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The Sport Matrix: Monday 30 September 2013


Britons slammed after poor showing in world road race

Britain’s leading cyclists were slammed for a lack of spirit yesterday after all eight riders failed to finish the men’s road race at the World Championships in Tuscany.

Chris Froome’s bid to achieve the first Tour de France and world double since 1989 was left in ruins amid heavy and prolonged rain, while Sir Bradley Wiggins (above) also struggled with the conditions.

“They are all disappointed and they need to be,” Rod Ellingworth,  the team coach said. “A lot of people were talking the talk beforehand and didn’t see it through. No excuses, each and every one of them underperformed today. They will look at themselves in the mirror tonight and think they didn’t do a very good job.

“Chris wasn’t good in the weather and he knows that. I am sure [Bradley] is walking around with his head down because no one wants to perform like that.”

Portugal’s Rui Costa took the honours in the race, the 26-year-old beating Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez in a sprint to the line. Another Spaniard, Alejandro Valverde, finished third. “This has been a big dream for a long time,” Costa said. MORE

Suarez returns  at the double

Luis Suarez marked his first Premier League appearance in five months with two goals as he helped Liverpool move up to second with a 3-1 victory at bottom club Sunderland. Daniel Sturridge opened the scoring, while Emanuele Giaccherini hit the hosts’ late consolation. MORE

Kipsang smashes marathon record

The men’s marathon world record was broken by Wilson Kipsang in Berlin yesterday, the Kenyan taking 15 seconds off the previous best by finishing in a time of 2hr 03min 23sec. Afterwards he said maybe he could go even faster. MORE

Champions coast home at Exeter

Leicester moved to third in the Premiership after overcoming Exeter 15-9 at Sandy Park. Ben Youngs and Niki Goneva scores in the first half had the visitors 15-0 up and the Tigers saw out the game for the points.

Howson strike gives Canaries a lift

Norwich gained a first league win in a month after Jonny Howson’s strike was enough to take the points in a 1-0 win at Stoke City. The midfielder found the net from 25 yards just after the half-hour. “Hopefully this will give us some confidence,” said manager Chris Hughton. MORE

Gatting seeks a Chinese takeaway

New MCC president Mike Gatting has suggested China as the perfect place for the Twenty20 game to take off. “They love history, discipline, the honour in our game,” he said. “Their history indicates that it is exactly the right sort of culture.” MORE

Mancini set for Galatasaray job

Former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is close to completing a three-year deal with Galatasaray thought to be worth £4.6m a year. The Italian, out of work since he was sacked by City in the summer, is expected to be unveiled in Istanbul tomorrow as successor to Fatih Terim.

Marquez closes in on MotoGP title

Marc Marquez moved closer to winning the MotoGP series in his debut season with victory in yesterday’s Aragon Grand Prix. He extended his lead to 39 points with four races left. His closest rival, reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo, came second.

Opinion: Sam Wallace

A new deal for Arsène Wenger is a fait accompli. It could take him into his late 60s and he may add to the seven major trophies. But at some point the question of his successor will have to be addressed.

Liverpool take Super League title

A 2-0 win over Bristol Academy gave Liverpool their first Super League title yesterday at the Halton Stadium. Louise Fors opened the scoring from the spot and Katrin Omarsdottir secured the title, Liverpool finishing five points clear of yesterday’s opponents. MORE

Vikings edge the Steelers at Wembley

Adrian Peterson stole the show as Minnesota Vikings beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-27 in London last night for their first win of the season. The reigning MVP scored two touchdowns and ran 140 yards in an enthralling contest at a sold-out Wembley.