The Sport Matrix: Tuesday 15 July 2014


Two-time Tour winner Contador  quits after leg break

Alberto Contador joined Chris Froome and Andy Schleck in abandoning the 2014 Tour de France yesterday after a nasty crash on stage 10 left him with a broken leg.

The two-time winner crashed on the 161.5km ride from Mulhouse to La Planche des Belles Filles and, after struggling on in an effort to play catch-up, gave up and withdrew to his Tinkoff Saxo team car.

The Spaniard was said to be “mentally destroyed” at having to abandon the race, and his exit leaves Vincenzo Nibali in pole position for the title. The Italian reclaimed the overall lead with a superb solo triumph. Sky’s Richie Porte rode strongly to move into second place overall, but Contador’s sudden exit overshadowed Nibali’s return to the yellow jersey.

X-rays revealed that Contador, who continued for 17km after the accident, broke his tibia in the  fall. That he rode on for so long shows his determination, but it was clearly impossible for him to pursue a positive finish.

“Mentally he’s destroyed, of course. He was in the shape of his life... This was his Tour,’ Tinkoff boss Bjarne Riis said. MORE

New record deal for Manchester United

The lack of Champions League football next season didn’t seem to harm Manchester United on the global market as they secured the world’s biggest sports kit deal – £750m – with Adidas. The figure, described as a “minimum guarantee”, will be paid over 10 years. MORE

Germany eager to dominate for years

Bastian Schweinsteiger has offered an ominous insight to the footballing world after insisting Germany’s World Cup win will give them “hunger”. Joachim Löw’s side lifted the trophy after 22-year-old Mario Götze netted late on in the final against Argentina. MORE

Messi fails to match Maradona again

Ahead of the final on Sunday, many suggested that Lionel Messi would join the likes of Pele and Diego Maradona as the world’s greatest with a final victory. However, the latter has since said Messi didn’t even deserve to claim the Golden Ball award after the 1-0 defeat. MORE

Briton in ticket probe surrenders

Ray Whelan, the chief executive of a Swiss hospitality company implicated in an investigation into the illegal resale of VIP World Cup tickets, surrendered himself to authorities yesterday after a warrant had been issued for his arrest. The Briton denies any wrongdoing. MORE

Donald confident with new swing

Former world No 1 Luke Donald believes he is “90 per cent there” in terms of his reconstructed swing. The Englishman will be competing at this week’s Open at Holylake. “I need to think about making birdies and playing great,” he said. MORE

Mickelson eager to taste victory again

Ahead of Thursday’s Open tee-off, defending champion Phil Mickelson reminisced about drinking with friends beside the Claret Jug last year. He needs to recover from an ordinary year to do so again. “It motivates me to work harder,” he said. MORE

England need to end losing streak

The sequence of nine Tests without a win is England’s worst in 21 years, and there is no imminent end in sight. The main problems ahead of the visit of India to Lord’s are that of the spinners, and captain Alastair Cook’s poor form. MORE

Notts collapse but Kerrigan falters

Simon Kerrigan managed just seven overs for Lancashire as Nottinghamshire were bowled out for 261 on day two. The spinner has been called up by England for the next India Test, but Glen Chapple was the hero with figures of 4 for 73. MORE

Farah undecided on Commonwealths

Mo Farah has admitted he faces a race against time to be fit to compete at the Commonwealth Games. The double Olympic champion pulled out of the weekend’s Glasgow Grand Prix after suffering from abdominal pains.

Glenn Moore

Manchester United’s record-breaking deal with Adidas underlines the strength of the Premier League product, it is a vote of confidence in Louis van Gaal and the United brand. MORE