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Sports round-up

Cycling: Former Tour de France champion Roger Pingeon (picture) has died of a heart attack at the age of 76, the mayor of the French town where he was living said yesterday. “He was taken by a heart attack at 4 am this morning,” Beau-pont Mayor Georges Gouly told French news agency AFP. Frenchman Pingeon won the 1967 Tour and came second to Belgian great Eddy Merckx in 1969, the year he won the Vuelta.

Rugby Union: A planned merger between Parisian rugby powerhouses Racing 92 and Stade Francais has been cancelled, Racing 92 president Jacky Lorenzetti said yesterday, six days after the plan was first announced to fierce opposition. “I have decided to give this beautiful project up,” Lorenzetti said in a statement. Stade Francais players began an open-ended strike last week, denouncing what they called a takeover in disguise, while the French federation and the Paris mayor also opposed the merger.

Alpine Skiing: Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova spoiled US ski queen Mikaela Shiffrin’s bid for victory in the final slalom race of the World Cup season. Vlhova shook off a second-run challenge by Shiffrin, the overall winner of the crystal ball, to claim the race in Aspen, Colorado, by 0.24 seconds in 1:32.00. Overall giant slalom winner Marcel Hirscher, of Austria, was more successful, scoring a half-second victory over Germany’s Felix Neureuther in the men’s race.

Baseball: The Dominican Republic were eliminated from the World Baseball Classic after the star-laden team lost to the US in California. A 424-foot two-run homer by designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth inning gave the US the go-ahead runs in a 6-3 victory. An Andrew McCutchen two-run double in the eighth made the score 6-3 in front of a sellout crowd of 43,002 at Petco Park. The US play Japan in tomorrow’s semi-final with Puerto Rico and the Netherlands in the other last-four clash today.

Basketball, NBA: Los Angeles Clippers took advantage of an under strength Cleveland Cavaliers to win 108-78 in the NBA. The Cavs rested big guns LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving and the Clippers ran riot as a result, with Blake Griffin scoring 23 points. Stephen Curry was too hot for the Milwaukee Bucks to handle as the Golden State Warriors won 117-92. Curry scored 28 points, including six three-pointers, as the Warriors made it three wins on the bounce and a 55th of the season.

Cricket: Cheteshwar Pujara compiled an epic double century and Wriddhiman Saha complimented with a career-best 117 to deflate Australia and put India in a strong position on the fourth day of the third test yesterday. After India declared their first innings on 603 for nine, Ravindra Jadeja bowled David Warner and nightwatchman Nathan Lyon cheaply in successive overs to reduce Australia to 23-2. Matt Renshaw was batting on seven at stumps with Australia still 129 runs behind and under considerable pressure to save the match.

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