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The Sport Matrix: Tuesday 7 May 2013

Wiggins left dry as Brailsford opts for Froome as leader

Chris Froome, below, has been chosen over Sir Bradley Wiggins to lead Team Sky’s challenge of the Tour de France following his impressive season.

Team principal Dave Brailsford took favour to Froome’s form, after he won the Tour of Oman, Criterium International and Tour de Romandie events.

“Given Chris’s step-up in performances this year, our plan, as it has been since January, is to have him lead the Tour de France team,” said Brailsford.

He also admitted that the Giro d’Italia was Wiggin’s main aim for the season, even though the current champion has claimed both tours are equally high on his agenda this season.

“Since the start of season, Bradley’s performance plan has focused around training specifically to try to win the Giro,” added Brailsford.

Brailsford said his team’s full line-up would not be confirmed until after the Criterium du Dauphine in June. 

Wiggins finished eighth in the third stage of the Giro yesterday and is placed in second overall, seventeen seconds behind leader Luca Paolini. MORE

O’Sullivan takes home world title

Ronnie O’Sullivan has retained the World Championship title by beating a spirited Barry Hawkins 18-12 at the Crucible in Sheffield. “My mood has been up and down like a whore’s drawers,” he said. “I still love playing, but I do need other things to balance my life.” MORE

O’Shea earns point for Sunderland

John O’Shea’s second-half goal helped 10-man Sunderland earn a point against Stoke at the Stadium of Light, leaving them just three points above the drop zone. Jonathan Walters had put Stoke ahead before Craig Gardner was dismissed for a challenge on Charlie Adam. MORE

Brentford through after shoot-out win

Brentford reached the League Two play-off final with a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Swindon yesterday. After the game finished 3-3 (4-4 on aggregate) the hosts won 5-4 on penalties. They will meet Yeovil, who overcame Sheffield United 2-0 for a 2-1 aggregate win.

Robson gains most notable win yet

Laura Robson beat Agnieska Radwanska in the Madrid Open second round yesterday to register her first victory over a top five-ranked player. The 19-year-old Briton beat the Pole, last year’s defeated Wimbledon finalist and world No 4, 6-3 6-1 to progress. MORE

Tomic’s father in bust-up claims

Bernard Tomic’s father is under investigation after an altercation with Thomas Drouet, his son’s playing partner. Drouet was left with a broken nose, but the Australian’s father John said: “I don’t feel guilty, I didn’t do anything wrong.”

Higdon arrested for alleged assault

Motherwell’s Michael Higdon was arrested for an alleged assault yesterday morning just hours after picking up the SPL Player of the Year award. The incident happened at the awards afterparty at Glasgow’s Corinthian nightclub. MORE

Michu missing for out-of-form Swans

Swansea City will be without  striker Michu for the trip to Wigan tonight after he picked up a hamstring injury on Saturday, while Jean Beausejour is missing for Wigan. West Bromwich visit Man City in the other Premier League match.

O’Connor named Schmidt successor

Leinster have appointed Matt O’Connor as new head coach to replace Joe Schmidt, who will leave the club to take over as Ireland coach at the end of this season. O’Connor was a backs coach in Australia before his Leinster role.

Wagner stars as Kiwis march on

Neil Wagner staked his claim for a Test place by taking 5-45 to help New Zealand to a 107-run win at Derbyshire. Declaring on 199 for 5, the Kiwis set Derbyshire 335 to win, but the hosts were dismissed for 227.

James Lawton

There was little difficulty in identifying the big loser when David Luiz lay on the ground shamelessly rejoicing in his deceitful practice after Rafael had been dismissed. It was football.

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