Adebayor Completes Tottenham Switch : Dovizioso Closes On Securing Ducati Deal : Clarke Wins Stage A Rodriguez Takes Lead : Errani, Kirilenko Sparkle In New Haven : aforadio.com
Posted in Sports on 22. Aug, 2012
Adebayor Completes Tottenham Switch
Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor has completed a permanent transfer to Tottenham Hotspur from Manchester City.
Adebayor, 28, scored 17 Premier League goals and bagged 11 assists in a fruitful loan spell at White Hart Lane last season, with Spurs working to seal a return for the former Arsenal forward all summer.
No further details were made available by either club, although he is believed to have signed a three-year contract with the North Londoners.
The player confirmed the move, saying on Twitter: “I’m back. Tottenham here I come. I’m hungry for goals… Get ready”.
He later added on the Spurs website: “I am pleased to be signing for Spurs on a permanent basis after finally agreeing my departure with Manchester City.
“It may have taken longer than expected but I am delighted to be back at Tottenham Hotspur. I really enjoyed my time here last season and I am hoping we can achieve great things together again.”
Tottenham lost 2-1 at Newcastle in their first Premier League match of the new season, with Jermain Defoe – the only senior striker left at the club – on target for Andre Villas-Boas’s side.
Adebayor joined City from Arsenal in 2009, hitting 14 league goals in his first season before falling out of favour with Roberto Mancini and spending time on loan at Real Madrid and Spurs.
The clubs had agreed a deal in principle at the start of the summer, but it was reported that personal terms – notably a severance package between the player and City – had posed a stumbling block.
The transfer fee is understood to be in the region of £5 million, with Adebayor taking a significant wage cut on the estimated £170,000 per week he was earning at City.
Errani, Kirilenko Sparkle In New Haven
Fourth seed Sara Errani of Italy was the model of efficiency as she secured her progression through to the third round of WTA New Haven with a 6-4 6-3 win over Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain.
Errani, the world number 10, was forced to work incredibly hard to clinch the crucial break of serve in the opening set as she took it 6-4, with Suarez Navarro battling from the back of the court.
The Italian found things more comfortable in the second set as she took it 6-3 in fairly convincing fashion, and the Spaniard was unable to respond.
Errani will next take on either fifth seed Marion Bartoli or Sloane Stephens of the USA in the third round.
The seventh seed, Maria Kirilenko of Russia, benefitted from a walkover with Mona Barthel was unable to compete.
The German could not play their second-round match due to a stomach illness.
Kirilenko will next take on either top seed Agnieszka Radwanska or Olga Govortsova of Belarus in the third round.
Dovizioso Closes On Securing Ducati Deal
Andrea Dovizioso has given the clearest indication yet that he will join Ducati’s works MotoGP squad from 2013.
The Italian has been strongly linked to the seat vacated by Valentino Rossi at the Desmosedici team, and has made no secret of his desire to be a works rider next season – even if his original intention was to land the ride Rossi will now take at Yamaha.
Dovizioso, who scored his fifth podium of the year for Tech 3 at Indianapolis, indicated that his discussions with Ducati were nearing a conclusion, while also admitting he was confident he could adapt to a bike which has troubled numerous riders, Rossi among them.
“No rider likes to change often, but it’s OK: I have adapted to the Yamaha bike, so I’ll do the same with the Ducati,” Dovizioso told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Honestly these days are not so peculiar: these things need time. It’s not as if you sign the day after you start talking. You ponder your chances inside your head, and this has been happening for a while.”
He said that even if a deal with Ducati is confirmed his focus and approach will be unchanged until the season finishes at Valencia, adding: “This week will be normal because nothing’s changing until Valencia.”
Asked about Dovizioso’s previously stated desire to ride for Yamaha, Ducati team manager Vittoriano Guareschi said he was unconcerned given his own outfit’s stated desire to keep Rossi.
“We, too, first did everything possible to keep Valentino,” he said. “Only then [did] we contact him…[Dovizioso].”
Should Dovizioso agree a switch to Ducati, every works ride for 2013 will therefore be settled.
The Italian’s Tech 3 team-mate Cal Crutchlow could miss out entirely, having recently suggested Ducati lied to him after he was heavily linked with a 2013 ride in the early part of the season.
Clarke Wins Stage A Rodriguez Takes Lead
Australia’s Simon Clarke won stage four in the ski resort of Valdezcaray as Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez took the race lead on a day of drama in the Vuelta a Espana.
Orica-GreenEdge’s Clarke outsprinted Germany’s Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) on the summit of the second and final climb of the 160.5km stage to take a superb maiden win since turning professional.
But it was a nightmare day for overnight race leader Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who was involved in a crash 30km from the finish and battled to limit his losses to his fellow race favourites.
The red jersey crossed the line 55 seconds slower than his rivals to concede the race lead to compatriot Rodriguez (Katusha), who finished in the main pack one minute and four seconds behind stage winner Clarke.
Clarke, a former national track champion, was part of an initial five-man break that formed inside the opening kilometres of the race and built up a maximum lead of 13 minutes in sweltering temperatures as high as 38 degrees Celsius.
“I’ve had so many second and thirds in my career and so I’m so happy to finally get my first win as a professional,” said 26-year-old Clarke after using his track background to thwart Martin, the world time trial champion, in the deciding sprint.
“It was such a long day with so much wind at the finish,” said Clarke. “I knew Tony would be strong and we worked together on the final climb. He’s a very good time triallist but I knew I could take the sprint.”
Rodriguez, second in May’s Giro d’Italia, now leads Britain’s Chris Froome (Team Sky) by one second on GC with fellow Spaniard Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff) in third place, five seconds off the pace.
Twenty-four hours after pipping Rodriguez for the win in stage three, Valverde’s luck turned on Tuesday after the 32-year-old former Vuelta champion was forced to ride out of his skin for the final 30km in a bid to defend his red jersey.
Despite a valiant effort, an isolated Valverde finished the stage 1:59 down on winner Clarke to drop to ninth place on GC, 36 seconds behind the new race leader Rodriguez.
The decisive moment of the stage occurred with around 30km left to ride just after the Sky team of Tour de France runner-up Froome had decided to increase the tempo on the front of the peloton, which trailed the leading group by more than 10 minutes.
Moments after the increase in tempo, a touch of wheels near the front of the pack brought down a flurry of riders – including the red jersey and several of his Movistar team-mates.
With their move made before the incident, Team Sky decided to press on and took advantage of the carnage created by not only the accident but also some savage crosswinds blowing across the plains of the Rioja region.
Three echelons in the peloton formed, with a fourth group – including Valverde – more than a minute off the pace as both Katusha and BMC contributed to drive the tempo on the front of the main pack.
As a result of the animation, the lead of the initial five man break came tumbling down. The gap was reduced to less than seven minutes at the start of the final climb, with Spaniard Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis) – who had won both intermediate sprints as well as crossed the summit of the previous Cat.1 climb in pole position – first to crack.
Assan Bazayev (Astana) and Jesus Resondo (Andalucia) also dropped off the front, leaving Clarke and Martin alone with 12km left to ride to the summit.
The main peloton soon reduced the arrears to four minutes, with the chasing Valverde group another 40 seconds off the pace.
Valverde looked to be making some headway on the steep early section of the climb but then Saxo Bank launched an attack through Contador and his trusty lieutenant Daniel Navarro. The pair was joined by Froome as well as Irishman Nicolas Roche, set to leave Ag2R-La Mondiale for Saxo Bank at the end of the season.
Froome and Contador soon dropped back to the Rodriguez group, and a new five-man chasing group formed around Roche. But Martin and Clarke held on to contest the win – as Valverde continued to struggle back to his main rivals.
With Clarke taking the win, it was the second time Martin had been denied victory in a mountain stage of a Grand Tour: in the 2009 Tour de France, the German was pipped by Spain’s Juan Manuel Garate atop Mont Ventoux.
Kazahkstan’s Bazayev held on for third place, 22 seconds behind the winner Clarke, while Spaniard Marcos Garcia of Caja Rural led the Roche chasing group over the line 55 seconds down, his arms raised in celebration after erroneously believing himself to be the victor.
It was a comical conclusion to an otherwise dramatic stage – and although Valverde will be fuming following his misfortune, the Spaniard will be aware that he is still only 36 seconds down on Rodriguez in the overall standings.
For many it was far worse: for a second successive day, Belgians Jurgen ven den Broeck (Lotto Belisol) and Thomas de Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Russian Denis Menchov (Katusha) had days to forget, with van den Broeck finishing 3:42 off the pace, de Gendt conceding 5:51 and Menchov, twice Vuelta champion, losing almost 10 minutes.
Following the best ride of his professional career, Orica-GreenEdge’s Clarke moves to the top of both the points classification and the king of the mountains standings.
Wednesday’s stage five of the Vuelta is a largely flat 168km circuit around Logrono which should re-open the doors to the race’s sprinters.