Contador crashes out: Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali stamped his dominance on the Tour de France by winning Stage 10 in the Vosges mountains on Monday — shortly after his biggest rival for the title, two-time champion Alberto Contador, crashed out with a fractured shin after a high-speed spill.
According to his spokesman, Contador said he wasn’t exactly sure what caused the crash — which happened while he was speeding downhill at over 70 kph about halfway through the stage. Contador began the stage in ninth place overall — 4 minutes, 8 seconds back of Gallopin.
TV images showed thick streams of blood pouring from Contador’s right knee after the crash, his hip was scraped up, and the back of his jersey torn. Team director Bjarne Riis rushed over and bandaged the knee. Philippe Mauduit, a team sporting director, said initial X-rays showed that a Contador had a fractured shin.
The Spaniard rode on for about another half-hour, clearly in pain, and finally stopped, got off, wiped his eyes and climbed into a team car. (Photos: Christophe Ena/The Associated Press, Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images)
The golden gates of football’s Olympus may yet swing open Sunday to admit Lionel Messi.
On a cool, wet, night long on discipline and distressingly short on artistry — an anti-Messi evening if there ever was one — the planet’s greatest player reached his first World Cup final, and Argentina’s first in 24 long years, 4-2 on penalties following a dire, defensive 0-0 draw through 120 bob-and-weave minutes against the Netherlands.
While this could still wind up being Messi’s tournament (although it’s doubtful German boss Joachim Low lost any sleep watching the dire goings-on at Arena Sao Paulo) Wednesday night belonged to others, to mere mortals. (Photos: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images; Victor R. Caivano/The Associated Press)
Mark Casse finally has his first Queen’s Plate victory.
Filly Lexie Lou captured the $1-million race Sunday at Woodbine Racetrack, giving the six-time Sovereign Award winner as Canada’s top trainer his first Plate win. The 53-year-old American came close in 2011, finishing second to Inglorious with Hippolytus, but admitted becoming emotional after Lexie Lou crossed the finish line 1 1/2-lengths ahead of runner-up Ami’s Holiday, a 9-1 longshot.
“My son, Colby, just started crying afterwards and to see it mean that much to him got me crying,” said Casse, a 34-year racing veteran. “There was a lot of crying … I think I would’ve been OK had Colby not started crying.
“When all you’ve done your entire life is been around race horses … I really don’t know anything else. I’ve been following the Queen’s Plate since I was a little boy and so to finally win it, I just pinch myself. I thought we’d win it sooner or later. I knew I wasn’t going to give up.” (Photos: Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press, Chris Young/The Canadian Press)