SPORTS SATURDAY, AUGUST 31 , 2013 Stybar wins Vuelta tour stage

SPAIN: The Czech Republic’s Zdenek Stybar, rid- single year is considered an exceptional feat for ing for Omega, edged the seventh stage of the any rider and in cyclng history fewer than 40 have Tour of Spain yesterday as Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali managed to finish all three in one season. held on to the overall lead. Hansen finished the 2011 Vuelta before com- Stybar narrowly claimed the day’s honours pleting the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Tour after a 205.9km ride from Almendralejo to of Spain in 2012 and 2013. Mairena de Aljarafe from Belgian world road race “You do get in a routine,” Hansen, a 32-year- champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC). old from the Gold Coast who won a stage of the In third came Germany’s Robert Wagner Giro in May, told Reuters when asked if he has (Belkin). Nibali came in 22th, one second behind ever woken up unsure which Grand Tour he was the winner, and retained possession of the in. “But if you can handle the routine, you can han- leader’s red jersey. Stybar, a double former world dle the Grand Tours and you can handle the rac- cycle-cross champion, and Gilbert slipped clear of ing. “I like doing big blocks of racing and this year the peloton with seven kilometres to go, this pair so far so good. I had a good season last year, so I holding off the sprinters led by Wagner by a mat- thought ‘why not keep going and do the same ter of centimetres. again?’” Nibali succeeded in escaping any mishaps dur- With three chunks of nearly a month each ing the tricky winding end of the stage to go into spent on the road in 2012, Hansen admits to get- Saturday’s eighth stage with a three-second cush- ting homesick for his adopted European base in ion over American Chris Horner and Republic of the town of Frydlandt nad Ostratici in the Czech Ireland’s Nicolas Roche. Republic. Saturday’s ride takes the peloton on a 166km “I spend a lot of time there between the Grand run from Jerez de la Frontera to Estepona with the Tours.” he said. “And before the Giro d’Italia I got a finish on the first category col de Penas Blancas. month off. That’s a great thing about the team, Meanwhile, sitting in the middle of the Tour de they don’t insist on me doing a lot of races as well Spain pack while the main contenders prepare for as the big stage races, so I’m happy doing it.” the mountain challenges, Australian Adam Hansen would like to equal Lejaretta’s record Hansen is quietly chipping out his own niche in next year. “I already know I’m doing the Giro SPAIN: Czech cyclist Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma) (left) crosses the finish line winning the cycling history. If Hansen, a rider with the Lotto- d’Italia in 2014, I hope I’ll get a place in the the seventh stage of the 68th edition of ‘La Vuelta’ Tour of Spain. — AFP Belisol team, finishes the race in Madrid on Sept. Tour de France as well, and I love the Vuelta,” he talked to who’ve come here for the first time are team has had a guy in the break every day and I 15, he will be the first rider since Spaniard Marino said. amazed by how relaxed it is in comparison to the enjoy it. I just hope that the day the breakaway Lejaretta in 1991 to complete seven Grand Tours “The order of the races, given the Vuelta’s Tour de France, how easy it is to get in a break- goes, that it’ll stick - a stage win here is what I’d in succession. Completing two Grand Tours in a more low pressure, does help. Other riders I’ve away. “But we take this race very seriously, our really like. That, and getting to Madrid.” — Reuters

Phatlum leads Mixed martial arts will be Safeway Classic an Olympic sport, say UFC

PORTLAND: Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum SINGAPORE: As mixed martial arts grapples in 145 countries. shot an 8-under 64 on Thursday to take a one- for recognition as a mainstream sport, the Hugely popular in the United States, stroke lead over Lexi Thompson after the first powerbrokers behind its surge in popularity Brazil, Japan and Canada, the UFC is looking round of the LPGA’s Safeway Classic. are adamant inclusion in the Olympic to extend its reach throughout Asia and the The 23-year-old Pornanong had 10 birdies Games is close to becoming a reality. IMMAF, founded in 2012, say they have 21 and two bogeys in her afternoon round at Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) member federations on board with that Columbia Edgewater. “Putting was so good,” managing director Asia Pacific Mark Fischer number expected to reach 40 by next year. said Pornanong. “I changed putter for this told Reuters that an Olympic place might Fischer, who previously worked with the week and feeling very good. And I made many only be 20 years away thanks to the work of NBA in growing their business in China, birdies today, like 10 birdies today. ... I just try his organisation in growing the sport and acknowledged, however, that Olympic my best and I’m feeling very good with the the introduction of the fledgling inclusion was not on his immediate agenda course. I like the course, very nice.” International Mixed Martial Arts Federation. as he bids to help MMA and the UFC in Asia. The 18-year-old Thompson eagled the - “Yes we do believe that MMA should be “It is certainly a goal of our owners to do 5 seventh hole and had five birdies in her bogey-free morning round. in the Olympics given its prominence as a it one day. It is going to happen,” Fischer “I would say just my iron shots into the sport all over the world,” Fischer told said of the Olympic plans. “Do we need it? green,” Thompson said about her strongest Reuters in Singapore after announcing that No, we are going to survive and continue to play Thursday. “I hit a lot of good ones and I the first UFC show in the city-state would grow. Would it help to put us on that next played the par 5s 4 under, so I took advantage take place on Jan. 4 level of interest and really capture every- of those. Overall, I’ve just been working on the “Mixed martial arts, under the global body’s imagination and understanding? I consistency of my game and working on tight- leadership of UFC and us really inspiring think it would help tremendously. But we ening my shots up.” and pushing the envelope, I think has a are talking about theoreticals.” Christie Kerr, the winner in 2008 the last great chance to become an Olympic sport But questions have been raised about time the event was played at Columbia because it is participated now by countries the UFC’s governance that could derail any Edgewater, was at 66 along with Lizette Salas literally all over the world. Olympic ambitions. Two years ago, the and Germany’s Sandra Gal. “Because of the interest, because of the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA), United Second-ranked , returning to investment now the startups, gyms, promo- States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) criti- play after withdrawing from the Canadian tions etc that are going into mixed martial cised the UFC for administering their own Women’s Open last week because of illness, arts, then we are very confident that we are testing of athletes and not involving either opened with a 67. going to have the weight behind this move- authority. Fischer was adamant the UFC was Hall of Famers Juli Inkster and Se Ri Pak ment to be in the Olympics.” clean and their methods above board. also were in the large group at 67 that includ- One of the fastest growing sports in the “First of all, we follow WADA and on top ed Michelle Wie, Yani Tseng and . world, MMA is a full contact sport that of that we have actually in the last couple of The 53-year-old Inkster won the last of her 31 allows fighters to utilize techniques from years have instituted our own extra level of tour titles in 2006. both striking and grappling martial arts testing for PEDs (performance enhancing Natalie Gulbis had a hole-in-one on the such as boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, drugs),” Fischer said. second hole and finished with a 68. Suzann wrestling and judo. “So we are actually more strict now than Pettersen, the 2011 winner, also shot 68. PORTLAND: Michelle Wie tees off on the Aided by the hugely popular reality TV WADA. It is a very important issue for us, we Defending champion Mika Miyazato opened 8th hole during the first round of the show series ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ the UFC absolutely want our fighters to be clean and with a 71. Top-ranked withdrew Safeway Classic at Columbia Edgewater say they have managed to grow to 30 in the octagon competing on a very pure Tuesday because of illness. — AP Country Club. — AFP events a year and reach 354 million homes level.”— Reuters