• When Lance Armstrong won the last of his seven Tour de France titles back in 2005, there was not a single British rider on the starting line. The face of cycling has dramatically changed since, with Armstrong erased from the records books for doping and British cycling now ruling the Grands Tours.
Simon Yates capped a fantastic year for British riders on Sunday by winning the Spanish Vuelta, completing a clean sweep of cycling’s biggest races for the country following the successes of Chris Froome at the Giro d’Italia and Geraint Thomas at the Tour de France.
It is the first time in cycling history that each of the three titles have been held by three riders from the same nation.
“It’s astonishing really. Growing up I was so accustomed to seeing the French, Italian and Spanish riders lead the way, so for myself, Chris and Geraint to all win a Grand Tour in the same year just shows how far the sport has come in this country,” the 26-year-old Yates said. “It has not happened by accident.”
Like Thomas, Yates is a pure product of British cycling, having joined the country’s renowned academy program when he was 18 years old.
Barkov new captain
of Florida Panthers
• Aleksander Barkov is the new captain of the Florida Panthers.
Barkov is taking over for forward Derek MacKenzie, who held the role for the last two seasons. The 23-year-old from Finland becomes the 10th player to be designated as Florida’s captain.
The Panthers made the announcement Monday, with general manager Dale Tallon saying the decision to turn the captaincy over to Barkov was about “turning this team over to our young core.
Oilers sign Nurse
to two-year deal
• The Edmonton Oilers have signed Darnell Nurse to a two-year contract, ending a lengthy stalemate with one of their top defensemen.
The team did not disclose financial terms.
The 23-year-old Nurse led Edmonton blue liners in 2017-18 with six goals and 20 assists in 82 games.
Nurse had said he wouldn’t participate in training camp without a new contract.
The two-year “bridge deal” will keep Nurse in Edmonton until the team can free up some cap space and potentially sign him to a contract worth more money or for a longer term.
Warwinka advances inSt. Petersburg Open
• Stan Wawrinka advanced to the second round of the St. Petersburg Open in Russia by beating Aljaz Bedene 7-5, 7-6 (5).
Bedene served for the first set at 5-4 but Wawrinka won the next three games to take the set. The Swiss player then saved four break points in the second.
“I’m happy with the first win. I think it was a great level,” said Wawrinka, who will next face fourth-seeded Karen Khachanov.
Wawrinka, a three-time Grand Slam champion, missed the end of the 2017 season and much of 2018 with a knee injury. He is now ranked 88th in the world and made the third round at the U.S. Open.
Source— ABJ/Ohio.com wires
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