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The sports wrap 21st May 2018

LanguedocLiving, May 20

Britain’s Yates blows rivals away to take a grip on Giro d’Italia lead.

Britain's Simon Yates stormed to a sensational solo win on stage 15 to take a tight grip on the overall lead at the Giro d'Italia on Sunday. The 25-year-old attacked with 18km to go of the stage to Sappada to blow away his rivals for the pink jersey. On a day when Chris Froome lost more time, reigning champion Tom Dumoulin also struggled badly. No Briton has ever won the Giro but with one week to go Yates now has a lead of two minutes 11 seconds. He admitted to feeling emotional after his third road stage win of this Giro and he is the first man to do that in the pink jersey since Gilberto Simoni in 2003 - with Simoni going on to claim overall victory that year. Dumoulin stays second overall after battling through to finish third on the stage, 41 seconds behind Mitchelton-Scott rider Yates and picking up only four bonus seconds for his placing compared to Yates' 10 for the stage win. Monday is a rest day before Tuesday's time trial and Yates is realistic about the lead over Dumoulin. "It's a good gap but (Dumoulin) could take two minutes out of me in a time trial. I've been fighting since (the start in) Israel to have a good gap. I'm happy with that gap but it could disappear in 35km. We'll have to see." Four-time Tour de France winner Froome, who had looked reborn in his win on Monete Zoncolan on Saturday, lost a minute and a half on the day and is now almost five minutes down on his young compatriot, dropping two places in the general classification to seventh. Meanwhile, Ireland's Nicholas Roche and BMC team-mate Loic Vliegen both abandoned the race on Sunday. It was the first Grand Tour Roche had failed to finish in 19 races.

Chelsea beat Man Utd to leave Mourinho empty-handed

Eden Hazard's first-half penalty decided the FA Cup final in Chelsea's favour at Wembley on Saturday to leave Jose Mourinho and Manchester United empty-handed this season. Hazard twisted and tore past Phil Jones before drawing a clumsy foul from the United defender after 22 minutes. He calmly dispatched the penalty which was to prove to be the decisive moment in a final that was hard fought rather than distinguished. United, with striker Romelu Lukaku only fit enough for a place on the bench, raised their game after the break. Alexis Sanchez had a goal ruled out for straying just offside, with referee Michael Oliver using VAR to confirm the call, and Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois excelled with a succession of fine saves, while Paul Pogba wasted their best chance late on when he headed wide of an open goal. This may well be Antonio Conte's last game as Chelsea manager and if he leaves, he does so after delivering the FA Cup to follow on from last season's Premier League title triumph. If it is to be goodbye for Conte, his team delivered the famous old trophy in a manner that has become his trademark. His side grabbed the initiative to take advantage of United's tentative first 45 minutes, securing a precious lead that they defended with great resilience and organisation for the rest of an attritional final.This has been a season in sharp contrast to Conte's title-winning campaign but he has delivered silverware, which has escaped Mourinho and Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham this season - although the failure to finish in the top four is painful and likely to be the reason why Conte and Chelsea part company. In the Scottish Cup final, Celtic became the first Scottish side to win successive domestic trebles after beating Motherwell 2-0. Brendan Rodgers' side took an early lead at Hampden through Callum McGregor's sweetly struck half-volley. Olivier Ntcham's low shot doubled their advantage in a dominant first half. Motherwell improved after the break with Curtis Main denied by Craig Gordon and substitute Gael Bigirimana's free-kick coming back off the crossbar.

Monaco and Lyon qualify for Champions League 

Monaco and Lyon secured Champions League spots with victories in the final round of French Ligue 1 matches as Marseille’s season ended in disappointment on Saturday. Monaco finished runners-up to Paris St Germain after their 3-0 win at Troyes sent their opponents down to Ligue 2, while Lyon ended third after coming from behind to beat Nice 3-2, thanks to Memphis Depay’s treble. Fourth-placed Marseille, who lost to Atletico Madrid in the Europa League final on Wednesday, beat visiting Amiens 2-1 but it was not enough for a Champions League berth. They end up with 77 points, one behind Lyon, while Monaco have 80. But PSG, who had already been crowned, finished well clear on 93 points after a 0-0 draw at Caen that kept the Normandy side in the top tier. Marseille will play in the Europa League, along with fifth-placed Rennes and sixth-placed Bordeaux, who respectively drew 1-1 at home to Montpellier and won 4-0 at Metz. Troyes join bottom club Metz in Ligue 2 while Toulouse beat En Avant Guingamp 2-1 to finish 18th and will play either AC Ajaccio or Le Havre in a playoff. In the Spanish La Liga, Fernando Torres rounded off his Atletico Madrid career in style on Sunday by scoring two goals in his final game for the club against Eibar, although his side could only draw 2-2 in their last match of the Liga campaign. Torres, who finally lifted his first trophy with his beloved club on Wednesday as Atletico beat Olympique de Marseille 3-0 in the Europa League final, tapped into an empty net in the 42nd minute to cancel out Kike Garcia’s opener. The Spaniard then gave Atletico the lead on the hour mark, latching onto a through ball from Diego Costa and rounding the goalkeeper to score his 129th goal for the club. Atletico finished second in the league behind Barcelona who bade an emotional farewell to Andries Iniesta on Sunday night with a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad. In Italy’s Serie A, Inter Milan have qualified for the Champions League next season with an amazing come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Lazio on Sunday night. The Rome side were 2-1 up with 12 minutes to go and heading for Europe but a Mauro Icardi penalty and a goal from Matias Vecino gave Inter the lead which they held on to. Legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon ended his 17-year Juventus career as they crowned a seventh straight Italian title with a 2-1 win over relegated Verona. The 40-year-old keeper was substituted just after the hour and was in tears as he embraced his team-mates while the crowd gave him a standing ovation. In the German Cup final, Ante Rebic scored twice as Eintracht Frankfurt shocked Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich 3-1.The Croatia striker pounced on James Rodriguez's error to give Eintracht the lead, but Robert Lewandowski equalised. Rebic clipped in his second before Bayern were denied a penalty in a disputed VAR call late on as Kevin-Prince Boateng caught Javi Martinez. Referee Felix Zwayer rewatched the incident and gave a corner - and from it, Mihat Gacinovic broke to score Eintracht’s third. Bayern started the match as favourites, having finished 35 points above Eintracht in this season's league standings,

Saracens to play Exeter in Aviva Premiership final

Saracens made their fourth Premiership final in five years as they beat Wasps 57-33 in a record-breaking semi-final. Owen Farrell kicked 27 points, Chris Wyles scored a fifth semi-final try in eight years and the 11 tries and 90 combined points were all records. Billy Vunipola lasted a half as the England man showed no ill-effects as he returned from a hamstring injury. Sarries led 23-5 at the break before an eight-try second period which saw Wasps get to within 10 points at one stage. Mark McCall's side will meet champions Exeter - who they beat in the 2016 final and lost to in the semi-finals last season - at Twickenham next Saturday following the Chiefs' 36-5 victory over Newcastle Falcons. Defending champions Exeter reached their third successive Premiership final with a dominant win over first-time semi-finalists Newcastle. Exter enjoyed 92 per cent possession in the first half with three Joe Simmonds penalties and a Nic White try putting them 16-0 up at the break. Fly-half Simmonds added two more penalties after the break before Alex Tait pulled a try back for the Falcons. But Olly Woodburn's touchdown and a late Don Armand score sealed victory. In the Pro 14, Leinster will meet reigning champions Scarlets in the Pro 14 final after securing a nail-biting 16-15 victory over Munster in Dublin. Number eight Jack Conan's try gave the hosts an early advantage. Munster responded through Keith Earls but could not wrestle the lead off their opponents. Gerbrandt Grobler's 79th-minute try set up a grandstand finish but Leinster held on to book their place in the 26 May final against Scarlets who cruised part Glasgow 28-13.

Lyon knock out Toulon in FrenchTop 14 play-offs

Lyon have reached the French Top 14 rugby union semi-finals for the first time despite drawing 19-19 with favourites Toulon, advancing courtesy of scoring two tries to their opponents’ one. The shock extra-time win against the three-time European champions gave Lyon a semi-final clash against Montpellier Herault next weekend. Toulon led 13-6 and then 19-16 in extra-time before New Zealand-born Australian international fly-half Mike Harris booted his third penalty of the match seven minutes from the end to secure the draw and victory. Lyon had lost 39-11 to Toulon on the same ground in the regular season in December, an occasion that coach Pierre Mignoni described as his team being “in a hole”. Toulon skipper Mathieu Bastareaud was left heartbroken after another fruitless season for the big-spending club, whose last Top 14 title came in 2014. They were runners-up in the last two seasons while this year’s European Champions Cup campaign ended in a quarter-final loss to Munster. In the other elimination match an impressive Castres overcame Jody Jenneker’s sending off to win 23-11 at Toulouse and secure their place in the semi-finals. South African hooker Jenneker saw red in the 60th minute for his aggressive response to Maxime Medard’s swinging arm, but the visitors held on to book a date with Racing 92. South African hooker Jenneker saw red in the 60th minute for his aggressive response to Maxime Medard’s swinging arm, but the visitors held on to book a date with Racing 92.

Catalans Dragons move off the bottom with win over Salford

Jodie Broughton's second-half hat-trick of tries earned Catalans Dragons a priceless 36-12 away win against his former club Salford Red Devils over the Magic Weekend on Sunday and moved them off the bottom of the Super League table. Salford went ahead through Weller Hauraki's surge after an earlier score was chalked off. Ben Garcia and Julian Bousquet replied for the Dragons, who had a try ruled out in establishing a half-time lead. However, Broughton's ruthless finishing lifted the Perpignan club off the foot of the table regardless of George Griffin's consolation. On a hot, muggy day under the imposing stands of St James' Park, the two sides served up nervy fare, punctuated by errors. Hauraki's powerful finish had the Salford support in good voice but Catalans grew into the game and smart left-edge work saw Garcia cross, while Bousquet showed smart reactions to pounce on a loose ball. It looked as though missed kicks might cost Catalans but Broughton's 13-minute treble gave them valuable breathing space and two vital points. At the other end of the table, St Helens ensured they will remain top after the Magic Weekend fixtures after overcoming a dogged Widnes 38-18. Four first-half tries to three, including a typical slicing run and score by Ben Barba, gave Saints a narrow advantage at the break. Saints stepped it up after half-time and kept Widnes at arm's length. Ryan Morgan ran in a brace of tries before Regan Grace capped the match with a fine break. St Helens are on 26 points, two ahead of Wigan Warriors who beat Warrington Wolves 38-10.

Nadal beats Zverev to win eighth Italian Open

Rafael Nadal survived a stunning fightback from Alexander Zverev to win a record eighth Italian Open on Sunday in Rome and restore him to the world No.1 spot. The Spaniard cruised to the first set before defending champion Zverev won nine of the next 11 games to take the second set 6-1 and lead 3-2 in the decider. But Nadal turned the match around following a lengthy rain delay and closed out a 6-1 1-6 6-3 victory over the German. The win will see Nadal regain the world No.1 ranking from Roger Federer who had regained top spot when Nadal lost to Dominic Thiem at the Madrid Masters last week, his only defeat on clay this season. Nadal has now won three clay-court titles from four tournaments in the lead-up to his bid for an 11th French Open title in Paris. In the women’s singles, Elina Svitolina thrashed world No.1 Simona Halep 6-0 6-4 to win a second consecutive Italian Open. In a rematch of last year's final, the Ukrainian dominated from the start and took the first set without losing a game in just 19 minutes. Romanian Halep, 26, received some stern words from coach Darren Cahill at 5-0 down and improved in the second set. But 23-year-old world No.4 Svitolina maintained the upper hand as she powered to a comfortable win.

South African-born American Wise gains first PGA tour win

South African-born American Aaron Wise became the youngest winner on the PGA Tour in more than a year when he clinched a three-shot victory at the AT&T Byron Nelson in Texas on Sunday. The 21-year-old, playing with a poise beyond his years in only his 26th start on tour, eased away from Marc Leishman and carded a closing six-under-par 65 to take his maiden title. Two weeks after finishing equal second in Charlotte, Wise started the final round tied with Australian Leishman but notched six birdies in a seven-hole stretch from the fourth in front of a gallery including former U.S. president George W. Bush. He was never challenged thereafter and finished at 23-under 261, well clear of Leishman whose final-round 68 was only good enough for second place on 20-under.

Mo Farah wins 10km Great Manchester Run

Britain's Olympic and world 10,000m champion Mo Farah said he felt "tired" after his first victory in the 10km Great Manchester Run on Sunday. Farah, who finished third at the London Marathon last month, raced past Ugandan Moses Kipsiro with 100 metres left to win in 28 minutes 27 seconds. Abel Kirui of Kenya finished third, 25 seconds behind Farah. Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba won her third straight women's race, well ahead of Kenya's Joyciline Jepkosgei. In the men's wheelchair race, Britain's David Weir beat Johnboy Smith and Simon Lawson to win in 21 minutes 28 seconds. In the women's wheelchair race, Britain's Liz McTernan was victorious in 34 minutes 20 seconds ahead of Heather Gilham and Lucy Keyworth.

Midi CC lose unbeaten home record in loss to Toulouse

Midi CC’s old rivals Toulouse CC ended their unbeaten home record at Pouzolles on Sunday with a resounding 83-run victory in the opening match of the 2018 season in the Blevins Franks South West Regional league. Midi who scored a record 375 runs in the home win over Toulouse last season after moving to Pouzolles in late 2016 were never in the hunt after Toulouse posted a 281 winning target from their 40 overs. Early wayward bowling allowed the Toulouse openers to lay the foundation for victory with 110 runs in only 14 overs after winning the toss. A sparkling 63 from new Midi recruit Shakeel Akram was not enough to keep in touch with the Toulouse run rate and Midi were finally dismissed for 197.

For full reports on all the weekend sporting events go to:

http://www.bbc.com/sport, http://www.espn.com, http://www.lequipe.fr, http://www.reuters.com/news/sports, www.skysports.com, www.eurosport.fr.

Calendar Keynotes - May 21-27  

Monday, 21 May

Cycling: Giro d’Italia, Italy (rest day - till 27 May) - for stage-by-stage guide, go to: www.bbc.com/sport/cycling/43891228

Tennis: ATP Geneva Open, Switzerland (till 27 May), ATP Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, Lyon, France (till 27 May), WTA Internationaux de Strasbourg, France (till 27 May), WTA Nurnberger Versicherungscup, Nurnberg, Germany (till 27 May).

Tuesday, 22 May

Cycling: Giro d’Italia, Italy (till 27 May) – for stage-by-stage guide go to: www.bbc.com/sport/cycling/43891228

Tennis: ATP Geneva Open, Switzerland (till 27 May), ATP Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, Lyon, France (till 27 May), WTA Internationaux de Strasbourg, France (till 27 May), WTA Nurnberger Versicherungscup, Nurnberg, Germany (till 27 May).

Wednesday,23 May

Cycling: Giro d’Italia, Italy (till 27 May).

Tennis: ATP Geneva Open, Switzerland (till 27 May), ATP Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, Lyon, France (till 27 May), WTA Internationaux de Strasbourg, France (till 27 May), WTA Nurnberger Versicherungscup, Nurnberg, Germany (till 27 May).

Thursday, 24 May

Formula One: Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo (till 27 May).

Cycling: Giro d’Italia, Italy (till 27 May) – for stage-by-stage guide go to: www.bbc.com/sport/cycling/43891228

Cricket: England v Pakistan 1st Test, Lord’s (till May 28)

Rugby League: Super League – Castleford Tigers v St Helens.

Tennis: ATP Geneva Open, Switzerland (till 27 May), ATP Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, Lyon, France (till 27 May), WTA Internationaux de Strasbourg, France (till 27 May), WTA Nurnberger Versicherungscup, Nurnberg, Germany (till 27 May).

Golf: USPGA Tour, Fort Worth International, Colonial CC, Fort Worth, Texas (till 27 May), PGA European Tour, BMW PGA European Championship, Wentworth GC, Surrey, England (till 27 May). 

Friday, 25 May

Formula One: Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo (till 27 May).

Cycling: Giro d’Italia, Italy (till 27 May) – for stage-by-stage guide go to: www.bbc.com/sport/cycling/43891228

Cricket: England v Pakistan 1st Test, Lord’s (till May 28)

Rugby League: Super League – Warrington Wolves v Hull FC, Hull KR v Wigan Warriors, Salford Red Devils v Huddersfield Giants, Widnes Vikings v Wakefield Trinity.

Tennis: ATP Geneva Open, Switzerland (till 27 May), ATP Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, Lyon, France (till 27 May), WTA Internationaux de Strasbourg, France (till 27 May), WTA Nurnberger Versicherungscup, Nurnberg, Germany (till 27 May).

Golf: USPGA Tour, Fort Worth International, Colonial CC, Fort Worth, Texas (till 27 May), PGA European Tour, BMW PGA European Championship, Wentworth GC, Surrey, England (till 27 May).

Saturday, 26 May

Football: Champions League final – Real Madrid v Liverpool, Kiev, Ukraine, Championship play-off final - Aston Villa v Fulham.

Formula One: Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo (till 27 May).

Cycling: Giro d’Italia, Italy (till 27 May) - for stage-by-stage guide go to: www.bbc.com/sport/cycling/43891228

Cricket: England v Pakistan 1st Test, Lord’s (till May 28)

Rugby Union: Aviva Premiership final – Saracens v Exeter, Pro 14 final – Scarlets v Leinster.

Rugby League:Super League – Catalans Dragons v Leeds Rhinos.

Tennis: ATP Geneva Open, Switzerland (till 27 May), ATP Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, Lyon, France (till 27 May), WTA Internationaux de Strasbourg, France (till 27 May), WTA Nurnberger Versicherungscup, Nurnberg, Germany (till 27 May).

Golf: USPGA Tour, Fort Worth International, Colonial CC, Fort Worth, Texas (till 27 May), PGA European Tour, BMW PGA European Championship, Wentworth GC, Surrey, England (till 27 May).

Athletics: IAAF Diamond League, Eugene, United States. 

Sunday, 27 May

Formula One: Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo (race day).

Cycling: Giro d’Italia, Italy (till 27 May) - for stage-by-stage guide go to: www.bbc.com/sport/cycling/43891228

Cricket: England v Pakistan 1st Test, Lord’s (till May 28), Indian Premier League final, Mumbai.

Tennis: French Open, Roland Garros, Paris (till 10 June), ATP Geneva Open, Switzerland (final day), ATP Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, Lyon, France (final day), WTA Internationaux de Strasbourg, France (till 27 May), WTA Nurnberger Versicherungscup, Nurnberg, Germany (till 27 May).

Golf: USPGA Tour, Fort Worth International, Colonial CC, Fort Worth, Texas (final day), PGA European Tour, BMW PGA European Championship, Wentworth GC, Surrey, England (final day).

Athletics: Millau Viaduct Race - start line Boulevard de l'Ayrolle, Millau, Aveyron. 

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