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Peraud surprising himself as Pyrenees loom CARCASSONNE: Jean-Christophe Peraud admitted he had not even ridden the three tough Pyrenean stages at the Tour de France in advance because he didn't expect to be competing for a podium.The 37-year-old French rider has unexpectedly found himself in sixth place overall and only 1min 18sec of a podium position with less than a week to go.The veteran AG2R rider is enjoying a surprise Indian summer to his career as he largely flies under the radar with most of the attention focussed on runaway race leader Vincenzo Nibali and young French hopes Romain Bardet, his teammate, and Thibaut Pinot.But now that he finds himself in the thick of battle for a top finish, Peraud is regretting not having studied the next three Pyrenean stages more closely.Asked if he knew any of the climbs he would scale from Tuesday to Thursday, Peraud replied: "No, not at all. I've never done the ...

Injury-plagued Prior takes break from England duty LONDON: England wicketkeeper Matt Prior has decided to take a break from international duty for the rest of the season after losing form due to a series of injuries.Prior revealed his decision to step away from England action just hours after his country slumped to a 95-run defeat in the second Test against India at Lord's.The 32-year-old has had a torrid season behind the stumps and his rash dismissal, unwisely hooking Ishant Sharma, played a ...

New Zealand stops Basin Reserve fly-over WELLINGTON: New Zealand's environmental watchdog stepped in Tuesday to prevent a proposed fly-over in Wellington that would have threatened the historic Basin Reserve's status as a Test cricket venue.The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said keeping Test matches at New Zealand's oldest cricket ground was a major factor in rejecting plans for an NZ$90 million ($78 million) fly-over next to the venue."We found that the expert evidence pointed clearly to the conclusion that the project would ...

Elbow surgery blow for Australia's Marsh SYDNEY: Australian Test batsman Shaun Marsh faces four months out of action after a specialist on Tuesday recommended surgery for a persistent elbow injury.The left-hander is expected to go under the knife next week which rules him out of the upcoming tours of Zimbabwe and the United Arab Emirates, where Australia face Pakistan on neutral turf.But he should be back for the opening match of the four-Test series against India, which starts in Brisbane on ...

Gerrard leaves England with tears for souvenirs LONDON: As Steven Gerrard soaked up thunderous applause from England's supporters at full-time in Belo Horizonte, he looked surprised and relieved by the generous response to his team's dismal World Cup campaign.The 17-minute substitute appearance in a meaningless draw against Costa Rica proved to be Gerrard's last England appearance after the Three Lions captain announced his retirement from international duty on Monday.The 34-year-old took his last curtain call on the global stage when he waved ...

Nicol confident of Malaysia doubles sweep GLASGOW: World number one Nicol David is sure she can deliver Malaysia's first women's doubles gold medal as well as another singles title at the Commonwealth Games.David, 30, the world's top-ranked player since 2006 is looking to retain the singles title she won in New Delhi four years ago in Glasgow, where five of the world's top seven will be competing.She claims she is full of confidence after overcoming England's world number two Laura Massaro ...

Five alive thanks to Lee withdrawal GLASGOW: England's Rajiv Ouseph believes there are as many as five potential winners of the men's badminton singles at the Commonwealth Games following the withdrawal of Malaysia's world number one .Lee, winner of four gold medals at the last two Games, aggravated a thigh problem at the start of the month and was forced to pull out of the Glasgow games.His absence leaves fellow Malaysian Wei Feng Chong, India's Kashyap Parupalli and Ouseph, 20th, 22nd ...


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