Tom Pidcock rides new CeramicSpeed off-road pulleys to cyclocross victory

New British cyclocross champion using low friction pulley system from the Danish brand

CeramicSpeed says that its new OSPW X pulley system is designed for off-road riding and offers 30% to 40% less friction than a conventional pulley system. It’s been used and abused by rising cyclocross and road star Tom Pidcock, who won the British championship while using it on one of his bikes.

The OSPW X system is designed to replace the derailleur cage of SRAM Force 1 and Rival 1 single ring clutched derailleurs on cyclocross and gravel bikes. It uses CeramicSpeed’s low friction bearings, but pairs these to a specially designed pulley tooth profile to produce a cage designed to cope with harsh conditions.

Clutched rear mechs have been shown to generate greater friction in the drivetrain than a non-clutched mech, although that’s balanced out by the more consistent chain tension leading to less chainslap, more consistent chain tension, better pedalling dynamics and less risk of losing a chain.

CeramicSpeed offers a warranty of up to six years on its off-road pulleys, despite the harsh treatment they are likely to get

CeramicSpeed says that the new OSPW X is the first oversized pulley wheel system designed to work with clutched mechs and helps to lower that efficiency gap.

The CeramicSpeed OSPW X pulleys use wide-narrow tooth profiles, like those on SRAM 1’s chainrings, to mesh more closely with the two link widths in the chain. There’s also a new lightweight carbon fibre mech cage.



According to CeramicSpeed’s Executive Vice President Martin Banke: “When we realized our first OSPW System back in 2015, we always knew the product could provide major benefits to the off-road rider.

“We have learnt so much over the years in developing OSPW Systems. Gravel and CX is the natural progression from road. With thousands of testing kilometres banked, this is a brilliant product that is already proven in the harshest environments.”

>>> CeramicSpeed Driven: no chains, no mechs for a super-efficient drivetrain

It will be interesting to see if the CeramicSpeed OSPW X is forward-compatible with SRAM’s rumoured new flagship 12-speed Red eTap 1 groupset and whether there will be a version for Shimano’s two-ring Ultegra RX clutched rear mech.

CeramicSpeed offers a warranty of up to six years on the OSPW X system. Given the damage that muck and water can do when riding off-road, that shows a lot of confidence in the new system’s durability. It claims that its pulleys will last between three and five times as long as a standard cage.

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‘Really rewarding win’ – Sharapova beats champion Wozniacki

Maria Sharapova

Australian Open 2019
Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 14-27 January
Coverage: Daily live commentaries on the BBC Sport website, listen to Tennis Breakfast daily from 07:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and watch highlights on BBC TV and online from 19 January.

Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki was knocked out of the Australian Open as five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova provided a reminder of her ability with a three-set win.

Russia’s Sharapova, seeded 30th, hit 37 winners in a 6-4 4-6 6-3 victory to reach the fourth round.

Wozniacki, 28, led 4-1 in the first set, only to see Sharapova battle back.

The third seed broke in the final game of the second to level, but Sharapova edged a tight third in Melbourne.

The 2008 Australian Open champion, 31, took her second match point to win in two hours and 24 minutes and set up a fourth-round meeting with Australia’s Ashleigh Barty on Sunday.

“I haven’t played many matches in the last year, especially against top players and these are the ones I train for, so it’s really rewarding to win,” said Sharapova, who served a 15-month ban for failing a drugs test.

Danish world number three Wozniacki, defending the ranking points won in Melbourne last year, is set to slide down the standings as a result of the defeat.

She was competing at a Grand Slam as the defending champion for the first time, but says the experience did not put on added pressure.

“I did not find it hard all all. I find it kind of pleasurable,” she said.

“In tennis, you’re one on one, you battle and you do your best. One day you win, some days you lose.

“I gave it everything I had today. She was just a little bit better than me and that was really it.”

Sharapova’s talent shines through

Sharapova has been unable to climb back into the upper echelons of the game since returning from a doping ban in April 2017, making just one Grand Slam quarter-final at last year’s French Open.

But against Wozniacki she proved she still has the talent – and, most importantly, desire – to cause problems for the world’s best.

It was not Sharapova’s biggest win in terms of ranking since returning, having also beaten Simona Halep – who was then second in the world – at the 2017 US Open.

“These are the types of match-ups that I haven’t really had where I could really challenge myself,” Sharapova said.

“Whether it was a bad result or an easy two-set loss, to be in the grind of things and to have to figure out a way to be on top is what I missed.

“Halep was where I was challenged like that and maybe one or two other matches.

“When you put yourself in those positions and you get through, those are great victories.”

While she obviously impressed with her quality of play, her sheer will-to-win also stood out.

Against one of the game’s fittest and most relentless players, the Russian won 17 of 23 rallies which lasted nine shots or more.

That included a pivotal moment at 4-4 in the first set where she switched hands in a 23-shot rally to stay in the opening point and went on to win it.

In turn, she went on to hold and broke in the next game on her way to the opening set.

Sharapova was constantly screaming in celebration after seeing winners go in and an intense fist-pump at her box moments after clinching victory illustrated how much it meant.

“I haven’t played many matches in the last year against top players so it was really rewarding to win that last set,” she said.

“These are the kinds of matches I train for.”

Wozniacki unable to scale Slam heights again

Defeat is another blow for Wozniacki, who announced in October she has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

The former world number one came into the first Grand Slam of the year with little hype, perhaps because she has not gone past the last 16 at a major since winning in Melbourne and lost to Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu in Auckland earlier this month.

She found encouragement by easing past Belgium’s Alison van Uytvanck and Sweden’s Johanna Larsson – both ranked outside the top 50 – in the opening two rounds here.

But, against Sharapova, she was outfought.

Wozniacki was among one of the most vocal critics of Sharapova following her doping ban, leading to Sharapova’s agent Max Eisenbud dismissing the Dane as a “journeyman”.

Yet there was a civilised handshake at the net as Wozniacki congratulated Sharapova on her performance.

“Our terms are the same as they have always been,” the Dane said. “I think she doesn’t really talk to anybody and has her team and has her own thing.

“I do my own thing. We are competitors. We both try our hardest when we’re out there on court and fight our hardest.”

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Cycling cleaner than baseball, rugby and boxing in 2018, according to anti-doping campaigners

A study by the Movement for Credible Cycling has explored the number of doping cases across sport

Cycling’s tainted reputation among world sport may no longer reflect reality, judging by statistics compiled by anti-doping campaigners.

According to pro cycling’s movement against performance enhancing drugs, cycling was cleaner than 12 other sports, including baseball, rugby, boxing and American Football.

The Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) – a collection of cycling teams, former riders, and other sponsors trying to clean up the sport’s image – has compiled the number of doping offences across dozens of sport to compare cases.

According to the research, cycling is 13th in the list of sports where doping and corruption are most prevalent, with 17 cases revealed to the public in 2018.

In a statement released alongside the figures, the MPCC said: “We reckon cycling fans will be glad to see that their sport is ranked quite low in this classification of doping and corruption cases, far behind American sports, but also athletics, football and rugby.

>>> Email sent from testosterone supplier to Dr Richard Freeman obtained by BBC

“The one actual trend we can identify is that cycling is getting further away from the top of our doping cases classification.

“Though, cycling fans must mitigate their satisfaction – this is not due to a drop in doping cases, but mainly caused by this new transparency granted by the federations.”



In 2018 there were 17 doping cases in cycling revealed to the public, either by the press or by anti-doping authorities.

By comparison, track and field had the most doping offences confirmed with 98, followed by 83 in baseball and 74 in weightlifting.

Sport Number of doping cases in 2018 (doping + corruption cases)
Track and field 98 (102)
Baseball 83
Weightlifting 74
Football 16 (73)
Equestrian 41
Powerlifting 40
Cricket 7 (34)
American football 33
Rugby 33
Biathlon 14 (27)
Tennis 6 (25)
Boxing 20 (21)
Cycling 17
MMA 16
Crossfit 14
Swimming 9
Wrestling 8
Ice hockey 7
Rugby league 6
Basketball 5 (6)
Judo 5
Bodybuilding 4
Triathlon 4
Cue sports 3 (4)
Alpine skiing 3
Nordic skiing 3
Handball 2 (3)

Football saw 16 offences, while there were 41 for equestrian sports.

The MPCC has compiled these statistics for the last five years, but for the first time has also collected corruption data – cases of match-fixing and financial misconduct.

The organisation said it has not been able to detect a trend in doping within cycling, with figures remaining at a consistent level in recent years.

There were no cases of corruption revealed to the public in cycling last year.

>>>Riders face disqualification, bans and suspension for using tramadol in competition as UCI bans painkiller

According to the study, there were two doping cases at WorldTour level, four at Pro Continental and four at continental.

Most offences were in the road discipline (11), with one in BMX, four in mountain biking and one on the track.

A majority of doping offences in cycling were also committed by men – 15 compared to just two in the women’s side of the sport.

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Rafael Nadal beats Alex de Minaur in Australian Open third round

Breaking news

Australian Open 2019
Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 14-27 January
Coverage: Daily live commentaries on the BBC Sport website, listen to Tennis Breakfast daily from 07:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and watch highlights on BBC TV and online from 19 January.

Second seed Rafael Nadal made an impressive statement by crushing home teenager Alex de Minaur in little over two hours at the Australian Open.

Spain’s Nadal, 32, won 6-1 6-2 6-4 in their third-round match in Melbourne.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion dominated on serve, ruthlessly allowing the 19-year-old to win just 21% of receiving points.

That allowed him to attack De Minaur’s serve, breaking five times on his way into the last 16.

Nadal, who won the Australian Open in 2009, will face unseeded Czech Tomas Berdych next on Sunday.

Former Wimbledon finalist Berdych has dropped down the rankings after injury problems, but has shown signs of rediscovering his best form this year, including a dominant win over British number one Kyle Edmund in the first round.

The world number 57 fought back to beat Argentine 18th seed Diego Schwartzman in his third-round match.

More soon.

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Specialized Allez 2019 range explained

The Specialized Allez range consists of great entry level road bikes and a crit racing machine – we help you choose the right model for you

The Specialized Allez road bike has stood the test of time as a model family, with early versions appearing as far back as the late 1970s.

It’s a well known, and well loved, platform that provided the first springboard into cycling for thousands of riders – and it continues to do so.

>>> Specialized bikes: everything you need to know

Whilst some models within the family are still purpose designed to provide an excellent introduction to cycling, the range also includes some race tuned machines created with full throttle riding at front of mind.

The new 2018 models have been released and are on sale – however, as explained below, the geometry has changed and there are still 2017 models on the market if you’re keen to invest in the older style.

>>> Best aluminium road bikes

The Specialized Allez 2019: highlights and prices

For 2019, the range consists of five key standards – with prices ranging from £630 to £1900.

The three more value orientated models, under the names ‘Allez Elite’, ‘Allez Sport’ and bog standard ‘Allez’ represent the traditional Allez values, whilst the top end ‘Allez Sprint Comp’ model takes on a much more race focused approach.

Being a consistently best selling bike for the American giants – and indeed for retailers all over the world – the Allez has received a lot of design hours.

>>> Is the new 2018 Specialized Allez the best £1000 bike available to buy?

Last year,  the non-sprint Allez models received a major facelift this year. The biggest upgrade was the introduction of a new, full carbon fork, which the brand say weighs in at 350g and mimics one which you would have found on S-Works bikes not too long ago.

Specialized Allez

Full carbon fork, even on the lowest price Allez

The geometry was also adjusted – it’s less aggressive than that which you’d find on models from 2017 and before.

Using ‘wide range geometry’, the set up is designed to be more friendly to first time buyers – allowing a broader group of riders of all shapes and sized to find the right fit. This said, the bike can be slammed to ride much more like the aggressive Tarmac race bike. Alterations include a slacker fork and headtube angle and a longer chainstay for additional stability.

For greater compliance and comfort, Specialized has mirrored the rear end technology we see on the Venge Vias and the new Diverge – the seat stays meet the seat tube much lower down.

The Allez models also include eyelets for mudguards and internally routed cables – along with hydro formed tubing which keeps the weight low.

With the 2018 onwards geometry and mudguard mounts, the Allez models can make good commuters and all sit below the cycle to work voucher threshold.

The Allez Sprint models have a much more aggressive geometry when compared with all other Allez bikes; they’re designed for out-and-out crit racing and disregards comfort in favour of full throttle speed at every avenue.

Specialized

The Specialized Allez Sprint in a custom 5th Floor paint job

The Allez Sprint bikes even feature the ‘Smartweld Technology’ which Specialized first launched in 2013.

Pitched as a welding technique designed to re-invent the way alloy was viewed as a frame material, its a form of welding that moves the joint away from high stress areas, providing, in their words a better “balance of strength, rigidity and weight”. Effectively it makes the front end lighter and stiffer.

Here’s a look at the key models in the range. Since the 2018 bikes are fairly new on the market, there are generally still 2017 bikes around if you’re keen to invest in the more racey geometry of days gone by…

Specialized Allez road bike: £630

specialized allez 2019

Specialized Allez 2019

The entry level E5 retails at £630, sitting at a very wallet friendly price point for a quality road bike.

Specialized has fitted the new top end full carbon fork plus a carbon seat post – these will reduce vibrations from the road and cut the overall weight.

The levers an derailleurs are Shimano Claris 2000 STI – giving you eight gears with a Sunrace 11-32 cassette and 50/34 rings on a Shimano RS200 crankset – this gear set up offers you lots of options in the hills but the wide spaced cassette will feel clunky to racers who want to find the ideal cog.

The brakes are Tektro calipers, with Axis Sport wheels and 25mm Espoir Sport tyres – these are all reliable and trustable, though far from premium.

Specialized Allez Sport road bike: £850

specialized allez 2019

Specialized Allez Sport 2019

Moving one step up the run, the Allez E5 Sport comes in at £850 and features the same frame as the entry level model, with refined components that will drop a little off the wight and make shifting crisper.

The shifters and derailleurs are Shimano Sora, this time with a nine speed 11-32 cassette – one extra gear is afforded by the slightly higher end set up.

The compact chainset comes from Praxis whilst the same Axis Sport wheels are used.

Specialized Allez Elite road bike: £1050

Specialized Allez 2019

Specialized Allez Elite 2019

Topping out the Allez E5 family, dressed in a blue and red or plain black paint job and improved components, is the Elite model for £1050

The key distinguishing feature is the addition of Shimano 105 shifters and an 11-32, 11 speed cassette. The greater number of gears will provide smaller gaps between gears whilst still leaving plenty of downshifting potential in the hills thanks to the same wide ratio. A Praxis bottom bracket and chainset still comes with a 50/34 compact chainset.

As per all models, the saddle, stem, bar tape and handlebars are all provided by Specialized – who invest heavily in their BodyGeometry technology designed to offer a more anatomically optimised experience.

Specialized Allez Sprint Comp road bike (£1700) and Sprint Comp disc bike (£1900)

specialized allez 2019

Specialized Allez Sprint Comp 2019

Specialized Allez 2019

Specialized Allez Sprint Comp Disc 2019

The sprint comp disc is much like the comp, but with one very obvious differentiator: hydraulic disc brakes, which match the Shimano 105 groupset. These will provide superior stopping, particularly in the wet.

There’s two frameset only models, with some celebratory paint jobs in homage to the Allez Sprint’s crit racing heritage.

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Australian Open 2019: Maria Sharapova beats defending champion Caroline Wozniacki

Maria Sharapova

Australian Open 2019
Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 14-27 January
Coverage: Daily live commentaries on the BBC Sport website, listen to Tennis Breakfast daily from 07:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and watch highlights on BBC TV and online from 19 January.

Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki was knocked out of the Australian Open as five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova provided a reminder of her ability with a three-set win.

Russia’s Sharapova, seeded 30th, hit 37 winners in a 6-4 4-6 6-3 victory to reach the fourth round.

Wozniacki, 28, led 4-1 in the first set, only to see Sharapova battle back.

The third seed broke in the final game of the second to level, Sharapova edging a tight third in Melbourne.

The 2008 Australian Open champion took her second match point to win in two hours and 24 minutes and set up a fourth-round meeting with Australia’s Ashleigh Barty on Sunday.

“I thought the level was quite high. I knew I’d get a tough match,” Sharapova, 31, said.

Danish world number three Wozniacki, defending the ranking points won in Melbourne last year, is set to slide down the standings as a result of the defeat.

Sharapova’s talent shines through

Sharapova has been unable to climb back into the upper echelons of the game since returning from a doping ban in April 2017, making just one Grand Slam quarter-final at last year’s French Open.

But against Wozniacki she proved she still has the talent – and, most importantly, desire – to cause problems for the world’s best.

It was not Sharapova’s biggest win in terms of ranking since returning, having also beat Simona Halep – who was then second in the world – at the 2017 US Open.

While she obviously impressed with her quality of play, her sheer will-to-win also stood out.

Against one of the game’s fittest and most relentless players, the Russian won 17 of 23 rallies which lasted nine shots or more.

That included a pivotal moment at 4-4 in the first set where she switched hands in a 23-shot rally to stay in the opening point and went on to win it.

In turn, she went on to hold and broke in the next game on her way to the opening set.

Sharapova was constantly screaming in celebration after seeing winners go in and an intense fist-pump at her box moments after clinching victory illustrated how much it meant.

“I haven’t played many matches in the last year against top players so it was really rewarding to win that last set,” she said.

“These are the kinds of matches I train for.”

Wozniacki unable to scale Slam heights again

Defeat is another blow for Wozniacki, who announced in October she has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

The former world number one came into the first Grand Slam of the year with little hype, perhaps because she has not gone past the last 16 at a major since winning in Melbourne and lost to Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu in Auckland earlier this month.

She found encouragement by easing past Belgium’s Alison van Uytvanck and Sweden’s Johanna Larsson – both ranked outside the top 50 – in the opening two rounds here.

But, against Sharapova, she was outfought.

Wozniacki was among one of the most vocal critics of Sharapova following her doping ban, leading to Sharapova’s agent Max Eisenbud dismissing the Dane as a “journeyman”.

Yet there was a civilised handshake at the net as Wozniacki congratulated Sharapova on her performance.

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Defending champion Daryl Impey wins stage four of Tour Down Under

2018 race champion Daryl Impey of Mitchelton-Scott sprinted to victory on stage four of the Tour Down Under

Defending champion Daryl Impey beat current race leader Patrick Bevin (CCC Team) to win stage four of the Tour Down Under.

The Mitchelton-Scott rider beat Bevin just before the line in Campbelltown after a reduced peloton had brought back a select group of star-studded climbers just in time for a sprint finish.

Bevin’s second-place earns him six bonus seconds and he increases his lead in the ochre jersey to seven seconds from Impey. Third-place on the stage Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) sits 19 seconds adrift of the New Zealander.

It had looked like one of the pre-race favourites would come out on top in the undulating stage, with Wout Poels (Team Sky), George Bennett (Team Jumbo-Visma), Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) and Michael Woods (EF-Education First) attacking on the final climb.

But they were eventually caught and when it came down to the sprint it was the South African champion Impey who had the fastest legs.

>>> Milan-San Remo winner Filippo Pozzato due to kickstart new career in roller hockey

How it happened

Riders would have appreciated the drop in temperature at the beginning of the stage, and once they got going a breakaway of six formed. It consisted of Thomas de Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain-Merida), Miles Scotson (Groupama-FDJ), Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale), Jasha Sütterlin (Movistar) and Nicholas White (UniSA-Australia).

The group enjoyed a lead of over five minutes, but their advantage dipped to one minute with 20km remaining. It was then that local rider Scotson and breakaway specialist De Gendt jumped clear of their escapees, hoping to extend their time gap on the 10km downhill on Gorge Road. The six, however, were soon back together.

Fifteen kilometres from the finish and Scotson tried his fortune again, setting an incessant pace. Only Pernsteiner and eventually Sütterlin could keep up with him, with his other breakaway companions unable to close the gap.

>>> Chris Froome shares first monster ride of 2019 on Strava

As the new leading trio turned onto the Corkscrew climb with 7.5km left, the peloton behind were rearranging themselves to protect each teams’ general classification riders.

Remi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick Step) soon moved off the front of the peloton but found it hard to gain time on the remaining leader Pernsteiner. At 6.4km, stage three winner Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) was seen dropping out the back of the peloton.

At the same time, Poels of Team Sky attacked on a left-turning hairpin in the road, bringing with him fellow GC contenders Bennett, Porte and Woods. The latter then overtook Poels but was unable to shake off the other three.

They all crested the top of the climb together and began the descent with an eight second lead over the chasing group. At 2,000m from the finish, though, the leaders were swamped up by the Mitchelton-Scott-led peloton and they all made it into Campbelltown as one group.

Sanchez was at the front of the 20-man pack as they took a turn to the right into the final 500 metres. The Spaniard hesitated in sprinting at first, looking back, but he then went full-gas.

He was unable to power away, though, and Bevin quickly latched onto his back wheel. The race leader then swung to his left and charged beyond Sanchez. But Impey was directly behind and darted further to the left to speed past Bevin and take the win. It was the second successive stage Sanchez had finished on the podium but not the top step.

Results

Stage four: Unley > Campbelltown, 129.2km

1. Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott, in 3:03.27
2. Patrick Bevin (NWZ) CCC Team
3. Luis Leon Sanchez (Esp) Astana
4. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) (Katusha-Alpecin)
5. Rubén Fernández (Esp) Movistar
6. George Bennett (NWZ) Jumbo-Visma
7. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE-Team Emirates
8. Michael Woods (Can) EF-Education First
9. Chris Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb
10. Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team Sky, all at same time

General classification after stage four

1. Patrick Bevin (NWZ) CCC Team, in 13:23.30
2. Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott, at 7secs
3. Luis Leon Sanchez (Esp) Astana, at 19secs
4. Chris Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb
5. Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension-Data
6. Jan Polanc (Slv) UAE-Team Emirates
7. George Bennett (NWZ) Jumbo-Visma
8. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) (Katusha-Alpecin)
9. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE-Team Emirates
10. Michael Woods (Can) EF-Education First, all at 21secs

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Australian Open 2019: Roger Federer beats Taylor Fritz to reach fourth round

Roger Federer

Australian Open 2019
Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 14-27 January
Coverage: Daily live commentaries on the BBC Sport website, listen to Tennis Breakfast daily from 07:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and watch highlights on BBC TV and online from 19 January.

Roger Federer delivered a serving masterclass to sweep aside American Taylor Fritz and reach the Australian Open fourth round.

The defending champion won 6-2 7-5 6-2 under the roof on Rod Laver Arena at a rainy Melbourne Park.

The Swiss third seed, 37, is aiming to become the first man to win seven Australian Open titles.

Next up for him is Greek 14th seed Stefano Tsitsipas, who beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3 3-6 7-6 (9-7) 6-4.

More to follow.

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Phil Mickelson cards career-best 12 under 60 at Desert Classic

Phil Mickelson lines up a putt

Five-time major champion Phil Mickelson carded the lowest round of his career with a 12-under-par 60 at the Desert Classic in California.

In his first round of the year, the American, 48, shot 10 birdies and an eagle at La Quinta to lead by four strokes midway through an opening round delayed by fog.

Britain’s Justin Rose, the world number one, is four under after shooting a 72.

Scotland’s Martin Laird managed nine birdies in a 65 at the Nicklaus Course.

The tournament is played over three venues – La Quinta, the Nicklaus Tournament Course and the host Stadium Course, which will stage Sunday’s final round.

Mickelson, who has twice carded 11-under rounds of 60 at the Phoenix Open, was eight under after 11 holes.

He found a bunker at the par-three 12th and needed a magnificent escape to six inches to save par, and chipped in for a birdie on the par-four 14th.

Needing to birdie the final two holes for a 59, he saw a birdie putt at the 17th slide by, before holing from 10 feet for a birdie at the last.

“I really didn’t think this was going to be a day when I would go low. I came in with very low expectations,” Mickelson said.

“I haven’t had a lot of time to practise and prepare but sometimes you have days where it clicks and the bad shots I hit I got away with.”

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