Adam Yates withstands late charge to land first big victory

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Pedal power: Adam Yates.

Adam Yates became the first British winner of the San Sebastian Classic yesterday with the Orica rider also claiming his maiden title at the major level.

The 22-year-old went into the race on the back of a 50th place finish in the Tour de France. 

Philippe Gilbert, the 2011 winner from Belgium, was second just ahead of Spain’s defending champion Alejandro Valverde.

Yates won by 15 seconds after reeling in a late escape launched by young French rider Warren Barguil on the race’s final climb, the col de Bordako Tontorra, seven kilometres from the finish. 

It was a memorable day for the winner as twin brother and teammate Simon Yates came home in a respectable 14th spot inside the trailing group, all timed at 15sec behind.

Valverde, who was also the 2008 champion, increased his lead in the overall World Tour 2015 rankings ahead of Tour de France champion Chris Froome and fellow Spaniard Alberto Contador.

Meanwhile, Australian rider Richie Porte, fresh from helping Team Sky’s Chris Froome win a second Tour de France, announced yesterday he will ride for the BMC Racing team next season.

Porte, a key domestique in Sky’s three Tour successes with Bradley Wiggins in 2012 and then Froome in 2013 and this year, is moving to pursue his dream of a Grand Tour success in his own right.

“I want to win again races like Paris-Nice and the Tour of Catalonia,” said the 30-year-old who was in the final year of his contract with Sky. “Next year, why not have a Tejay van Garderen and myself at the Tour de France, we get on well.”

In nine Grand Tours since 2010 the Tasmanian has a best placed seventh in the Tour d’Italia in his debut season in the elite division.

After four years at Sky, Porte was one of the biggest names in this year’s transfer market.

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On this day: 1987 – Andretti triumphant in fastest race in history

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The man behind the wheel - Michael Andretti.

The name Andretti is synonymous with all motorsport fans and on this day in 1987, Michael Andretti set a blistering record as he stormed to victory in Marlboro 500 in Michigan.

A 24-yearold Andretti smashed the average speed record for the Indy car with an average speed of 171.490 miles per hour.

In racing to his historic win in the 1987 Marlboro 500, Andretti benefited from the bad luck of his father, Mario Andretti, one of the most successful auto racing drivers of all time.

The elder Andretti’s engine fell after he built a two-lap lead, and his son was able to overtake him. Andretti then held off Al Unser Sr. and Bobby Rahal over the last 94 laps to win.

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Happy Birthday - Postiga, Wakefield, Effenberg

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(L-R) Helder Postiga, Tim Wakefield, Stefan Effenberg.

Helder Postiga – lauded in Portugal but forgotten in England.

Postiga is enshrined in Porto history for his key performances during the treble winning season under Jose Mourinho.

The Dragons clinched the Primeira Liga, UEFA Cup and ‘Tacca de Portugal Final’ in 2002- 03 with the striker plundering 22 goals.

However, the former Portugal international, who turns 33 today, found less success in the Premier League with Tottenham. 

He was hailed as a brilliant signing for Spurs when they snapped him up but he struggled to adapt and his rating as one of the best strikers in Europe was quickly revised as he scored just once in 19 games.

But he did enjoy national acclaim with two appearances at the World Cup and a solid record of 26 goals in 71 games. Postiga is still active and has just signed up to play for Atletico de Kolkata in the Indian Super League.

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Other birthdays

1966: Tim Wakefield, was a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and won the Roberto Clemente Award in 2010 (49).

1968: Stefan Effenberg, a former Bayern Munich and Germany midfielder, earned the nickname Der Tiger (47).

1971: Fernando Smith, is a former American football defensive end who played for the Minnesota Vikings (44).

1984: Giampaolo Pazzini, is a striker for Hellas Verona in Serie A and formerly for the Italian national team (31).

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