An eclectic mix of sport of the highest quality is on display across the globe throughout the week. From a clash between two of the most in form sides in MLB, to the conclusion of the Tour de France, there is a real viewing variety to look forward to. Newly crowned Cricket World Cup champions England play Ireland in a Test match for the very first time, and two of rugby union’s biggest nations go toe to toe in preparation for their World Cup meeting. The cream of the golfing crop will descend upon Memphis for the FedEX St. Jude Invitational, and another thrilling weekend of Formula 1 awaits at the German Grand Prix.
The top two teams in the MLB’s AL West go head-to-head as the Oakland Athletics look to close in on the division-leading Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
Houston find themselves atop the AL West as they look for their third straight division title. They have a comfortable lead but will have to be wary as they welcome the hungry second-place Oakland Athletics to Texas. However, the Astros have handled the Athletics well this season, going 7-1 against them so far. That said, the Athletics are on a hot streak, having dominated a struggling Seattle before holding their own against a high-flying Minnesota. Tonight’s first game in a three-game series is one you won’t want to miss.
Just five stages remain before the Tour de France winner is crowned at the Champs-Élysées.
With a day's rest in their legs, riders will tackle 177 flat kilometres, starting and finishing in Nîmes. Stage 16 will see the riders cycling across the stunning Pont du Gard; the 160ft tall ancient aqueduct bridge that crosses the Gardon River. The stage is likely to finish with a bunched sprint. With Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe, defending champion Geraint Thomas, his Team Ineos teammate Egan Bernal plus the chasing pack all currently jostling for the Yellow Jersey, the next few stages could be crucial in determining who will be stood on top of the podium in Paris.
England and Ireland face each other in a Test match for the very first time as preparation for this summer’s Ashes gets underway.
Fresh from being crowned world champions a little over a week ago, England’s focus now switches from ODI to Test cricket with the Ashes looming. England take to the cricket pitch for the first time since their historic World Cup win, with a one off Test match against Ireland. Jason Roy is rewarded for his fine World Cup form with a first ever Test call up. However, fellow World Cup heroes Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler are to be rested. Ireland themselves go into the match in good form, having convincingly beaten Zimbabwe 3-0 in a recent ODI series. Expect a cracking game, as this incredible summer of cricket continues.
The third World Golf Championship event of the year gets underway as the FedEx St. Jude Invitational takes place at the esteemed TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee.
Some of the world’s best golfers travel to the gated community of Southwind to participate in the prestigious St. Jude Invitational. The 21st edition of the tournament will be the first played at Southwind. 46 of the 64-strong field are currently ranked within the top 50 in the world, making for a highly talented field. 7 past champions will also be competing, each of whom will be eager to add another trophy to their legacy. Be sure you don’t miss what is sure to be the exciting start to the tournament.
With the end in sight, the Tour de France takes the riders high into the French Alps.
In the third from last stage of the Tour de France, the riders will push themselves as they ride 126.5KM into the mountains. Starting in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, the stage rises to an altitude of over 2000m on route to the ski resort of Tignes. Of particularly note is the 3.1KM climb at a 6.8% gradient that will push the riders to their limits. The competitors will also ride along Col de l’Iseran, the highest paved pass in Europe, providing exquisite scenic views. Will Julian Alaphilippe still be wearing the yellow jersey? Or will someone have caught the Frenchman? Be sure you tune in to find out.
The annual Southern Hemisphere tournament continues with this blockbuster Rugby Championship fixture.
Two rugby giants go head to head in Wellington. Excitingly, New Zealand and South Africa will face each other in their opening group stage fixture at the Rugby World Cup, which is now just two months away. Saturday’s game could offer an interesting insight into how things will play out in Japan come September. The All Blacks should be back to full strength, having rested a number of players for their opening Rugby Championship fixture against Argentina. Expect a pulsating match as two of the game’s biggest names attempt to lay down a marker before the World Cup.
The penultimate Formula 1 grand prix before the summer break takes place in Hockenheim.
Can anyone stop Lewis Hamilton? The British driver goes into Sunday’s GP having topped the podium in five of the last six races. Hamilton won at Silverstone for a record sixth time in a thrilling race two weeks ago to maintain his lead at the top of the driver’s championship. He currently leads Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas by 39 points. Sebastian Vettel crashed at the British GP, and will be hoping for improved fortunes at his home grand prix. If the events from a fortnight ago are anything to go by, we should be in for another spectacular spectacle.
The ATP Hamburg European Open gets underway at the Rothenbaum Tennis Center. It’s sure to be an exciting week of tennis as some of the best up-and-coming young male tennis players go head-to-head. There is plenty of cricket this week, with the T20 Blast competition taking place at venues around England while England’s Women host Australia’s Women for T20 fixtures on Friday and Sunday. Meanwhile, England’s Test against Ireland is set to run until Saturday. The penultimate major of the women’s golf season, the Evian Championship,begins on Thursday and runs until Sunday. The FedEx St. Jude Invitational, which begins on Thursday will also play through to Sunday. UFC 240 takes place at Rogers Place in Ontario on Saturday. The main events see Max Holloway face Frankie Edgar and Cris Cyborg fight Felicia Spencer. The Tour de France reaches its climax, with a series of brutal stages across the week before Sunday’s prestigious procession down the Champs-Élysées. The Semifinals of rugby league’s Challenge Cup take place at the University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Warrington Wolves take on Hull FC while St Helens come up against Halifax. In the week’s other Rugby Championship match, Australia will look to bounce back from their loss to South Africa in a match against Argentina in Brisbane.
A world-class week of sport awaits. Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by Oakland Athletics, Houston Astros, Tour de France, ICC Cricket, WGC FedEX St. Jude Invitational, All Blacks, Formula 1
Written and information accurate on 21st July at 6pm GMT
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