Romain Bardet very close to the Grail al Giro, European finals with a very French accent in rugby … The sports weekend, Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 May, was marked by several flashes of the French, although not so . of Tony Yoka, defeated for the first time in his career. Quite the opposite of Novak Djokovic, ruthless at the 1000 Masters in Rome.
Turn: Romain Bardet is positioned
Appearing among the favorites of the Giro, Romain Bardet still does not see the rose life in La Botte, but hope is high. After nine stages, the Frenchman from the DSM team is only 14 seconds behind the leader of the general classification, still occupied by Juan Pedro López (Trek-Segafredo). The former AG2R La Mondiale climber, preceded by Joao Almeida by two seconds, took advantage of the first big finish at the summit, the Blockhaus in the Apennines, to assess the competition.
After benefiting from the work of Richard Carapaz’s teammates (Ineos Grenadiers), and responding himself to his attack, Romain Bardet was the most restless of the trio of favorites that emerged at the foot of the Blockhaus. But the Frenchman could not escape Carapaz and Landa (Bahrain Victorious). It was finally during a six-man sprint that Bardet crossed the line in second place. Frustrating, but also promising for the rest of the Giro.
Yoka, half-mast conquest
First (big) setback in the career of Tony Yoka, defeated for the first time among professionals. One could make fun of his opponent’s coated physique, Martin Bakole, and claim that, once again, Yoka was not facing a true boxer. It was a bad knowledge of boxing. Better ranked than the French in the world heavyweight ranking, the Congolese recalled that a very wide technical palette and this elegance are not enough for the punch. Boxing is sometimes as basic as this. “I have to go back to work,” he humbly yielded to the Habs after losing by points.
La Rochelle, Lyon and Toulon in the final, Toulouse on the sidelines
The weight of this semifinal was too heavy for the Stade Tolousain. Exhausted by a grueling season finale, battered by injuries, the reds and blacks were cut by Leinster. The Irish province, which supplied most of Clover’s XV, played against the Stadium, which was only believed at the start of the match following a new personal feat by Antoine Dupont. Unfortunately, he was left without a follow-up. The rest, precisely, is La Rochelle who will write it in the final. After beating Racing in the semifinals (20-13), the Maritimes will play their second consecutive final.
If La Rochelle won this Champions Cup, French rugby would surely sign a resounding double, as victory in the Challenge Cup will go to a French club, Lyon or Toulon. To reach the final scheduled for May 27 in Marseille, Lou defeated the London Wasps for the first time on Saturday, before being accompanied later that day by RCT, winner of Saracens. On the balance sheet, French rugby places three clubs in the final of the two European Cups. A few months after the coronation of the blues in the Six Nations Tournament, and when the World Cup is scored at home, the rooster crows again.
Djokovic removes his marks before Roland-Garros
The fabulous story of the Thousand and One Nights, Serbian version. This time, the hero is called Novak Djokovic, and the plot takes place in the eternal city, racket in hand. On the clay courts of Rome, a stone’s throw from the Olympic Stadium, the world number one has enforced the hierarchy this weekend. World tennis emperor first swept Dane Casper Ruud for the first time in the semifinals on Saturday (6-4, 6-3), his 1,000th victory of his career, before facing soldier Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final on Sunday.
But the Greek warrior, who fell the day before the German Zverev, did not last long in the arena. Sweeped 6-0 in the first set, he revolted in the second, pushing Djokovic to the tie-break (7-6). But the Serb was untouchable in Rome, where he scored his sixth victory, the 87th of his career. A good omen, a week before the defense of his Parisian crown, on the clay tracks of Roland-Garros.
Fear Greens and Twilight Scapular
The 70’s and 80’s are a long way off. We know this and the reading of the Ligue 1 classification, on Sunday morning after the 37th day, only confirms this. Kings of those two decades, the clubs of Saint-Etienne and Bordeaux are now obsolete teams. Like these cult singers of an era but who have not been able to renew themselves. If for ASSE, 19th, there is hope to compete in Metz, penultimate, place in the play-offs, everything suggests that the Girondins will be condemned to the omissions of the descent.
While the Bordeaux have a clearly unfavorable goal difference (-12 compared to the 18th Messin), it would take more than a miracle, that is, a wide victory of difference combined with defeats of their two rivals, for Bordeaux to stay. Suffice it to say that Mass is almost called Gironda, and coach David Guion himself said the last rites on the evening of the draw at home against Lorient (0-0): “We deserve what is happening to us.”
Another endangered monument, Saint-Etienne, defeated at home by Reims on Saturday (1-2), will play in Nantes on the final day, while Metz will travel to Paris to face PSG. The Greens, who no longer control their destiny, could thus join Bordeaux in League 2 and create a big gap in the championship, suddenly stripped of two of their most iconic clubs.