Cycling: Boardman in sight of Tour victory

Chris Boardman retained his overall lead after the fourth stage of the Tour of Catalonia yesterday, despite a third stage win for the Slovakian, Jan Svorada. The British rider is likely to extend his lead today in a 22-kilometre time trial.

Svorada had to shake off strong challenges from Federico Colonna and Federic Moncassin to win the stage. With a 12sec overall lead over Angel Casero, Boardman is now clear favourite to take the Tour.

The world time-trial champion, Alex Zulle, broke his collar- bone in a crash during the sixth stage of the Tour of Switzerland yesterday and is likely to miss the Tour de France.

The Swiss rider, who finished second to Miguel Indurain two years ago, fell during a tricky descent on a stage which had to be shortened because of snowstorms at the top of two climbs. The crash also involved, among others, the world No 1 Laurent Jalabert, but no other riders suffered serious injuries.

On the home front, Sean Yates capped his comeback with his first national title for 17 years, in the 50-mile championship at Crawley in Sussex yesterday. Yates, champion over 25 miles in 1980, clocked 1hr 43min 33sec.

Results, Digest, page 23