Category Archives: cycling

Armstrong Admits Doping

Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong finally admitted to years of doping yesterday as his emotional interview with Oprah went to air.

The cyclist, who has had his seven Tour de France titles stripped, as well as his bronze from 2000 confessed in his interview that his career was “one big lie”.

“This story was so perfect for so long. You overcome the disease, you win the Tour de France seven times – it was this mythic, perfect story, and it wasn’t true,” he said.

Armstrong revealed that he had been on a doping programme since the mid 1990’s where he had been involved in blood transfusions and banned substance use in his time in the sport.

However, he denied accusations that the US Postal Service Team’s doping programme was the most sophisticated in the sport, instead commenting that his doping in cycling is “so bad and so toxic.”

During the interview, Armstrong appeared composed and was thoughtful with his answers.

Despite coming clean, he tried to justify his actions of taking EPO and testosterone, due to his history as a cancer sufferer, but claims that his is just one of many drug cheats in a sport where doping creates a “level playing field.”

After admitting that he had ridden all seven of his victories in the Tour, he claimed he was clean in his comeback and had he not come back he would not have been caught.

He said: “The accusation and the alleged proof that they say that I doped after my comeback [in 2009] is not true. The last time I crossed that line [doping] was 2005.”

He however knew the time was up when his friend George Hincapie testified against him.

He however has still not failed a test in the rules or competing and has been found guilty in retrospect: “I didn’t fail a test. Stuff was retroactively tested, and I failed those, but the hundreds of tests that I took, I passed them because there was nothing in my system.”

Armstrong has now hinted that he would like to get involved with anti-doping officials to back a truth and reconciliation process.

His career, “one big lie”, has still caused pain to many cyclists and people involved with cycling, and he now needs to show remorse to fellow people in the sport.

He has stopped people claiming victory, changed their lives and ultimately destroyed a sport that has already had doping offences.

Cycling will come back from this but in history, the 2000 years are ultimately a period of negativity and where road cycling is blanked out of positive sport.

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Armstrong to Talk?

Lance Armstrong, the shamed cyclist who had his seven Tour de France titles stripped due to a drug regime allegation will  talk on US chat show Oprah, on 17th January.

The cancer sufferer and cyclist was stripped of his titles by the Sports Governing Body after a report in the United States revealed a detailed cheating plan.

Armstrong had before this been very upfront about drug cheats, and has never failed a drugs test while in competition.

However after the announcement and revelations of some of his former teammates and members of his peloton, it now seems inconceivable that Armstrong was able to succeed without the use of drugs.

Cycling in the past has been a hot-bed for drugs cheats but this case, the most high profile top come out of the sport continues to shock the world.

After all, Armstrong is no regular rider. He battled back from testicular cancer to originally claim seven Tour titles, revolutioinising the athletics nature the sport needed.

A bit like Jonah Lomu in rugby union and Micheal Schumacher in F1, he changed the state of play and made the event better, more professional and the athletes drive their bodies harder in search of the yellow jersey.

But he will talk on Oprah with his career and reputation in tatters. According to reports in America, he may come clean in a bid to be able to salvage a career in triathlons.

Whether he will reveal all is left to be seen, but he would be wise to stay clear of the Marion Jones tactic and deny all charges and look like more of a fool.

A life full of glory, pushing the body to the limit, has finally come down to this, an interview on an american chat show.

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Yorkshire to Host Tour De France

Yorkshire will host the opening stage of the Tour de France in 2014 officials have announced today.

It is not the first time a British county has hosted the event, with Kent previously doing it back in 2007.

The summer event will commence on 5th and 6th July in Leeds before it returns to the French terrain and continue to be the most grueling of tests on a bike.

Yorkshire beat challenges from many European cities and counties, including Edinburgh, for the right to host a stage in the prestigious event.

It is a good distraction for cycling after the recent Lance Armstrong drug tribulations, and again shows the increased interest and dominance the sport is having on the British fans.

As well as the fans, stars like current holder of the event Bradley Wiggins have helped the sport and event grow into one of the most watched events.

You will be able to find out the full details of the route for the Leeds stage in a press conference on January 17th.

Staging a stage outside of France has proved increasingly popular in recent years, with Italy, Netherlands and Belgium hosting in recent tours.

You will be able to find out more information about Yorkshire and the event at http://www.yorkshire.com/.

 

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Wiggins takes Back Seat

Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford last night sensationally claimed that current Tour De France holder Bradley Wiggins will probably take a supporting role to Chris Froome in next years event.

Froome helped Wiggins to the Brits first every title, and it now appears that in 2013 the pair would switch.

Brailsford did however admit in his interview that the concept had not yet been fully agreed.

He said: “The Tour of Italy would be a very good target for Bradley and leave Froomy then to focus on the Tour de France.”

With the changes to the schedule for the 2013 tour, with there being more mountain stages than time trials, so Froome would be better suited to the course.

He came second this year behind team-mate Wiggins and also took a bronze at the London Olympics.

By taking this approach Team Sky could well win both the Tour of Italy and the Tour de France which would be another great success for the British based team.

You can follow these actions more closely over the coming weeks, as well as the rehabilitation of Wiggins after he broke ribs in a training accident.

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Sports Personality of the Year Shortlist

This years Sports personality of the year is one of the most eagerly anticipated ever.

After an amazing 2012, the following 12 stars have made the shortlist for this years award:

Bradley Wiggins – Tour De France winner and also Olympic time trial gold medalist. Recently broke a few ribs on a bike ride in training but 2012 was a great year for the team sky rider.

Ben Ainslie – Olympic Gold medalist for the fourth time in the sailing, and flag bearer at the London 2012 closing ceremony.

Ellie Simmonds – Won even more Olympic golds as she cemented herself as GB’s queen in the pool. at only 17 years of age, the best could sill be yet to come for Simmonds

Jessica Ennis – Olympic heptathlon gold medalist, as well as breaking the world record in Gotzis earlier in the year.

Sir Chris Hoy – Six time Olympic gold medalist with his gold at the Olympics. Looking to become a second time winner of the trophy.

Rory McIlory – World number One, money leader on both the PGA and European tours and a major winner.

Nicola Adams- The first ever female Olympic Boxing champion, an iconic moment for British female sport.

David Wier – Winner of four gold medals at the Paralympic games, and has a dominance in the sport unrivaled by anyone else in any other sport right now.

Mo Farah – Double Olympic champion in the 5000m and 10,000m with some of the greatest ever moments in Olympic history.

Andy Murray – Finally ended that long wait for a British grand slam winner, as well as taking a gold medal at London and a silver in the mixed doubles

Sarah Storey – 11th gold medal at the London Paralympics made her the most decorated British Olympian ever.

Katherine Grainger – Finally won that rowing gold medal that had eluded her so far, after a moments last Olympic cycle.

The 12 nominations above have all had amazing 2012’s and the winner this year will fully deserve the prize.

Sports Personality of the year will take place on December 16th at the Excel centre in London, live from 7.30pm

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Weekend Roundup

This weekend saw some epic sporting moments, with tales of woe, success and heartache twinned with controversy and foul play.

In the Premier League, their were shocks a plenty as former assistant at Chelsea, Steve Clarke, took on his former employers and beat them 2-1. it was a victory that took his West Brom side up to fourth, one point behind the European Champions.

Elsewhere, Norwich City kept their third clean sheet in four to take victory at home against Manchester United. It was the first time since the 2-0 victory back in 2005, that the Canaries had defeated the Red Devils.

The North London derby finished 5-2 to Arsenal once more after former Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor scored and was then sent off for a reckless tackle on Santi Carzola.

Man City took advantage of the other big boys losing and returned to the top of the table after beating Aston Villa 5-0. The scoreline did not tell the story as Joe Hart made some brilliant saves and two penalties cost the midlands side.

The other scores in the Premier League were: Liverpool 3-0 Wigan, Newcastle 1-2 Swansea, QPR 1-3 Southampton, Reading 2-1 Everton.

In rugby union, it was a poor weekend for the home nations as Wales lost heavily to Samoa, England could not add to their victory against Fiji previously and went down to a below strength Australia outfit and Scotland lost an entertaining battle to the South Africans.

Ireland did put some credibility on the weekend for the home sides, winning 53-0 against Fiji, as their coach Declan Kidney tried out some of his younger players.

Alistair Cook continued his great batting form as England tried to salvage anything from the first test. The England captain remains at the crease on 168 not out and in the process became the first England captain to score three test 100’s in their first three games as skipper.

He is joined at the crease by Matt Prior who himself has been great with the bat too. The final day is tomorrow and England currently lead by 10 runs after been forced to take the follow on by India.

In Boxing, Carl Froch defeated Yusaf Mack with a third round count as he continued to develop into one of the best boxers of all time.

The fight in Nottingham started well for Froch, who burst out in the first two rounds and then professionally took out his opponent in the third.

After the fight, Froch admitted he now wants to have a rematch with either Mikkel Kessler or Andre Ward.

Elsewhere, Sebastian Vettel took pole for tonight’s Austin Grand Prix, as he looks to wrap up a third straight drivers tittle. Fernando Alonso will start eighth on the grid after a poor qualifying display.

Luke Donald claimed another title this morning as he won Dunlop Phoenix tournament in Japan as as a result moves ahead of Tiger Woods and into second in the world rankings.

Still in golf and Miguel Angel Jimenez became the oldest winner of a European Tour event, aged 48 and 318 days, as he took victory in the Hong Kong open.

The World Track cycling is currently going on as Britain try to replace Victoria Pendleton after she retired from the sport. Jess Varnish and Becky James are however doing a good job as they took silver and bronze respectively.

You can catch more sports action in the week in our regular features such as Game On, Puck Plays and It’snowheaven or catch up with anything else by checking out the archives.

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