Month: May 2019

Bouhanni wins stage two in Spain

Spain’s Alejandro Valverde took the leader’s red jersey.

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In the absence of Mark Cavendish, Bouhanni is arguably the strongest sprinter in the race and he showed his superiority in San Fernando.

“We worked very hard for this,” Bouhanni told reporters.

“We found ourselves in a great position and this is a great day for me and my whole team. We have to take our chances when we can and each time I have a chance I will take it.

“Maybe I can win a couple of stages and I will aim for the points jersey.”

Francisco Aramendia, Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Romain Hardy and 21-year-old Valerio Conti, who replaced last year’s winner Chris Horner in Team Lampre-Merida, broke clear around the hour mark and maintained their lead until the final 20 km.

The sprinters moved to the fore with the IAM Cycling, Lotto Belisol and Giant-Shimano teams at the front of the peloton but Bouhanni went away early and made it over the line first with Degenkolb close behind.

Valverde took the overall lead from compatriot and fellow Movistar rider Jonathan Castroviejo.

Valverde finished fourth in the Tour de France and is in contention to win the Spanish Vuelta but the question is whether he will be sacrificed to support Movistar team mate and second-placed Quintana, who won the Giro d’Italia and arrives in good form.

“I was told I was leader after the race and I am happy but it is only just a coincidence. The aim was to get round and avoid problems which we did do,” Valverde told reporters.

“If someone else had won the leader’s jersey then that would have been fine as the aim is for the team to win.

“Nairo is doing well, he won in the (Tour of) Burgos and is a strong rider. In theory he should be better than me in the mountains.”

(Editing by Mark Meadows; [email protected]广西桑拿,; +44 20 7542 7933; Reuters Messaging:; mark.meadows.reuters广西桑拿,@reuters南宁桑拿网,)

Hamilton says Rosberg hit him on purpose

The incident on lap two left Hamilton with a puncture and ultimately led to the Briton’s retirement from the race, while title rival Rosberg went on to finish second and extend his lead to 29 points.

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Hamilton told reporters that the German, whose car’s front wing clipped Hamilton’s rear tyre in a failed attempt to overtake, had done it on purpose.

“We just had a meeting about it and he basically said he did it on purpose. He said he did it on purpose,” repeated the Briton with a dazed look. “He said he could have avoided it. He said ‘I did it to prove a point’.

“You don’t have to just rely on me, go and ask (Mercedes team bosses) Toto (Wolff) and Paddy (Lowe) who are not happy with him as well,” said Hamilton.

“I was gobsmacked when I was listening to the meeting. You need to ask him what point he was trying to make.”

Rosberg, whose relationship with Hamilton has hit the rocks repeatedly this season as their boyhood friendship fragments, told reporters separately that the collision was a racing incident.

“We had a discussion, as is important after such circumstances, because obviously what happened cost the team a lot of points,” said the German, speaking to a media scrum downstairs in the Mercedes hospitality while Hamilton held court on the floor above.

“That is the main focus and the biggest issue with such a happening as today,” added the Mercedes driver, who stepped on to the podium to boos and whistles from the crowd.

“Unfortunately, I’m not going to go into any details, that wouldn’t be the right thing to do. We need to review and discuss how we move forward.”

HEATED DISCUSSION

Wolff later attempted to clarify what had happened in the meeting, explaining that “Nico felt he needed to hold his line. He needed to make a point.

“He (Rosberg) didn’t give in. He thought it was for Lewis to leave him space, and that Lewis didn’t leave him space,” added the Austrian.

“So they agreed to disagree in a very heated discussion amongst ourselves, but it wasn’t deliberately crashing. That is nonsense.”

Mercedes team bosses, speaking earlier as the dust settled on a race won by Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, were critical of Rosberg’s driving and indicated he could expect a stern response.

“You don’t try to overtake with the knife between your teeth in lap number two and damage both cars,” declared Wolff, who described the incident as “absolutely unacceptable”.

Retired triple champion and non-executive chairman Niki Lauda, speaking before the meeting with drivers, said Rosberg was at fault because Hamilton was in front.

“We lost the whole race, we could have been first and second…he provoked it, no question,” he said.

“Accidents can happen, and I have foreseen them anyway if two guys are fighting freely all the way to the end, and it is accepted but not on the second lap,” added Lauda.

“Why on the second lap? If he wants to pass him he can pass him on the slipstream easily one lap later without danger and without risk. It was not that he had to do it because it was the last corner.”

The two drivers had arrived in Belgium with the stage already set for sparks after a ‘team orders’ controversy in the previous race in Hungary in July, where Mercedes again backed Hamilton.

Rosberg had been angered after being beaten in that race by his team mate, despite being on pole while the Briton started last and in the pitlane.

Hamilton had been asked on the team radio not to hold up Rosberg in Hungary, with the two on differing strategies, but Hamilton had made clear Rosberg had to be close enough and he was not going to slow for him and damage his own chances.

Their relationship also entered a glacial phase after Monaco, where Hamilton suggested Rosberg might have deliberately gone off late in qualifying to bring out warning flags that denied him a chance to seize pole position.

Mercedes have generally allowed their drivers to race each other freely, wary of damaging the sport and angering fans at a time where they have been dominant on the track and seemingly in a private duel for the title.

Despite Sunday’s setback, the team have still won nine of the 12 races so far.

(Editing by Mark Meadows and Pritha Sarkar)

Fletcher still the boss, says Dhoni

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni insisted coach Duncan Fletcher was “still the boss” ahead of the forthcoming one-day series in England despite the upheaval in the tourists’ backroom staff.

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England’s 3-1 win over India in the five-Test series saw Dhoni’s men suffer innings defeats in the final two matches.

That led Indian officials to bring in former allrounder Ravi Shastri to “oversee” the team during a five-match one-day series starting in Bristol on Monday.

Meanwhile, fielding and bowling coaches Trevor Penney and Joe Dawes were both given a “break”.

One-day world champions India defend their title in Australia and New Zealand early next year and Dhoni was adamant Fletcher would be in charge for that competition, even though the former England boss has overseen two losing Test tours of England with India, following a defeat in 2011.

But the Zimbabwean was also in charge when India beat hosts England in last year’s Champions Trophy final at Birmingham’s Edgbaston ground.

“Definitely, Duncan will lead us into the World Cup … he is still the boss,” Dhoni said on Sunday.

“We have Ravi, who will look into everything, but Duncan Fletcher is the boss. It’s not as if his powers or his position have been curtailed … still operations remain the same.

“We have a few other support staff who come into the dressing room, but overall the operation remains the same,” the wicketkeeper-batsman added.

Asked about Shastri’s role, Dhoni said: “He is here to oversee the operations,” he added.

“He is a very proud India cricketer, and at the same time very positive. He believes a lot in fighting and having the right instincts … giving 100 per cent.

“He also speaks the same language, and can interact a lot with the players.”

Meanwhile, Dhoni said he expected England to pose more of a threat now that dynamic batsman Alex Hales had been brought in to open alongside skipper Alastair Cook.

“He is a fantastic batsman. He is a tall guy so he has a different reach,” Dhoni said of Hales.

“He also plays the spinners well. It will be a good acquisition for the English side.”

As for what India needed to do following their Test humbling, Dhoni said: “We have to stand up, take responsibility and back each other up.

“That will change the tough times we have had to successful times.”

Minnows Paderborn denied win in maiden Bundesliga game

Borussia Moenchengladbach needed a 90th-minute equaliser from World Cup winner Christoph Kramer to draw 1-1 with VfB Stuttgart in Sunday’s other match.

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Despite a squad budget of around five million euros ($6.62 million)- the smallest in the league – minnows Paderborn refused to buckle against their more experienced rivals, rewarding their 14,000 fans with their first point in their maiden top-flight appearance.

“I am very satisfied with our performance,” said Paderborn coach Andre Breitenreiter. “They ran, they fought and had courage. We would have deserved to have left the pitch as winners and we can all be very proud.

“We could have had a bit better possession in stoppage time but we can build on this performance today,” he said.

Japan striker Shinji Okazaki fired Mainz into the lead after tapping in from five metres following a free kick.

North Rhine-Westphalian club Paderborn, who finished a surprise second in the second division last season, kept their cool and earned an equaliser with Elias Kachunga’s powerful drive from 17 metres.

Uwe Huenemeier’s header three minutes from time from a Marvin Bakalorz cross triggered wild celebrations as the hosts thought they had sealed a memorable first win.

But Mainz kept at it, Okazaki rattling the post with a header in the last minute of regular time as they dug deep to avoid a season-opening defeat.

They were awarded a penalty in stoppage time after Huenemeier went from hero to villain in just a few minutes, bringing down Okazaki. Koo Ja-cheol converted the spot kick to save Mainz’s blushes.

In Moenchengladbach, Kramer rescued a 1-1 draw with his 90th-minute equaliser after Alexandru Maxim had profited from a deflection and a fine pass from Christian Gentner to give Stuttgart the lead early in the second half.

New arrival Thorgan Hazard, brother of Belgium winger Eden, pumped some life into Gladbach’s game when he hit the post minutes after coming on in the second half and Branimir Hrgota missed a simple tap-in.

But it was fellow substitute Kramer, who had come on in the 74th minute, who snatched the last-gasp equaliser and a point for the hosts with a low drive from inside the box to spoil coach Armin Veh’s return to the Stuttgart bench.

Champions Bayern Munich got off to a winning start on Friday, beating VfL Wolfsburg 2-1, while last season’s runners-up Borussia Dortmund slumped to a 2-0 home defeat against Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Josh Reich)

First intact organ built from cells

Reprogrammed cells created in a laboratory have been used to build a complete and functional organ in a living animal for the first time.

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British scientists produced a working thymus, a vital immune system “nerve centre” located near the heart.

In future the technique, so far only tested on mice, could be used to provide replacement organs for people with weakened immune systems, scientists believe.

But it might be another 10 years before such a treatment is shown to be effective and safe enough for human patients.

The research by-passed the usual step of generating “blank slate” stem cells from which chosen cell types are derived.

Instead, connective tissue cells from a mouse embryo were converted directly into a completely different cell strain by flipping a genetic “switch” in their DNA.

The resulting thymic epithelial cells (TECs) were mixed with other thymus cell types and transplanted into mice, where they spontaneously organised themselves and grew into a whole structured organ.

Professor Clare Blackburn, from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, who led the team of scientists, said: “The ability to grow replacement organs from cells in the lab is one of the ‘holy grails’ in regenerative medicine. But the size and complexity of lab-grown organs has so far been limited.

“By directly reprogramming cells we’ve managed to produce an artificial cell type that, when transplanted, can form a fully organised and functional organ. This is an important first step towards the goal of generating a clinically useful artificial thymus in the lab.”

If the immune system can be compared with an army, the thymus acts as its operations base. Here, T-cells made in the bone marrow are primed to attack foreign invaders, just as soldiers are armed and briefed before going into battle.

Once deployed by the thymus, the T-cells protect the body by scanning for infectious invaders such as bacteria and viruses, or dangerous malfunctioning cells, for instance from tumours. When an “enemy” is detected, the T-cells mount a co-ordinated immune response that aims to eliminate it.

People with a defective thymus lack functioning T-cells and are highly vulnerable to infections. This is especially hazardous for bone marrow transplant patients, who need a working thymus to rebuild their immune systems after surgery.

Around one in 4000 babies born each year in the UK have a malfunctioning or completely absent thymus, due to rare conditions such as DiGeorge syndrome.

Thymus disorders can be treated with infusions of extra immune cells or transplantation of a new organ soon after birth. However, such approaches are severely limited by a lack of donors and tissue rejection.

The new research, published in the journal Nature Cell Biology, raises the possibility of creating a whole new functioning thymus using cells manufactured in the laboratory.

While fragments of organs, including hearts, livers and even brains, have been grown from stem cells, no one before has succeeded in producing a fully intact organ from cells created outside the body.