Olympic24: Froome basks in Sun Tour success, Christie takes forward step

Olympic24: Froome basks in Sun Tour success, Christie takes forward step

07 February 2016 / 10:02

Chris Froome and Peter Kennaugh enjoy a one-two finish at the Sun Tour, Elise Christie takes a landmark win and England Sevens bow out in the quarter-finals in Sydney.  Here's our review of the last 24 hours:

  • Chris Froome overhauls Peter Kennaugh to clinch the Sun Tour title, but the Tour de France champion was full of praise for his teammate
  • Elise Christie makes a breakthrough by beating rival Minjeong Choi for the first time
  • England Sevens take hosts Australia all the way but are beaten in extra-time in the World Rugby Sevens Series
  • Mark Cavendish admits a costly error spoiled his chances in Dubai
  • Alex Lane believes he can go toe-to-toe with Olympian Rajiv Ouseph as the English National Badminton Championships reaches its conclusion on Sunday
  • Judy Murray believes Great Britain can come out fighting in the Fed Cup next season
  • The French Open continues to be a proving ground for Great Britain's synchronised swimmers

Froome basks in Sun Tour success

Chris Froome admits his season could hardly have started any better after overtaking Peter Kennaugh to emerge victorious in the Sun Tour.

Froome is aiming to make 2016 another historical year as he aims to defend his Tour de France title before turning his attention to the road race and time trial at the Olympics.

But Froome took a relative backseat to Great Britain and Team Sky teammate Kennaugh in Australia, before coming from behind in the final stage to take the overall win by 29 seconds.

And the 30-year-old paid tribute to the selfless Kennaugh as the pair combined for a one-two finish.

“There’s a lot to race for this year and coming here and walking away with the overall victory is an amazing way to start off the season,” he said.

 “He [Kennaugh] gave me an all-clear from behind – I mean, a massive thank you to Pete for doing that. Hats off Pete, big respect.”

Christie breaks new ground with win over Choi


Elise Christie couldn't hide her delight at getting one over her close rival Minjeong Choi at the World Cup in Dresden.

Christie, who won the overall European Championships in Sochi last month, took gold in the 1500m in 2:41.20 minutes ahead of South Korean pair Choi and Alang Kim.

She has also qualified for Sunday's 500m quarter-finals alongside Great Britain's Charlotte Gilmartin, and was thrilled to pick up her fourth World Cup medal of the season.

"I'm thrilled and shocked with the outcome for the 1500m as this isn't my strongest distance," said the 25-year-old.

"That's the first time in my career I've beat Minjeong Choi, it won't be the last. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow and the 500m and feel I'm in good form."

England bow out following tense quarter-final

England took hosts Australia all the way to extra-time but could not get over the line as they were stopped in the Sydney leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series quarter-finals.

Nothing separated the two sides for so long, as Australia responded to James Rodwell and Tom Mitchell tries either side of half-time to draw the score level at 12-12.

But just as the first period of extra-time was coming to a close, Henry Hutchinson won it for the Wallabies to end a thrilling game.

From there England progressed to the Plate semi-finals and were caught cold by Argentina, who raced into a 14-0 lead.

Callum Wilson and Mitchell led the England fightback but it was not to be, as Argentina scored the sole try of the second half to win 19-14.

Cavendish rues misjudgement in Dubai

Mark Cavendish2

Mark Cavendish admits a tactical error cost him dearly as he missed out to Marcel Kittel on the final stage of the Dubai Tour.

The Great Britain rider found himself out of position as he came round the sharp right-hand bend in the final 200 metres and ultimately finished third, behind the German and Team Sky's Elia Viviani.

He will now turn his attention to the Tour of Qatar, which starts on Monday, but was disappointed not to end the Dubai Tour on a more positive note.

"We had the plan, it was to get on Kittel's wheel in the last kilometre, and then lay off," explained Cavendish.

"We knew the last corner was tight, so if we carried more speed and got a run-up I would be alright. In fact, I did the complete opposite.”

Emotional Lane refuses to rule out surprise win

Alex Lane has an Olympian in his sights as he aims to stop Rajiv Ouseph’s dominance at the English National Badminton Championships on Sunday.

Lane beat second seed Toby Penty to set up a meeting in the men’s final with Ouseph, who before missing last year’s event had won seven national titles in a row.

“I’m quite emotional because I left full time training six months ago to go to University but I have worked extremely hard since then so that’s a big result," he said.

"I think if I play well I can certainly challenge Raj but we’ll just have to see.”

Fontaine Chapman did what she could not do last year by beating Nicola Cerfontyne to set up a clash with Chloe Birch in the women’s final.

“I’m really happy with that semi-final,” said Chapman. “Obviously it was a repeat of the final last year and I was really nervous playing her last year but I knew what I had to do this time around.”

Elsewhere defending champions Chris and Gabby Adcock meet Chris Coles and Sophie Brown in the mixed doubles final, while in the men’s doubles final Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge take on Peter Briggs and Tom Wolfenden.

Brown is the only player to reach two finals as she pairs with Kate Robertshaw to face defending champions Heather Olver and Lauren Smith in the women’s doubles.

Murray confident of bright Fed Cup future


Fed Cup captain Judy Murray insists Great Britain’s World Group II play-off disappointment will only spur the team to come back stronger next year.

Katie Swan, 16, battled bravely against higher ranked Ysaline Bonaventure in the opening rubber of the best-of-three tie before eventually going down 6-3 3-6 6-3.

That meant the responsibility then fell upon the shoulders of British number two Heather Watson to keep the tie alive against world number 43 Alison Van Uytvanck.

A gruelling two hour 28 minute battle followed but while Watson levelled in the second set, she was unable to close out the match, losing out 6-4 3-6 6-4.

And Murray said: “All in all, there are lots of things to be pleased about but we are very disappointed we didn’t get out of this zone, we have been stuck in here for years and I am fed up of it!

“Next year we want a full team out, get out of the zone into the World Group to have some home and away ties, and really showcase British women’s tennis to the fans in Britain.”

Read more reaction here.

Another step forward at the French Open

Great Britain’s technical team placed fourth on a day that promised much for the future on day two at the Synchronised Swimming French Open.

Olympians Olivia Federici and Katie Clark joined Hannah Randall, Isabelle Thorpe, Phoebe Bradley-Smith, Jorja Brown, Emma Critchley and Kate Shortman in the pool – and enjoyed a fourth-place display with a score of 74.6490.

Federici and Clark had earlier performed strongly in the Technical Duet, as their Good v Bad themed routine saw them secure a 77.3425 score and 13th place.

Elsewhere, Randall held her nerve in her first Solo event in international competition by finishing 13th, with a total of 77.3425.

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