LeMond the stage-manager

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Q. Miguel Indurain won the Tour de France this year without winning a road race stage. Has anybody won the Tour without winning a stage, time trials included?

A. The answer is Greg LeMond, of the United States, in the 1990 Tour de France. The race was memorable for the 10-minute advantage gained on the first day by a small group of riders - an advantage that it took LeMond the full three weeks of the race to claw back and beat the then little regarded Claudio Chiappucci into second place overall.

Although he won none of the daily stages, LeMond twice came close, beaten by just a tyre's width on the tortuous climb to L'Alpe d'Huez and being the only rider to match Miguel Indurain during the Spaniard's last road stage win in the Tour.

Coming only one year after LeMond's eight-second victory over Laurent Fignon in 1989 (the smallest overall margin of victory), this was the last of his three wins before the debilitating effects of a shooting accident took their toll and the last before Indurain's present domination began in 1991. - Mike Owen, Sheffield

Q. As the football season gets under way, what is the heaviest defeat suffered by a club on the opening day of the league programme?

A. One candidate must be the result at Ayresome Park on 23 August 1958. Middlesbrough defeated Brighton and Hove Albion, newly promoted to the old Second Division, 9-0.

A certain Brian Clough scored five of them. Boro also won the return match 6-4 with Clough getting a hat-trick. - Ian Kinloch, Wrexham.

A. In asking his question, John Francis stirs memories of Brighton and Hove Albion's first game in the Second Division against Middlesbrough in August, 1958. Supporters looked forward to continuing success that Brighton enjoyed in the Third Division South. Alas, they were in for a rude awakening. - Alan Jackson, Leeds

Q. Why is the FA Charity Shield, contested last Sunday by Blackburn Rovers and Everton at Wembley, so titled.

A. Blackburn Rovers first competed in the Charity Shield in 1912, when a donation was made to survivors from the Titanic. Since then, millions of pounds have been distributed to good causes. The 1994 match between Blackburn and Manchester United took pounds 1.2m in receipts of which pounds 436,000 was shared between more than 60 charities. Almost half the "good cause" money went to charities connected with football and sports facilities, while the other organisations benefiting included Crisis at Christmas, the leukaemia appeal set up by Bryan Gunn, the Norwich City goalkeeper, following his daughter's death, the Association of Wheelchair children and Birmingham's Hospital Broadcasting Service.

Hence the reason why the game is so called. - Tim Mickleburgh, Grimsby


Q. There were no goalless draws on the opening Saturday of the Endsleigh League last weekend. Has this happened before? - Philip Morgan, Cardiff

Q. Which athlete has won the most cars in these days of grand prix competition and other big international events? - Jonathan Hampton, Chichester

Q. Watching the Match of the Seventies series its is noticeable that a number of players from this era have since become managers, particularly the Leeds United team of the 1972-73 season, when 11 future managers were fielded in League games: Bremner, Charlton, Cherry, Clarke, Giles, E Gray, F Gray, Hunter, Jordan, McQueen and Yorath. Can anyone recall a side fielding more future managers in a single season and is there any relationship between a successful playing career and a management career, which in the majority has not been the case of this Leeds team? - Phil Mason, Derby

Q. I understand ballroom dancing is to be included as a demonstration sport at the Atlanta Olympic Games next year. What other sports will be demonstration and, indeed, what sports, if any, might or have been dropped from the Olympic programme. - Pat McGrath, Newcastle under Lyme

Q. When a batsman is bowled in cricket, is it possible to ascertain which stump is hit the most by the bowler? - Kevin Maguire, Batley

Q. What is population or percentage of white West Indians living in the Caribbean and who and when was the last white West Indian to represent his country at cricket? - D Haynes, Bristol

Q. To be able to drive at Formula One level, is it just a question of skill, or do drivers have to have a combination of ability and large sponsorship? Is it necessary to start off in karting, gaining further experience in Formula Three? - Arthur Jackman, Huddersfield

If you know the answers to any of these questions or have a sporting question of your own you would like answered, write to:

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