Monthly Archives: December 2012

Wiggins’s ‘perfect year’ in his own words

Bradley Wiggins acknowledged that

winning the 2012 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award

was the perfect end to a perfect year, before quipping: “There’s only the knighthood to come, isn’t there, really?”

Whether the Great Britain cyclist already knew at that point he was to become Sir Bradley Wiggins in the Queen’s New Year Honours is unclear, but what is certain is that he has had an astounding 2012.

The

first British winner of the Tour de France

later became the most decorated Olympian to come from these shores with

victory in the time trial at London 2012

– as well as winning three other prestigious stage races.

“I left home on 22 June and nobody knew who I was,” he said at the end of the summer. “And then I came back to this overwhelming adulation everywhere I go. It is fantastic, brilliant, it really is – but I wasn’t quite expecting the reaction.”

Never short of a good quote, here is a look back at Wiggins’s year in his own words.

January

Wiggins outlines Team Sky’s lofty ambitions for 2012:

“We have a fantastic-looking squad for 2012 and I think we are in great shape to build on our successes of last year. With Mark Cavendish joining the team we are ready to target sprints and GC [general classification – overall stage race wins] in the same race and that is hugely exciting. There is nothing we like more than someone saying it can’t be done!”

February

The season starts well with Wiggins finishing third in his first stage race of the season, the

five-day Volta ao Algarve 

in Portugal:

“It obviously went better than we all anticipated and it was great to start the season off that way, not only individually but as a team too – I think the way we rode together made us the dominant force.”

March

Wiggins gives an indication of his form with a first win of the season in the

prestigious Paris-Nice race

in France:

“To follow in

Tom Simpson’s 

footsteps by becoming the second British rider to win it is something special. It’s a massive thing – as was the Dauphine [in 2011] – and to have both those on my palmares [list of achievements] is a massive honour.

Bradley Wiggins

Wiggins celebrates winning the Paris-Nice “race to the sun”

“They are both up there and behind the Tour de France they are the two biggest races in France.

“When I was a kid reading the magazines, you’d see pictures of

[Miguel] Indurain 

wrapped up in all his clothing with snow on the side of the roads, or

[Bernard] Hinault 

and stages getting cancelled.

“We didn’t have the internet then, so that was the only way of seeing these things. Cycling wasn’t on TV in the UK either, so that was my first introduction to races like this and what they meant.”

April

After winning the final stage time trial to

become the first British winner of the Tour de Romandie

in Switzerland, despite dropping his chain at the bottom of the climb to the summit finish at Crans-Montana:

“It was a true test of a GC rider; it had a bit of everything in it plus a mechanical for myself.

“I’m pleased with the way I handled that moment because a few years ago I might have thrown my toys out of the pram and chucked my bike down the ravine. It was a good test for the bigger races coming up and I’m delighted.”

May

The build-up to the big race continues on the

Team Sky website: 

“We’re getting close now. It’s all looking really good at the moment and we’re ticking all the boxes.

“I think the performances speak for themselves. I’ve got an incredible coaching team behind me now and we’ve really found the right balance. In everything – my home life, the way I train now, the amount of effort I put into what I do and my professionalism on the bike. That’s becoming really consistent now.

“As a team we are performing consistently week in week out now which is the main thing. Without a strong team you are nothing.”

June

After

winning the Criterium du Dauphine,

a road race in France, for the

second straight year:

What others said

Dave Brailsford

Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford:

“Brad was as cool as a cucumber but if ever [head coach] Shane Sutton’s name should be mentioned, it’s now. He’s done a great job since we sat down and talked it all through in November. He and [performance analyst] Tim Kerrison have formed a little team around Brad and it’s paid off”

“It’s a big win but I wouldn’t say I’m favourite for the Tour de France. This is all a road to winning the Tour hopefully, that’s the goal. But at the same time along the way I have to stop and think ‘hang on a minute, I’ve just won Paris-Nice and Romandie and the Dauphine again’.

“I’ve just won the Dauphine for the second time: there are not many riders who have done that. You’re adding your name to a very special list. You have to take that in, otherwise they’re meaningless.”

On final preparations for the Tour de France:

“Five and a half hours [training] as part of the tapering – that seems mind-boggling to a lot of people. But that’s our daily life. Actually at this point – two weeks before the Tour – it hardly skims the surface. It’s that sort of work, day by day, month by month, year after year after year, which has got us to this level where we’re in contention to win the Tour de France.”

July – Tour de France

On wearing the

race leader’s yellow jersey for the first time:

“It sounds corny but this is something I’ve dreamt of since I was a child – sat on the home trainer in Kilburn watching my hero Miguel Indurain do it. Those dreams have come true now and I’m sat here at the top of a mountain in yellow. It’s phenomenal. It’s fantastic – [Chris] Froome’s taken the stage and is King of the Mountains, and I’m in yellow, so it was an incredible day.”

Bradley Wiggins

Wiggins all but made certain of the Tour de France win with victory in the final time trial

After tacks were thrown onto the road by race saboteurs, causing numerous punctures, particularly to rival Cadel Evans, Wiggins, as race leader

called a halt to racing:

“No-one wants to see something like that have an impact on the race. As a group the thing to do was to wait. I wouldn’t want to benefit from something like that. I thought the best thing to do is to wait.

“If you can’t gain times on the climbs, then you don’t do it when someone’s punctured – not even when it’s an ordinary puncture.”

After helping Team Sky team-mate Mark Cavendish

win the final stage

on the Champs-Elysees for a fourth successive year:

“Every lap of the Champs-Elysees was goose-pimple stuff. We had a job to do with Mark and for him to finish it off like that, well, it couldn’t get any better.”

To the thousands of British fans lining the Champs Elysees after becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de France:

“We’re just going to draw the raffle numbers now! Thanks for the amazing support the last three weeks. I really appreciate it. It’s been a magical couple of weeks. Some dreams do come true. My old mother over there, her son’s just won the Tour de France. Thank you everyone. Cheers. Have a safe journey home and don’t get too drunk!”

What others said

Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen:

“I send you my warmest congratulations on becoming the first British cyclist ever to win the Tour de France. Your historic achievement of claiming overall victory in this prestigious event is a great testament to the efforts of you and your team-mates”

On future plans:

“I love cycling. I’ll always be riding my bike. I come from a cycling family. I’ll probably be there in 20 years’ time marshalling on the corner somewhere for a local 10km (time trial). I’ll still be in a cycling club. It’s pretty embedded.”

On the eve of Olympic time trial:

“[The race] is just an hour and not three weeks. [The Tour de France has] been the best preparation.

“That’s the baseline of worst-case scenario of pressure and expectation, with three weeks lying ahead of you. And we handled that pretty well, so an hour time trial to make history should be a doddle! My performances have been so consistent all year and I’ve no reason to think that is going to change.”

August

After winning Olympic road time trial:

“I don’t think my sporting career will ever top that now – it’s never, ever going to get any better than that. What a month it’s been. I won the Tour de France and the time trial at the Olympic Games. This was the plan and I’ve answered all the questions in the last six weeks.

“To just be mentioned in the same breath as Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Chris Hoy is an absolute honour. To be up there with those guys as a British Olympian is very special. The important number is four [in terms of the gold medals] and I’ve got to carry on to Rio now and go for number five!”

Bradley Wiggins

Wiggins riding to victory on the streets of London

“It’s the stuff of dreams. As a child, being a fan of the sport, I never imagined that one day I’d be in this position. Kids from Kilburn don’t become favourite for the Tour de France. You’re supposed to become a postman or a milkman or work in Ladbrokes.”

On his new-found fame:

“I left home on 22 June and nobody knew who I was, in the village even, bar a couple. And then I came back to this overwhelming adulation everywhere I go. It is fantastic, brilliant, it really is – but I wasn’t quite expecting the reaction.

“After the Tour de France half the world’s media were camped at the end of my lane for two days, which was bizarre to say the least. This was my fourth Olympics and I’d won six medals before, but I’d always come home unrecognised really. All of a sudden, this summer has really attracted the attention of everybody. Eight weeks ago I could have done anything and nobody would have paid any attention. A lot has changed in a short period of time.”

September

On riding in the 2012 Tour of Britain:

“[The support] is on a par with the Tour de France, but you kind of expect it to be like that now with the Olympics and everything else we have done. However, it is really nice.

Reflecting on his own achievements over the summer:

“It is hard to come to terms with really and I can never plan for what happens next. When I go to Tesco and am trying to pack the shopping and you are getting all this (attention), or you are trying to have a pizza with your kids in town, that is difficult.

October

On the unveiling of the 2013 Tour de France route:

“These routes always look harder in October when you’ve put a bit of weight on and not been on the bike for a few weeks.”

November

While recovering after being knocked off his bike near his Lancashire home:

“I was very lucky because it could have been a long lay-off. I was in the hospital with police outside my ward room all night. They said whenever you want to go the toilet tell us because the press are walking round the hospital trying to get a snap of you.

“I thought this is weird, this isn’t happening. I’ve only had an accident to my ribs. When I got out [of hospital] the road at the end of our lane was just full of press and paps (photographers) and that was when I gave the finger salute.

“They were saying ‘we might not take you home, we might take you to a hotel’ and I was getting really angry by that point. ‘No, I’m going home. I want to go home.’ It felt like such an invasion of privacy. You can’t even have an accident.”

December

What others said

David Cameron

British Prime Minister David Cameron:

“A truly inspirational winner, after an incredible year for British sport”

After winning the 2012 BBC Sports Personality of the Year:

“Thank you to everyone who voted. We have had all that jungle stuff and X Factor in the last few weeks, so for people to pick up the phone and vote in half-an-hour, thank you very much.

“To be ahead of Jess [Ennis] and Andy [Murray], it’s probably my greatest sporting achievement. The other stuff you can control, you can’t control people voting for you.

“To my nan, the cheque is in the post because you pressed redial so many times!

“There is a free bar round the back paid for by the BBC, so we are all going round there tonight.”

After being asked if it was the perfect end to the year:

“Yeah, it is. There’s only the knighthood to come, isn’t there, really?”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/20808047

Wiggins knighted in Honours list

Cyclist Bradley Wiggins has been knighted in the New Year Honours list after winning the Tour de France and then gold at the 2012 London Olympics.

GB cycling’s performance director Dave Brailsford, who helped Wiggins become the first Briton to win the Tour, is also made a sir.

Also knighted are four-time Olympic sailing champion

Ben Ainslie

and GB rowing chief Dave Tanner.


British cycling performance director Dave Brailsford

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Brailsford on “weird” knighthood

Sarah Storey, winner of multiple Paralympic gold medals, is made a dame.

A knighthood caps a dream year for
Wiggins,

who was named the

BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year

in December 2012, after

he won the Tour in July

and the

Olympic time trial in August.

The 32-year-old called the honour the “ultimate accolade”, adding he felt it was acknowledgment not only of his achievements in 2012 but over the past 12 years.

“I never ever imagined that I would ever become a knight, so it’s an incredible honour,” said Wiggins. “But there’s a slight element of disbelief and it will take a while to sink in.”

The four-time Olympic champion said it would also add to his appeal amongst his French fans.

“They will love it,” he said. “It will add to the myth. I will have to get a bowler hat as well. They are fascinated slightly with our Britishness, our culture and things like knighthoods, so it is a nice thing to have.”

Storey

claimed four cycling golds at the London Paralympics to add to the two she won at the 2008 Games in Beijing.

Speaking about her award, she said: “It’s an incredible feeling. It’s hard to put into words other than just it is the greatest honour.”

Four knights and one dame

Ben Ainslie:

For services to sailing.

Dave Brailsford:

For services to cycling and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Sarah Storey:

For services to para-cycling.

David Tanner:

For services to rowing and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Bradley Wiggins:

For services to cycling.

Before switching to para-cycling,
Storey

won five Paralympic golds in the swimming pool. She claimed two at Barcelona in 1992 and then three at the 1996 Games in Atlanta.

Her 11 Paralympic titles are only matched by legendary wheelchair athlete Baroness Grey-Thompson and swimmer Dave Roberts. Her collection of 22 medals of all colours is unsurpassed.

“We feel so fortunate that 2012 will always stand out as being the most incredible year,” said 35-year-old Storey, who is married to fellow Paralympic gold medallist Barney Storey.

Asked how she had reacted to hearing the news that she would become a dame, she replied: “We had a chuckle. It’s unbelievable to think that that’s my new title. It’s a real honour. There is no other way to describe it.”

The honours list is

dominated by athletes and coaches from the Olympics and Paralympics

after their inspirational success this summer.

Brailsford,

who also masterminded Britain’s dominance in cycling at the Olympics and Paralympics as well as helping Wiggins win the Tour as Team Sky boss, said it felt “weird” and “uncomfortable” to be knighted.


Sarah Storey

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Dame Sarah Storey: “It’s unbelievable to think that that’s my new title”

“It is quite humbling and it really is something to try to get my head around,” added the 48-year-old.

“I’m very lucky and aware that the sport of cycling has grown and that we have had great success because it is a team effort over a long, long period of time.”

Ainslie

has more Olympic medals than any other sailor. After winning silver in Atlanta in 1996, he went on to take gold in Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London.

He is fourth in the list of Britain’s all-time individual medallists behind Sir Chris Hoy (cycling: six gold, one silver), Sir Steve Redgrave (rowing: five gold, one bronze) and Wiggins (cycling: four gold, one silver, two bronze).

The 35-year-old,who

retired from Olympic sailing in November,

admitted he never dreamt of being knighted when he began Olympic sailing more than 20 years ago.

“This is an incredible honour,” added Ainslie,

who will attempt to win the Americas Cup in 2013,

“I couldn’t have achieved this honour without the support of all the people who have helped me throughout my career and so I hope they can also take some pride in this moment.”

Tanner

has been GB rowing’s performance director since 1996,

leading the sport through the most successful period in its history.


Sir Ben Ainslie

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Ainslie says knighthood is a “proud moment”

Britain won three medals at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, four in Athens in 2004, and six at Beijing 2008 before taking nine, including four gold, at London 2012.

Andy Murray,

who also won gold at the Games,

becomes an OBE. After his men’s singles victory at London 2012, the Scot became the first British man in 76 years to win a Grand Slam tournament when he triumphed at the US Open in September.

Others from the world of sport who are recognised for their contributions include former England cricketers
Mark Ramprakash

and
Robert Croft

who are appointed MBEs. Former England cricket captain and Kent president
Mike Denness

is given an OBE for services to sport, 37-and-a-half years after his last Test match.

Ex-Arsenal assistant manager
Pat Rice

and former rugby league star
Paul Sculthorpe

are also appointed MBEs.

Former Wales and Lions wing
JJ Williams

also becomes an MBE for services to rugby and charity in Wales.

David Sheepshanks,

the joint-acting chairman of the Football Association, is appointed a CBE. He oversaw the building of the National Football Centre near Burton, which opened in October, and was chairman of Ipswich Town for 13 years from 1995 to 2008.

OLYMPIANS IN NEW YEAR HONOURS

Knighthood:

Ben Ainslie – sailing; Bradley Wiggins – cycling

CBE:

Katherine Grainger – rowing; Jessica Ennis – athletics; Mo Farah – athletics; Victoria Pendleton – cycling.

OBE:

Charlotte Dujardin – equestrian; Jason Kenny – cycling; Andy Murray – tennis; Laura Trott – cycling.

MBE:

Nicola Adams – boxing; Tim Baillie – canoeing; Laura Bechtolsheimer – equestrian; Scott Brash – equestrian; Alistair Brownlee – triathlon; Steven Burke – cycling; Luke Campbell – boxing; Peter Charles – equestrian; Katherine Copeland – rowing; Helen Glover – rowing; Alex Gregory – rowing; Carl Hester – equestrian; Philip Hindes – cycling; Sophie Hosking – rowing; Jade Jones – taekwondo; Anthony Joshua – boxing; Peter Kennaugh – cycling; Dani King – cycling; Mary King – equestrian; Ben Maher – equestrian; Ed McKeever – canoeing; Joanna Rowsell – cycling; Greg Rutherford – athletics; Louis Smith – gymnastics; Heather Stanning – rowing; Etienne Stott – canoeing; Anna Watkins – rowing; Peter Wilson – shooting.

PARALYMPIANS IN NEW YEAR HONOURS

Dame:

Sarah Storey – cycling.

CBE:

David Weir – athletics.

OBE:

Sophie Christiansen – equestrian; Ellie Simmonds – swimming.

MBE:

Jessica-Jane Applegate – swimming; Natasha Baker – equestrian; Danielle Brown – archery; Mickey Bushell – athletics; Hannah Cockroft – athletics; Mark Colbourne – cycling; Josef Craig – swimming; Deborah Criddle – equestrian; Aled Davies – athletics; Neil Fachie – cycling; Jonathan Fox – swimming; Heather Frederiksen – swimming; Oliver Hynd – swimming; Helena Lucas – sailing; Craig MacLean – cycling; Nigel Murray – boccia; Jonnie Peacock – athletics; Josie Pearson – athletics; Pam Relph – rowing; Naomi Riches – rowing; James Roe – rowing; David Smith – rowing; Lily van den Broecke – rowing; Sophie Wells – equestrian; Richard Whitehead – athletics.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/20852564

Can an African win the Tour de France?

Tsgabu Grmay dreams of becoming the first African winner of the Tour de France and the 21-year-old Ethiopian’s impressive showing at the African Cycling Championships suggests it is far from an impossible dream.

Grmay won gold in the under-23 individual time trial in Burkina Faso and also finished second overall in the senior standings.

And while he said his silver medal in the seniors came as a major shock, many of his coaches and team managers told me they were not surprised.

Grmay is a product of the World Cycling Centre, a body which receives the majority of its funding from the sport’s world governing body, the UCI, and the Olympic movement.

Think of it as a training college for riders with the potential to step up to the professional ranks – they’re invited from across the continent to the centre’s African base in Potchefstroom, South Africa.

Jean-Pierre van Zyl, a former Olympian, is the centre’s director. Part of what he does is to prepare young riders for life on the European circuit.

How African riders adapt to that cultural shift is crucial. While I was in Burkina Faso, I saw Eritrea’s Daniel Teklehaimanot ride and win as temperatures hit 46C – very different from life at the World Cycling Centre in Switzerland where he needed long gloves and leg-warmers in conditions considered “normal” by his European team-mates.

Tsgabu Grmay

Tsgabu Grmay dreams of Tour de France success

Cycling is all about teamwork, and there is now an African team with enough financial backing and ambition to seriously mount a challenge for cycling’s biggest prize.

South Africa-based MTN-Qhubeka also has strong links with the World Cycling Centre, creating a route to success for a rider as promising as Grmay. MTN is the commercial sponsor, while Qhubeka is a non-government organisation which provides bicycles for African children in rural communities.

African athletes, born and trained at altitude, have dominated middle and long distance running for decades. But why have those conditions not already helped the continent produce cyclists capable of winning the Tour de France?

When I spoke to the leading African riders, coaches and team managers they told me it was more complex than that. To suggest a runner could just jump on a bike ignores the importance of tactics and technique.

Van Zyl says these “aren’t acquired during your first season. [A rider] can be strong on the bike, but if [he and his team does not] have tactics, he can’t win”.

So when will an African win the Tour? The least optimistic forecast, “not in my lifetime”, was from the Namibian Cycling Federation president Mannie Heymans; but the general consensus was that the continent could produce a winner within the next decade.

There were those at the African Championships, like UCI president Pat McQuaid, who made the point that

Chris Froome, 

who came second in the 2012 Tour de France, is Kenyan-born and “very proud of his African heritage”.

Sky rider Froome even went to a World Championship with Kenya, but these days he represents Great Britain.

What about an African with home-grown coaching and finance behind him?

Grmay was the only rider I spoke to who, rather than tell me he wanted to participate or win a stage on the Tour de France, said he would aim to win it outright.

And, at 21, he has got plenty of time to learn from his mistakes.

In his first interview as a professional cyclist, he told me he wants to be as famous back home as his legendary Ethiopian compatriot, runner Haile Gebrselassie.

Grmay’s potential has certainly been recognised. Of 500 cyclists who have passed through the World Cycling Centre’s African satellite, nobody has impressed Van Zyl as much.

“Some champions,” he said of the Ethiopian, “are born, not made.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/20842499

Sport quiz of the year

BBC Sports Personality of the Year

has already reviewed the sporting year – but how much can you remember of the sporting events of 2012?

Quiz of the year

Welcome to BBC Sport’s festive quiz – how much can you remember from a memorable year of sport?

Bradley Wiggins and Jessica Ennis

1.) Rowing for gold

Which rowing pair won Great Britain’s first gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics?

Gold medals

  1. Katherine Copeland and Sophie Hosking
  2. Helen Glover and Heather Stanning
  3. Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins
  4. Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter

2.) Super, smashing, great

Which of these British athletes did NOT win an Olympic gold medal on “Super Saturday”, 4 August?

  1. Alistair Brownlee (triathlon)
    Alistair Brownlee
  2. Jessica Ennis (heptathlon)
    Jessica Ennis
  3. Mo Farah (10,000m)
    Mo Farah
  4. Greg Rutherford (long jump)
    Greg Rutherford

3.) Oops…

Which England defender was the only player to be credited with an own goal by Uefa at Euro 2012?

England's team against Sweden

  1. Ashley Cole
  2. Glen Johnson
  3. Joleon Lescott
  4. John Terry

4.) The Bantam Menace

Which of these statistics about Bradford City is true?

Bradford City celebrate

  1. They are unbeaten in nine games against Premier League teams
  2. They have been drawn at home in their last nine League Cup games
  3. They have won their last nine penalty shoot-outs

5.) Victorious Vettel

How many grands prix did Sebastian Vettel win on his way to his third successive Formula 1 title?

Sebastian Vettel

  1. Four
  2. Five
  3. Six
  4. Seven

6.) How’s that?

Which bowler has taken the most Test wickets in 2012?

Marlon Samuels and umpire Kumar Dharmasena

  1. James Anderson (England)
  2. Rangana Herath (Sri Lanka)
  3. Vernon Philander (South Africa)
  4. Graeme Swann (England)

7.) Six of one

Who was the top points scorer at the 2012 Six Nations?

  1. Owen Farrell (England)
    Owen Farrell
  2. Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)
    Leigh Halfpenny
  3. Greig Laidlaw (Scotland)
    Greig Laidlaw
  4. Jonathan Sexton (Ireland)
    Jonathan Sexton

8.) Beware sharks on the move

With which rugby league club did rugby union’s Sale Sharks move to groundshare in 2012?

A rugby stadium

  1. Salford City Reds
  2. Swinton Lions
  3. Warrington Wolves
  4. Wigan Warriors

9.) Doubling up at SW19

Andy Murray won Olympic tennis gold at Wimbledon this summer, but who was his British partner, with whom he won silver in the mixed doubles?

Andy Murray

  1. Elena Baltacha
  2. Anne Keothavong
  3. Laura Robson
  4. Heather Watson

10.) Cut off in his prime

Rory McIlroy matched Luke Donald’s 2011 feat of winning the money list in both Europe and the United States, but in which of 2012’s four majors did he fail to make the cut?

Rory McIlroy

  1. The Masters
  2. US Open
  3. The Open
  4. US PGA

11.) Master of the mountains

Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France for Britain, but who won the King of the Mountains polka-dot jersey?

King of the mountains

  1. Chris Froome (GB)
  2. Fredrik Kessiakoff (Sweden)
  3. Alejandro Valverde (Spain)
  4. Thomas Voeckler (France)

12.) Weir all going to Hollywood?

Who did wheelchair racer David Weir, who won four golds at the London 2012 Paralympics, say should play him if a film were made of his life story?

David Weir

  1. Daniel Craig
  2. Ralph Fiennes
  3. Daniel Radcliffe
  4. David Tennant

Answers

  1. Glover and Stanning triumphed in the Women’s Pair event on Wednesday, 1 August.
  2. Brownlee’s triathlon gold came three days later on Tuesday, 7 August.
  3. Sweden’s first goal in their 3-2 defeat by England, though widely attributed to Olof Mellberg who had the initial shot, was credited to Johnson who had the final touch as he tried to clear off the line.
  4. The Bantams have won their last nine shoot-outs in all competitions, dating back to October 2009.
  5. Five – the German won in Bahrain, Singapore, Japan, Korea and India.
  6. Left-arm spinner Herath has taken 60 wickets (with the Boxing Day Test against Australia still to come), ahead of Swann (59), Anderson (48) and Philander (43).
  7. Halfpenny’s 66 points (two tries, seven conversions and 14 penalties) put him top ahead of Farrell (63) and Sexton (56), while Laidlaw was the top Scot with 33.
  8. Sale left Stockport’s Edgeley Park to move to the Salford City Stadium.
  9. Robson partnered Murray as they were beaten by Belarus pair Max Mirnyi and Victoria Azarenka.
  10. McIlroy failed to make the cut at the US Open. He was tied for 40th at the Masters, tied for 60th at the Open, and famously won the US PGA.
  11. Voeckler won the King of the Mountains classification for Team Europcar, with Astana’s Kessiakoff the runner-up. Valverde was fifth and Froome sixth.
  12. Weir’s choice was Daniel Craig – who, in his James Bond persona, memorably “escorted” the Queen to the Olympic opening ceremony. Merry Christmas!

Your Score

0 – 4 : Olympic nightmare

5 – 8 : Plucky podium place

9 – 12 : Gold fever

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/20832020

VIDEO: When Wiggins met Weller

Olympic gold medallist and Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins joins musical hero Paul Weller for a

two-hour special on BBC 6 Music.

In a meeting of minds, the self-confessed mod and the “Modfather” share anecdotes and their love of music in a programme that will be broadcast from 13:00 GMT on Boxing Day.

Wiggins, voted the

BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year

on Sunday, recalls his school days and pretending to be Liam Gallagher. He also talks stick-on sideburns and plays down his chances of a knighthood.

If you miss the show, you can listen again on the

BBC iPlayer.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/20759579

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