COMING UP THIS MONTH
Tour DuPont (bicycle racing)
Sometimes called America's premier cycling event, the Tour DuPont is about as close as the United States comes to the Tour de France. The race from Wilmington, Del., to Winston-Salem, N.C., covers 1,050 miles. In the event's five-year existence, Greg LeMond, a three-time winner of the Tour de France, is the only American to win it, in 1992. Unlike the Tour de France, the DuPont race is not exclusively open to professionals. Mostly a men's event, this year it incorporates separate women's races.
As the crown jewel of American thoroughbred racing, the Derby, in its 120th year, attracts even those with no regular interest in the sport. The run for the roses at Churchill Downs in Louisville is also the first stop in the Triple Crown sequence for three-year-olds. The Preakness in Baltimore and The Belmont Stakes held outside New York City follow at two- and three-week intervals and complete the Triple Crown circuit. Affirmed was the last horse to win all three, in 1978.
It's the second-richest tournament in women's golf, with a total purse of $1.1 million. Some 144 golfers will tee off in Wilmington, Del., including the winners of all 1993 tour events.
European Cup Final (soccer)
Barcelona FC and AC Milan, professional teams loaded with players who will compete in this summer's World Cup matches, meet in Athens in the most prestigious club event in European soccer. This championship game closes out a pro-league season that began last August and has seen the best team from each national pro league advance to the playoffs.
May 23-June 5
The lone clay-court event of tennis's big-four tournaments, the French Open in Paris favors those with strong baseline games. This event used to frustrate the top American men, with their hard-court games, but Jim Courier has broken through a couple times recently, and Michael Chang before that. Steffi Graf will defend her women's title.
Bruce Jenner Classic (track and field)
This meet in San Jose, Calif., which bears the name of the 1976 Olympic decathlon champion, is one of just two in the United States (and 17 worldwide) to carry Grand Prix status, as conferred by track and field's international governing body. That means it's part of a year-long points competition. Athletes from more than 20 countries will compete.
Mario Andretti bids adieu to the old brickyard. If he qualifies (he's been in the front row each of the last three years), Andretti will be racing in his last Indy - he is retiring after this season. Andretti has only won the race once, in 1969, while compiling an overall record that establishes him as one of the all-time driving greats. Qualifying begins May 14.
May 31-June 14
Stanley Cup hockey finals
These are tentative dates for the best-of-seven series; an earlier start is possible. The National Hockey League is assured of having a new champion, since the defending Montreal Canadiens were eliminated in the playoffs by the Boston Bruins.