Olympic24: Froome still the man to beat while GB tennis battle France

Chris Froome finished sixth in the latest stage of the Tour de France to maintain his overall lead, while James Ward and Andy Murray kicked off Great Britain’s Davis Cup quarter-final clash with France. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours.

Chris Froome finished sixth in stage 13 of the Tour de France to keep the overall lead as Greg van Avermaet stunned Peter Sagan in a sprint finish.

Belgian Van Avermaet held off Slovakian Sagan on the line to win the 198.5km leg from Muret to Rodez.

Britain’s Froome, 30, remains two minutes and 52 seconds ahead of second-placed Tejay van Garderen.

However, the steep finish on Saturday’s 178.5km route to Mende may offer slight grounds for optimism to Froome’s prospective GC contenders.

“We already saw on a 500m climb like today gaps opening up, so tomorrow on a climb like Mende at 3km and more than 10 per cent, I definitely think the general classification guys will be fighting to gain time,” said Froome.

Great Britain Davis Cup captain Leon Smith was full of praise for Andy Murray after the Scot got the better of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to level their quarter-final tie at 1-1 at Queen’s Club.

Kicking this clash off was James Ward, however the world number 89 found the going tough against 11-th ranked Gilles Simon and fell in straight sets.

But all was not lost as Murray then returned the favour, beating Tsonga in straight sets to level the clash ahead of Saturday’s doubles.

“What Andy did was exceptional,” Smith said. “There was a lot of pressure on him. At 1-0 down you have to get that rubber on the board and he did a great job with that yet again with an inspirational performance.

“I thought that second set tie-breaker shows why he’s the player he is. I thought he was immense.”

On a record-breaker night at the Monaco Diamond League, Great Britain’s contingent did themselves proud to get in on the action.

Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba smashed Qu Yunxia’s 22-year-old world record in the women’s 1500m and Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop became the third fastest man in history at the same distance.

And Laura Muir was clearly inspired, breaking her own Scottish 1500m record as she fifth in 3:58.66 minutes.

In doing so, Muir became the fifth British woman to break four minutes and the second fastest in history, behind Kelly Holmes whose British record stands at 3:57.90.

Mo Farah mixed it with the world’s best 1500m specialists, the reigning Olympic, world and European champion at 5,000m and 10,000m finishing fourth in 3:28.93, missing the British and European ‘metric mile’ record he set in the same meeting two years ago (3:28.81) by a mere 0.12.

Britain’s other reigning world champion Christine Ohuruogu also ran hard, the Londoner coming fourth in the 400m in 50.82 seconds, a season’s best and 2015 UK lead.

Lorraine Ugen secured her second Diamond League top-three placing of the season in the long jump, taking third spot behind European indoor champion Ivana Spanovic of Serbia and 2005 World champion Tianna Bartoletta of the USA while Shara Proctor had to settle for fifth.

Newly crowned British 100m champion Chijindu Ujah finished fourth in 10.08, behind Justin Gatlin (9.78) and Tyson Gay (9.97) and in-form Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut (10.03).

Dina Asher-Smith was fifth in a high class 200m field in 22.41, Tiffany Porter was sixth in the 100m hurdles in 12.66 and Isobel Pooley was ninth in the high jump with 1.86m.

And Julian Reid finished eighth in the triple jump with 15.96m, while Nathan Douglas retired from the competition after two fouls.

© Sportsbeat 2015