Monthly Archives: September 2017

Commonwealth Games 2022: Birmingham bid backed by Government

Artist impression of 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham

Basketball would be played in Victoria Square under Birmingham’s proposals

Birmingham’s bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games has been officially backed by the government.

The cost of staging the event is expected to be at least £750m – which would be the most expensive sports event in Britain since London 2012.

Birmingham beat Liverpool earlier in September as Britain’s candidate city.

The West Midlands city could still face competition from rival bidders – Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Victoria in Canada and a potential Australian entry.

Submissions from candidate cities need to be received by Saturday and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) is expected to make its decision later in the year.

Announcing Birmingham will be the UK’s official candidate city, Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said the government believes it would provide value for money.

“The Commonwealth Games in Birmingham would be brilliant. It would showcase the best of Britain to the world and make the entire country proud,” said Bradley.

Durban originally won the bidding process in 2015, but the South African city was was stripped of the event in March because it did not meet the criteria set by the CGF.

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‘Commonwealth Games in my home city would be amazing’

There have been doubts over whether the Kuala Lumpur and Victoria bids will go ahead, while Australia could submit a late application, although with the Gold Coast hosting the 2018 event, it is considered unlikely to be awarded consecutive competitions.

“There are continuing discussions with potential hosts in England, Canada, Malaysia and Australia,” said CGF chief executive David Grevemberg.

“At its board meeting in Sri Lanka on 5 and 6 October, the CGF executive board will receive an update on the current status of the 2022 selection process. We anticipate that the collaborations will continue thereafter and a final decision on the host city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games is expected by the end of the year.”

Birmingham’s proposal to create the UK’s largest permanent athletics stadium, supplemented by four indoor arenas, is central to its bid.

Reaction to Birmingham bid

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‘Commonwealths a real opportunity’

Sports minister Tracey Crouch: “There’s always been a boost to the local economy from hosting the event and what you do see is a strong legacy both in terms of participation but also use of the venues after the event.

“So I think this is a real opportunity for Birmingham, a real opportunity for the West Midlands and a real opportunity for the UK to showcase itself as hosting these major international events across the world.”

West Midlands mayor Andy Street: “I want there to be a brilliant sporting occasion, of course that must be first. But there’s two other very important things that we want to achieve. 2022, post-Brexit, we want to show the world that Britain is open for business.

“I want this – and so many of our citizens have links with the Commonwealth countries themselves – to demonstrate that this is the place where the world comes together and we’re building a very inclusive society here.”

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‘Birmingham ideal for post-Brexit Commonwealths’

Analysis

Birmingham is now in pole position to secure its first ever global sports event and become the third British city since 2000 to host the Commonwealth Games. They may not even face a rival bid and be handed it by default.

Despite the bitter bin dispute continuing to hang over the city, and the need for further budget cuts, local authorities will need to raise 25% of the overall cost of staging the Games. Organisers insist essential services will not be affected, and that the event will prove great value for the West Midlands, showcasing a diverse and youthful community, and leaving a sporting and economic legacy.

And after London 2012, Glasgow 2014, and recent world championships in rugby, women’s cricket and athletics, Britain is now set to organise yet another major sports event. A reminder of the importance the government now places on hosting sport as a platform for trade and tourism as the country prepares for Brexit.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/athletics/41440057

Mountain Bike Marathon returns to Isle of Man

The event will be run over 100km (62 miles) of Manx countryside

Yorkshire’s Tom Bell won the men’s race last year

The National Mountain Bike Marathon Championships will return to the Isle of Man in 2018, British Cycling has said.

A spokesman said the decision was made after a “successful first year in 2017″ and that the championships will again be run by the Manx Mountain Bike Club.

It will be held over one 100km loop with a variety of terrains and 3,500m of climbing in the Manx countryside.

Entries will open via the British Cycling website on 1 January, 2018.

Yorkshire’s Tom Bell won the men’s race last year in five hours and 16 minutes – 18 seconds ahead of three-time End2End winner Ben Thomas

Amy Souter, from Leeds, came out top in the women’s event in seven hours, eight minutes and 19 seconds.

The event will be run on 29 July, 2018.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/41426644

‘Cycling career caused my skin cancer’

Luis 'Lucho' Herrera riding at the 1985 Tour de France

Luis Herrera held the King of the Mountains jersey in all three Grand Tours

Luis Herrera, the first South American cyclist to win a Grand Tour, says he has skin cancer caused by his exposure to the sun during his career.

The 56-year-old Colombian won the Vuelta a Espana, one of the three major tours, in 1987.

He said cancer spots on his face, arms and hands were likely caused by the lack of precautions taken in the 1980s.

“I’m feeling good, I’m well, but I’m taking great care of my arms and my face,” he told Colombia’s Blu Radio.

“Maybe at the time we didn’t take precautions to apply sunblock because there was no time. Sometimes we were sweating a lot,” he added.

Herrera, who also held the King of the Mountains jerseys in the Vuelta, the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France, is having treatment to prevent his condition worsening.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/41394955

Jason Kenny: Six-time Olympic champion returns after secret retirement

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Kenny reversed his decision to retire from cycling

Britain’s joint most-successful Olympian Jason Kenny has revealed he secretly retired after Rio 2016 but has now reversed his decision.

The six-time gold medallist said he “stepped away” from track cycling because the sport had taken its toll on him physically and mentally.

However, the 29-year-old says a year off – and becoming a father – have made him change his mind.

“Having a break breathed new life into me,” said Kenny.

Speaking to BBC sports editor Dan Roan, he added: “I was pretty happy with my decision to walk away and never come back. I started looking at other jobs that I can do. I was quite serious.

“I’d done it for 10 years and I’d never had more than a couple of weeks off. This is the first time I’ve stepped away and switched off and been myself.

“I started doing other things. I was going swimming and taking the dogs on epic walks. But it turns out I was rubbish at swimming and got bored of that really quickly.

“I started training again and I thought I might try a bit of a comeback. I did a couple of efforts and they weren’t great results, but I felt like I did when I was 18. I felt refreshed.”

‘It’s not about individual glory any more’

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Laura and Jason Kenny became known as Britain’s ‘golden couple’ at the Olympics

Kenny’s relationship with fellow Team GB cyclist Laura Trott – a four-time Olympic champion – became public at London 2012.

The pair married last year after returning from Rio and welcomed their son, Albert, last month.

Kenny said that the changes in his home life has changed his outlook on his career.

“She never pushed me to carry on but for her, when she was pregnant, it was quite difficult. She was exercising instead of training and then she got to a point where she had to down tools and stop,” he said.

“I found myself giving pep talks saying: ‘You can come back, it’s fine.’ I talked myself into it while keeping Laura’s chin up.

“We’ve got responsibilities at home and I think your motivations do change a little bit. It’s not about the individual glory any more.”

Back on the track

Kenny will return to the track for the first time since winning gold in the keirin final at Rio 2016 when he competes in the Manchester leg of the Revolution Series on 6 January – the start of his journey towards the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Kenny is level with former team-mate Sir Chris Hoy on the most number of gold medals won by a Briton at the Olympics.

Two more medals of any colour would make him Great Britain’s most decorated Olympian of all time, moving him ahead of Sir Bradley Wiggins.

“My short term goal is to get some points, get back in the team and get competitive, with the goal of making another Olympics,” he added.

“When you see your name alongside those guys then it is really special but I’ve never been motivated by chasing records. For me, it’s about being the best I can be.

“It’s going to be really challenging but I’m hoping I’ll get something out of it. I feel like I’m 18 again. Except I do click a bit more these days.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/41404024

Sagan wins historic third world title in a row

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Sagan wins historic hat-trick in photo finish

Peter Sagan became the first man to win three successive World Championship men’s road race titles with victory in Norway.

The Slovak, 27, pipped Norwegian Alexander Kristoff in a sprint finish, having barely featured among the lead riders in the 267.5km race in Bergen.

Australia’s Michael Matthews finished third and Britain’s Ben Swift fifth.

“It’s unbelievable. I’m very happy to be here again. It’s something special,” said Sagan.

Only four other riders – Italy’s Alfredo Binda, Belgians Rik van Steenbergen and Eddy Merckx, and Spain’s Oscar Freire – have won the world title three times.

Sagan was in 80th position as the riders approached the final climb up Salmon Hill, before putting himself in contention for the sprint.

Earlier, Frenchman Tony Gallopin made a break from the pack with 13km remaining, before being caught at the foot of the hill, and compatriot Julian Alaphilippe was also reeled in after attacking with 4km left.

In a bunch sprint, Sagan beat Kristoff by a matter of inches in a photo finish.

“It was not easy. Guys were changing in the front all the time,” added Sagan, who won the world title in Virginia, USA, in 2015 and Dohi in 2016.

“I tried to go with the breakaway and it came down to a sprint. It was unbelievable.

“Kristoff was racing at home so I’m sorry, but of course I’m happy to win.”

Swift, 29, told BBC Sport: “Sagan was incredible. All of us were trying a couple of moves because it was all over the place, but he did amazing.”

‘He’s getting better and better’ – analysis

Former Olympic champion Chris Boardman

It was an absolutely incredible piece of bike racing from Sagan. He just turns up with 300m to go, beautifully placed.

He found the right way and nudged his way through. He knew who he had to follow.

It’s just quality – he’s getting better and better.

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Peter Sagan outsprinted Alexander Kristoff in a dramatic finish to the race in Bergen

World Championships men’s road race results:

1. Peter Sagan (Svk) 6hrs 28mins 11secs

2. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) same time

3. Michael Matthews (Aus)

4. Matteo Trentin (Ita)

5. Ben Swift (GB)

6. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel)

7. Michael Albasini (Swi)

8. Fernando Gaviria (Col)

9. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz)

10. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra)

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/41380525

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