|Greipel and Forstemann's thighs|
In Italy, in cycling: Today, the Giro d'Italia continues with a 148 km stage for Tortoli to Cagliari, on the island of Sardinia. Yesterday's stage, and the pink jersey, were taken by German Andre Greipel. Greipel, in taking over the ‘maglia rosa’ or pink jersey, now has 22 Grand Tour stage victories including 11 from past Tours de France and four from Vueltas a Espana. Greipel commented that the stage Saturday was difficult, "It wasn’t an easy day with the headwind," he said. "It made a six hours race but it also played in our favour. Otherwise there would have been some attacks." He continued "I’m really proud to win at the Giro again. I’m glad to win for my teammates who worked for me since yesterday. This stage win and the pink jersey are for them and also for my mother." How can you fault a top athlete who dedicates his win to his mother? As mentioned, Stage 3 on Sunday is a 148 km ride from Tortoli to Cagliari. It is the last on Sardinia before Monday’s rest day. Tuesday the action resumes with two stages on the island of Sicily.
Also in Italy, in Association Football: Today is a key day in the Italian standings of Serie A Calcio. Roma, in third at two points behind Napoli and 10 behind Juventus, can move back up to second place with a win away at AC Milan on Sunday.
"Everyone is beatable," because they are Roma, according to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Roma must beat AC Milan to retain any hope of winning the Serie A title. Iuventus could only play to a draw against Torino in Saturday's Derby della Mole, and so the situation is, perhaps, a bit less critical, but the season is winding down, and Roma needs to excel to have any hopes of taking the top spot. Next week they contest Juve itself, and they need momentum to lead into that critical game.
This week also brought confirmation that 40-year-old striker Francesco Totti will retire from playing at the end of the season, with a director's role beckoning at the club he has served for his entire career. One of the players said ``When his career ends it will be difficult for the club, but he will continue to do good work for us. We all know that he will always be one of us and that will help us.''
In the USA, in NBA playoffs, Kevin Durant scored 38 points and the Golden State Warriors withstood a determined Utah effort to down the Jazz 102-91 on Saturday to take a commanding 3-0 lead in their NBA playoff series. The Warriors will try to close out the best-of-seven Western Conference second-round series in Game 4 on Monday in Salt Lake City. The Jazz had hoped a return to their home floor on Saturday would spark a resurgence, and it briefly looked as if it had. The Jazz find themselves one defeat away from elimination.
In England, in International Cricket, Ireland continues their tour of England with their 2nd ODI today at Lord's. England has a mixed record at the historic Lord's, although it is Cricket's "Carnegie Hall," on their home territory. A debut international fixture against England at Lord's - with its Long Room, honours boards, and anticipated 22,000 crowd - is the occasion that Ireland's cricketers have been dreaming about for a decade. It's a gala day for Irish cricket. Ireland suffered badly from stage fright in the first ODI at Bristol on Friday but now, surely, will approach this game with the pressure off and looking to steal the show in the grand old backyard of English cricket.
England considered itself to have played badly on Friday. William Porterfield, of the English Squad has said "You don't become bad players overnight. It was one bad game, one bad day at the office."
With the greatest of English precision, it has been announced that the weather is "Overcast but reasonably mild this morning. The slightest threat of rain but no danger of a delayed start. The pitch has its usual misleading tinge of green but will surely be another road. The boundaries are short and tempting, particularly down the ground towards the media centre, where they've been brought in a good 20 yards."
A bonus video