In today’s sports news: what you need to know

The latest – New Zealand driver Shane van Gisbergen has won his 16th race of the Australian Supercars season after claiming both victories at Sandown on Sunday.

Shane van Gisbergen
Photo: PHOTO SPORTS

He has now equaled Craig Lownde’s winning tally in a season with only that of fellow New Zealander Scott McLaughlin.

Lowndes set his record of 16 wins in 1996 before McLaughlin improved the record to 18 in 2019.

Van Gisbergen now has 70 career wins.

Van Gisbergen has eight more races in four events to surpass McLaughlin’s tally.

Fittingly, van Gisbergen could match and break compatriot McLaughlin’s record on home soil.

The next three races of the season will be held at Pukekohe Park Raceway in Auckland next month.

Van Gisbergen will lead an extended 500-point series lead to New Zealand next month.

Three in a row for Bagnaia

Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia took three straight MotoGP wins at the Austrian Grand Prix, while Championship leader Fabio Quartararo stormed into second place on his Yamaha with a late climb at Spielberg.

Ducati Lenovo team rider Francesco Bagnaia.

Francesco Bagnaja
Photo: PHOTO SPORTS

Bagnaia, who also won the British GP and Dutch GP, finished 0.492s clear of Quartararo while Jack Miller completed the podium.

He became just the second Italian rider in the modern MotoGP era to win three consecutive races, after Valentino Rossi, who retired after nine world titles last year.

Bagnaia started second on the grid and made a lightning start at the Red Bull Ring, passing Gresini Racing polesitter Enea Bastianini on the first lap.

Bastianini dropped further to fourth on lap six as Bagnaia’s teammate Miller and Pramac Ducati’s Jorge Martin advanced before being forced to retire with a flat front tire after his bike crashed into the gravel.

Martin was looking for a podium finish but went too far in the chicane on lap 17, handing third place to Yamaha rider Quartararo, who started fifth on the grid.

Quartararo then put pressure on Miller for second place and was successful with less than three laps to go after making a stunning move at turn two in the middle of the chicane.

The Frenchman is now 32 points clear of Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro in the drivers’ standings, while Bagnaia is third, 44 points adrift of the leader.

-Reuters

Usman upset

Britain’s Leon Edwards sensationally defeated Kamaru Usman to win the welterweight title at UFC 278 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Edwards, 30, trailing on points in the fifth, landed a left high-kick to stun Nigeria’s pound-for-pound number one contender.

Edwards will become the first British champion since Michael Bisping in 2016 and only the second in history.

“You all doubted me and said I couldn’t do it – look at me now,” Edwards said.

“I come from the trenches. I’m built that way. I’ve been doubted all my life, but look at me now.”

Edwards of Birmingham avenged his 2015 defeat by beating Usman and ending the 35-year-old’s 15-year unbeaten run in the UFC.

A major underdog at bookmakers, Jamaica-born Edwards has extended his winning streak to 10 since losing to Usman seven years ago.

Usman won the first fight, using his grappling to control most of the fight – a tactic Edwards says opened his eyes to weaknesses in his own grappling game.

-BBC

Bennett wins again

Bora Hansgrohe’s Sam Bennett claimed his second consecutive stage win by winning stage three of the Vuelta a Espana, a 193km flat circuit that started and finished in Breda.

Bennett, who also won stage two in Utrecht, was fastest in the bunch sprint finish of the last stage on Dutch soil.

The Irishman finished ahead of Trek-Segafredo’s Mads Pedersen, as in stage two, with Arkea-Samsic’s Dan McLay completing the podium.

Bennett became the second Irish rider, after Sean Kelly, to win at least 10 stages at Grand Tours.

Jumbo-Visma’s Edoardo Affini will take over the red jersey for the leader named ‘La Roja’ for stage four.

The peloton moves to Spain on Monday. The following six stages before the next rest day are driven in the low or high mountains of northern Spain, in the Basque Country and in Asturias.

-Reuters

Tom Weiskopf dies

Tom Weiskopf, who won The Open in 1973 and was a well-known golf commentator and course designer, died at the age of 79.

He has been dealing with pancreatic cancer since late 2020.

Weiskopf won 16 times on the PGA Tour between 1968 and 1982. His greatest triumph came at Royal Troon in 1973, where he recorded a three-stroke victory over Johnny Miller and Neil Coles.

He won four other PGA Tour Champions titles, including the 1995 US Senior Open.

Weiskopf was a member of the US Ryder Cup team in 1973 and 1975. He was part of the 1977 team but chose to go hunting rather than compete in the event.

Known for his fiery temper on the golf course, Weiskopf earned the nickname “The Towering Inferno”.

Weiskopf joined CBS as a golf analyst and ABC Sports/ESPN to television.

He has also been involved in designing golf courses, with more than 40 to his credit. That list includes TPC Scottsdale, home of the PGA Tour’s World Championship Phoenix Open, Troon North GC in Scottdale and Loch Lomond GC in Scotland.

-Reuters

Tanak continues WRC run

Hyundai driver Ott Tanak clinched his second consecutive World Rally Championship win when he kept his nerve to edge out Toyota’s Elfyn Evans at the Ypres Rally Belgium.

Tanak, who took first place yesterday after teammate Thierry Neuville fell at his home race, won Sunday’s final stage by a five-second margin over Evans.

The Estonian, winner in Finland earlier this month, is 72 points behind Toyota’s world champion Kalle Rovanpera.

Rovanpera, 21, was out of contention after a crash on day one but picked up five points on the Power Stage and stayed on course to become the youngest WRC champion in history.

-Reuters

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