Majka, the Polish rider who won two stages of the 2014 Tour as well as the King of the Mountains title, soloed to victory on the 188-kilometre route from Pau, with Birmingham-born Irishman Dan Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) second, one minute behind. Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Argon) was third and Froome (Team Sky) rolled in 5mins 21secs behind Majka in ninth place as part of an elite group. The tempo set by the defending champion’s squad strung out the bunch as up ahead Majka attacked. Majka led Serge Pauwels (MTN-Qhubeka) over the summit of the 17.1km climb. The descent had more obstacles than usual as the free grazing cattle crossed the road, Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin) just missing one cow as it stepped out. Froome’s group was around six minutes adrift of Majka, who had to maintain his advantage over Pauwels and negotiate the category three Cote de Cauterets and the final 3km to claim a third Tour stage win in two years. Martin overtook Pauwels on the lower slopes of the finishing ascent, but left himself too much to do as Majka took victory. Team Sky allowed others to break clear of the Froome group, but none are realistic contenders and the 30-year-old leader was content to coast in, another stage completed. Ten remain en route to Paris on July 26. Rafal Majka won stage 11 of the Tour de France to Cauterets as Chris Froome defended his considerable advantage in the yellow jersey. The bunch included the main protagonists, so Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) remained 2:52 behind in second place overall and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) third, 3:09 adrift. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) stayed fifth, 4:03 back, and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) 4:04 behind in sixth. Defending champion Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) began the day 6:57 adrift and lost further time, finishing 50secs behind Froome to fall almost eight minutes adrift. His hopes of a successful title defence are apparently over. Thursday’s stage 12 is the 195km from Lannemezan to Plateau de Beille and is the final Pyrenees stage of the race. On Friday the peloton begin the traverse east towards the Alps with the route from Muret to Rodez, a stage Lance Armstrong will ride as part of Le Tour-One Day Ahead on Thursday alongside Geoff Thomas, the former England footballer who is hoping to raise £1million for Cure Leukaemia. Martin broke clear of the peloton to join the day’s early seven-man breakaway, which included Majka. The eight-rider group had a large advantage atop the Col d’Aspin, the fourth of the day’s six categorised climbs. The punishing ascent of the hors categorie (beyond category) Col du Tourmalet splintered the breakaway as behind them Nibali’s Astana squad led the peloton. Press Association
The Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team (13-6, 5-3 Big Ten) held on late to defeat the Illinois Fighting Illini (5-14, 1-7) in Champaign Wednesday night by a final score of 72–60. The Badgers staved off an Illini comeback to earn their second consecutive victory after beating No. 2 Michigan Saturday afternoon.In his post-game press conference on the Big Ten Network, Head Coach Greg Gard was happy to escape with a win after Illinois kept things interesting all night.Men’s basketball: Happ, Wisconsin stun No. 2 Michigan in front of sold-out Kohl CenterThe University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team (12-6, 4-3 Big Ten) upset No. 2 Michigan (17-1, 6-1) 64–54 at the Read…“They don’t call it an ugly win for no reason, but the bottom line is we got the victory,” Gard said.An “ugly win” is putting it lightly, as Wisconsin looked rough from the opening tip. Despite shooting 7-7 from the floor while holding Illinois to 6-14 shooting in the same stretch, the usually sure-handed Badgers had seven turnovers in the first nine minutes of the game. This allowed Illinois to keep it close, with the score sitting at 18–18 midway through the first half.Illinois maintained their defensive prowess throughout the first half, holding Wisconsin to 5-19 shooting and forcing three more turnovers, bringing the Badgers’ total to a season-high 10 first-half turnovers.Wisconsin got into foul trouble quickly in the second half with nine fouls in the first five minutes and 30 seconds, putting Illinois in the double bonus early. The Illini would pull within one at the 11 minute, 30 second mark in the second half with a score of 44–43. Despite the foul trouble and an additional six turnovers in the second half, the Badgers pulled away late to win 72–60.Men’s Basketball: Struggling Badgers look to clean things up before MarchThe University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team (12-6, 4-3), fresh off a dramatic upset of No. 2 Michigan, is getting Read…The star of the game was again Ethan Happ, but for all the wrong reasons. The senior finished with a season-low nine points Wednesday, ending his consecutive 10-point game streak at 42 games — one short of the University of Wisconsin record held by Alando Tucker.In lieu of Happ’s unusual production on the offensive end, sophomore Nate Reuvers finished with a career-high 22 points and added 10 rebounds. Junior Khalil Iverson also filled the box score with 12 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals. For Illinois, freshman Giorgi Bezhanishvili finished with 20 points and eight rebounds.Up next for the Badgers, they’ll take on the Northwestern Wildcats at the Kohl Center Saturday at 1:15 p.m. Catch the game on the Big Ten Network or the Badger Radio Network.