Saturday, July 26, 2008

Fri July 25 / Sat July 26: Tour de France Wraps Up, Red Sox-Yanks, Australia-New Zealand

We haven't really addressed the other sports news going on in the world and this weekend still packs a lot of action around the world.

Tour de France Concludes This Weekend
I don't remember another Tour de France race where the winners were still somewhat uncertain coming into the penultimate stage. Today's time trial virtually decided this year's champion with Cadel Evans and Carlos Sastre fighting against the clock for the top spots in the overall standings. Coming into today's time trial, Sastre was wearing the yellow jersey with Evans behind by 94 seconds.

Evans was predicted to perform stronger in today's stage, which was won by Stefan Schumacher of Germany. But Evans wasn't strong enough as Sastre was able to retain the yellow jersey after finishing his time trial only 29 seconds slower than Evans. Sastre still has a 65 second lead over Evans in the overall standings.

Tomorrow's final stage to the finish in Paris will largely be a ceremonial ride since riders traditionally do not challenge the man in the yellow jersey. Thus, Sastre, barring any unexpected crashes or obstacles, will enjoy a victory ride to the Champs-Elysses.

Game 1 of Red Sox-Yanks becomes a pitchers' duel
It was a low scoring game in yesterday's first of three games to be played this weekend by the AL East rivals. New York Yankee Joba Chamberlain outperformed Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett and Jason Giambi hit a single to allow Bobby Abreu to score the only run of the game.

The 1-0 win put the Yankees only two games behind Boston for the American League wild card lead. This was also the Yankees' seventh consecutive win. Today, it will be a battle of veterans on the mound as Yankee pitcher Andy Pettite will take on Tim Wakefield.

Australia Defeats New Zealand To Extend Lead in Tri-Nations Standings

The Telstra Stadium in Sydney was the site of today's tri-nations rugby test match between Australia and New Zealand in a battle for the Bledisloe Cup. Australia scored an impressive four tries in their leap to the top of the standings over the All Blacks and world champions South Africa Springboks.

Wallabies go top of Tri-Nations with epic win over All Blacks (AFP)

Twenty20 Cup Finals Day From the Rose Bowl
It may not be the Rose Bowl you're accustomed to, but in England the focus is on the Twenty20 Cup finals in cricket. For those not familiar with Twenty20 cricket, or cricket in general, Twenty20 is a faster and shorter form of the traditional one-day international style of this bat-and-ball sport. Tonight, it will be Kent vs. Middlesex in the finals after the semifinals took place earlier today.

FIVB World League Finals
It will be Serbia, Brazil, Russia and the United States facing off against each other today in the World League Semifinals.

Late word is that the United States has upset Brazil in straight sets for a spot in the championship match tomorrow. The Americans will face the winner of Serbia vs. Russia, which is already underway.

FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup
Brazil secured a spot in the finals earlier today after a thrilling 5-4 win over Portugal. The winner takes on either Italy or Spain, with that semifinal already underway.

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