the final climb of the day.
By that point the peloton had been noticeably reduced, and only 100 or so riders remained in contact as they dropped into the destination town.
Team Sky stayed at the head of affairs with Lampre-Merida and FDJ as the peloton commenced the final laps in Kelheim, but despite a late flurry from Orica-GreenEDGE, it was MTN Qhuebeka who were celebrating after Ciolek produced a devastating late kick to wrap up his first win since Milan-San Remo in March.
Every college football team is taking steps forward. Especially yours. Why doesn’t the national media recognize this?
College football season nears, which means fans of every college football team are becoming more and more convinced everything’s gonna break the right way this year, and it would be both ridiculous and indicative of an agenda to suggest otherwise.
“We can’t have injury luck like we had last year.”
“Can’t lose that many fumbles again.”
“Alabama’s not on the schedule, or we get Alabama at home, or Alabama lost a bunch of offensive linemen.”
“Our new coach or coordinator or whatever is taking the restrictor plate off.”
“We got some great recruits coming in, as if we’re the only program in the country with some great recruits coming in.”
“Ticket sales are up or only slightly down.”
“Our rival is falling off hard.
I can smell it.”
“We finally have a quarterback. That’s not an overstatement. We did not have a quarterback last year.”
“At least we’re not Maryland.”
In short, every single team in the country will be better than it was last year.
There’s no way around it. Thus, below we have the standings we’ll have at the end of the regular season, assuming each fanbase’s homeriest faction is correct about its team. These were arrived at by looking at each team’s schedule, weighing how homery each fanbase’s homeriest members will be by August, and (lastly) sort of thinking about how good each team is.
These are not predictions.
These are HOMER STANDINGS.
Three facts about the following lists:
- Multiple readers will be bothered by their teams being awarded fewer wins in the HOMER STANDINGS than were hoped for, meaning multiple readers will out-homer the HOMER STANDINGS. (Or the HOMER STANDINGS were actually too low!)
- “Absolutely no fan of my team is that deluded.” You are not correct. Go through the games on your schedule, week-by-week. You’ll feel yourself leaning toward such a number.
Reason might prevail, but it might not.
- One team will actually exceed its HOMER STANDINGS win count, because college football is forever stranger than any fiction.
ACC Miami 9,000-0 Florida State 100% wins Clemson 12-0 Georgia Tech 11-1 North Carolina 11-1 Virginia Tech 11-1 Duke 10-2 N.C.
State 10-2 Boston College 9-3 Maryland 9-3 Syracuse 9-3 Virginia 9-3 Pittsburgh 8-4 Wake Forest 8-4 AAC Louisville Rutgers 12-0 Cincinnati 11-1 UCF 11-1 Connecticut 9-3 SMU 9-3 Temple 9-3 USF 9-3 Houston 8-4 Memphis 7-5 Big 12 Baylor 12-0 Kansas State 12-0 Oklahoma 12-0 Oklahoma State 12-0, but dickish TCU 12-0 Texas 12-0 Texas Tech 10-2, but pretty West Virginia 10-2 Iowa State 9-3 Kansas 7-ha ha I’m sorry no Big Ten Michigan One more than Ohio Ohio State One more than TSUN Nebraska 12-0 Northwestern 12-0 Wisconsin 12-0 Michigan State 11-1 Penn State 9-3 Purdue 9-3 Minnesota 8-4 Illinois 7-5 Indiana 7-5 Iowa send beers C-USA East Carolina 11-1 Louisiana Tech 11-1 Tulsa 11-1 Marshall 9-3 Middle Tennessee 9-3 North Texas 9-3 Rice 9-3 UTSA 9-3 FAU 8-4 Southern Miss 8-4 UTEP 7-5 Tulane 6-6 UAB 6-6 FIU Independent Notre Dame BYU 12-0 Navy Army Old Dominion 8-4 Army Navy Idaho 7-5 New Mexico State 6-6 MAC Bowling Green 12-0 Northern Illinois 12-0 Ohio 12-0 Ball State 10-2 Toledo 10-2 Kent State 9-3 Miami (Ohio) 9-3 Western Michigan 8-4 Central Michigan 7-5 Eastern Michigan 7-5 Buffalo 6-6 Akron 5-7 UMass N/A MWC Boise State 61,493,451,3,25325 Fresno State 12-0 San Diego State 11-1 San Jose State 11-1 Nevada 10-2 Air Force 9-3 Utah State 9-3 New Mexico 8-4 UNLV 8-4 Wyoming 8-4 Hawaii 7-5 Colorado State 7-5 Pac-12 Oregon 12-0 Stanford 12-0 UCLA 12-0 Arizona State 11-1 Oregon State 11-1 USC Grumbling Washington 10-2 Arizona 9-3 Cal 9-3 Utah 9-3 Washington State 6-6 Colorado 2-10?
SEC Alabama Alabama Florida 12-0 Georgia 12-0 LSU Douze et z ro South Carolina 12-0 Texas A&M 12-0 Vanderbilt 11.99-.01 Ole Miss 11.95-.05 Tennessee 11.91-.09 Kentucky 11.73-.27 Auburn 11.61-.39 Mississippi State 11.47-.53 Arkansas 11.39-.61 Missouri 9-3 Sun Belt Arkansas State 11-1 Louisiana-Lafayette 11-1 Western Kentucky 11-1 ULM 10-2 Troy 9-3 South Alabama 8-4 Texas State 8-4 Georgia State hello
More from SB Nation:
- ^ Bill Connelly: Will Missouri s second SEC impression top its first? (www.sbnation.com)
- ^ How the hell do you stop Baylor s offense? (www.footballstudyhall.com)
- ^ EA Sports used Tim Tebow s name in 2009 NCAA Football game (www.sbnation.com)
- ^ Matt Barkley and Denard Robinson review Star Trek Into Darkness (www.sbnation.com)
- ^ National recruiting coverage (www.sbnation.com)
- ^ Today s college football news headlines (www.sbnation.com)
Roger Federer: enjoying his tennis too much to call it quits Roger Federer has no plans to retire from tennis anytime soon ahead of the start of the French Open at Roland Garros on Sunday.
The 31-year-old Swiss legend is one of the game’s greatest ever players with an incredible haul of 17 Grand Slam titles, three more than American great Pete Sampras.
Federer, whose only success at Roland Garros came in 2009 against Robin Soderling, has only won one Grand Slam since Australian Open success over Andy Murray in 2010.
It had been suggested Federer could be mulling over hanging up his tennis racquet once and for all, but he is enjoying his tennis too much and wants to stay in the game for a long as possible.
Compete “I think you want to re-live those moments again,” he told Sky Sports .
“As long as I enjoy playing then why stop doing something that I enjoy doing.
“I’d be retired way too early.
I’d love to do this for a really, really long time.
“Unfortunately it comes to an end at some point.
I still think I can compete at the highest levels.
We’ll see how things go.”
Bath hooker Rob Webber will lead England in Sunday’s uncapped international against the Barbarians at Twickenham.
Head coach Stuart Lancaster named an experimental team this morning for the first game this month which sees England, without their Lions, travel to Argentina for two full Test matches.
Webber, whose career has been hit by injury, is a surprise choice in a team which includes three uncapped players in wings Christian Wade and Marland Yarde plus flanker Matt Kvesic.
Leader: Rob Webber in training on Friday, will skipper Stuart Lancaster’s England against the Barbarians Man of the moment: Christian Wade will start for England at Twickenham Captain: Rob Webber (right) will captain England against the Barbarians on Sunday ENGLAND TEAM TO FACE BAA-BAAS Starting XV : Brown, Wade, Joseph, Twelvetrees, Yarde, Burns, Wigglesworth, Corbisiero, Webber (c), Wilson, Launchbury, Attwood, Johnson, Kvesic, Morgan Subs : Paice, Marler, Thomas, Myall, Vunipola, Thomas, May, Eastmond.
Overall, the team contains nine players under-24.
Lancaster’s raw line up will tackle a strong-looking Barbarians team led by ex-England centre Mike Tindall and Wales’ out-of-favour fly half James Hook.
Hook will face Gloucester fly-half Freddie Burns, who made his debut as a substitute in the famous win over the All Blacks last winter, but missed out on the Six Nations due to a knee injury.
Award: Christian Wade will start against the Barbarians Lancaster said: ‘Rob Webber finished the season strongly with Bath and I know his leadership qualities well.
‘I am sure he’ll show the way backed up by the other senior players in the team.’ Besides the three uncapped players who start, Lancaster has picked five more untried men among the subs in Sale forwards Henry Thomas and Kearnan Myall, Wasps back rower Billy Vunipola, Exeter scrum-half Haydn Thomas plus backs in Gloucester’s Jonny May and Bath’s Kyle Eastmond.
Bonfire: Disappointed at Chester Connections of Bonfire remain baffled by the four-year-old’s poor display in the Huxley Stakes at Chester.
A big run had been expected from the Andrew Balding-trained gelding in the Group Three contest on the Roodee on the back of a promising effort on his reappearance in the Earl of Sefton Stakes at Newmarket where he was third to Mull Of Killough.
However, it was not to be as Bonfire finished last of seven behind Danadana.
“We are regrouping with him,” said Harry Herbert, managing director of owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing told At The Races.
“He was really disappointing at Chester having run very well first time up at the Craven meeting.
The Huxley looked absolutely ideal for him.
“Everything came right but he didn’t come right for whatever reason.
Nothing has come to light so we are trying to kick on.
“Andrew wants to do a couple more tests and provided they are all clear, then we will look for another option for him.
“I’m not exactly sure where we will go with him.”
Rob Webber: Bath hooker to captain England against Barbarians Bath hooker Rob Webber will captain England for the first time when he leads the side out for the match against the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday.
Gloucester-bound flanker Matt Kvesic and London Irish wing Marland Yarde, who are both 21, will make their debuts in a youthful side that contains nine players aged 24 or under.
Wasps wing Christian Wade, voted the players’ player of the season on Wednesday night, starts on the right wing and is the only other uncapped player in the starting XV.
Other newcomers named among the replacements for the non-cap game are Bath centre and former England rugby league international Kyle Eastmond, former Sale lock Kearnan Myall, Exeter scrum-half Haydn Thomas, Sale prop Henry Thomas and Wasps No 8 Billy Vunipola.
England head coach Stuart Lancaster, who is without England’s British and Irish Lions contingent plus those from Aviva Premiership finalists Leicester and Northampton, said: “We’ve selected a young and exciting side.
“This is a great opportunity for these players who have shone in the Aviva Premiership this season to step up in front of passionate home crowd at Twickenham Stadium.
“Taking on a very experienced Barbarians team is the first challenge they face this summer with matches in Uruguay and Argentina to follow and this sequence of games is a key part of our development as a team.
“Rob Webber finished the season strongly with Bath and I know his leadership qualities well.
I am sure he’ll show the way backed up by the other senior players in the team.” England: Brown, Wade, Joseph, Twelvetrees, Yarde, Burns, Wigglesworth, Corbisiero, Webber (capt), Wilson, Launchbury, Attwood, Johnson, Kvesic, Morgan.
Replacements: Paice, Marler, Haydn Thomas, Myall, Vunipola, Henry Thomas, Eastmond, May.
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Christian Benteke, right, with Marouane Fellaini, has flown to the USA with Belgium after casting doubt on his future with Aston Villa.
Photograph: Photonews/Photonews via Getty Images Christian Benteke has cast doubt on his future at Aston Villa by indicating that he would like to leave if a leading club such as Arsenal try to buy him.
Villa want the striker to sign a new, improved contract but Benteke has given a press conference on international duty with Belgium before their friendly against the USA in which he is quoted as saying that he may demand a transfer: “If Aston Villa say I must stay, I won’t necessarily accept that.
I do not in any way want to feel I didn’t get the most out of my career.” Benteke is further quoted as saying: “Of course playing the World Cup in Rio is in my head.
But I have no fear of falling out of the team.
There is no point in me getting into a tug-of-war with Villa.
“If the chance comes up for me to join a club like Arsenal, I’m convinced we can reach a compromise where everyone comes out a winner.” Benteke’s agent Kismet Eris told the Sun: “This always happens when he goes away with the national team.
I’d prefer he didn’t speak to journalists but the Belgian team insist he does a press conference.
“If he was unhappy at Villa we’d have seen that.
But he’s not.”