Lance Armstrong Tour de France trophy ‘offer’ to Geraint Thomas

Geraint Thomas and Lance ArmstrongImage copyright
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Geraint Thomas and Lance Armstrong competed against each other at the 2011 Tour de France

Lance Armstrong has joked that Geraint Thomas can have one of his Tour de France trophies after the Welsh rider had his stolen.

Thomas’s Coupe Omnisports was taken from a display at The Cycle Show in Birmingham in September.

American Armstrong was stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles and banned from the sport for life in 2012 after testing positive for drugs.

He tweeted: “I got 7 of em if you wanna borrow one.”

Armstrong made the comment as he retweeted BBC Sport’s tweet about the trophy being stolen.

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Lance Armstrong made the offer on Twitter

The Coupe Omnisports – presented each year to the winner of cycling’s most famous race – was taken after Thomas’s Team Sky loaned the trophy to sponsors Pinarello to display at The Cycle Show.

The black and gold handmade trophy was presented to the Cardiff rider this summer when he became only the third Briton to win the Tour de France.

It was put on display by Team Sky’s Italian bike manufacturer Pinarello at Birmingham NEC between 28 and 30 September.

The trophy was snatched after being “momentarily left unattended” during the clear-up after the show.

“The trophy means a lot to me and to the team,” Thomas said after it was stolen.

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Geraint Thomas (centre) on the Champs-Elysees after winning this year’s Tour de France

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-45827390

Geraint Thomas’s Tour de France trophy stolen from show

Geraint ThomasImage copyright
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Geraint Thomas on the Champs-Elysees after winning this year’s Tour de France

Geraint Thomas is appealing for thieves to return his Tour de France trophy after it was stolen from a cycle show.

Police are investigating the theft of the Coupe Omnisports – presented each year to the winner of cycling’s most famous race.

It was taken after Thomas’s Team Sky loaned the trophy to sponsors Pinarello to display at The Cycle Show in Birmingham.

Mr Thomas said: “The trophy means a lot to me and to the team.”

The black and gold handmade trophy was presented to the Welshman this summer when he became only the third Briton to win the Tour de France.

‘Important’

It was put on display by Team Sky’s Italian bike manufacturer Pinarello at the NEC between 28 and 30 September.

The trophy was snatched after being “momentarily left unattended” during the clear-up after the show.

Thomas said: “It is incredibly unfortunate that this has happened. It goes without saying that the trophy is of pretty limited value to whoever took it and hopefully [they] will have the good grace to return it.

“A trophy is important, but clearly what matters most are the amazing memories from this incredible summer – and no-one can ever take those away.”

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Geraint Thomas celebrated in front of huge crowds who gathered at Cardiff Castle and the Senedd

The bowl was displayed alongside the other Grand Tour trophies – the 2017 Vuelta de Espana and this year’s Giro d’Italia – won by Thomas’s team-mate Chris Froome.

Richard Hemington, managing director of Pinarello, said the company had apologised to Thomas.

He added: “We are obviously devastated about this. We accept full responsibility. Obviously we all hope that the trophy can be recovered.”

Team Sky said it was liaising with all relevant parties to agree on the best course of action to resolve the issue.

West Midlands Police said the trophy is believed to have been taken sometime between 18.30 and 19.30 (GMT) on 29 September.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-45808609

World champion Sagan extends Bora-Hansgrohe deal

Peter Sagan

Sagan held the green jersey from the second stage of the 2018 Tour de France

World road race champion Peter Sagan has extended his deal with the Bora-Hansgrohe team until the end of the 2021 season.

The 27-year-old Slovakian joined the team two years ago and and will bid for a fourth consecutive title on Sunday.

However, the sprint specialist will be an outsider on the mountainous course in Innsbruck.

As well as being a six-time Tour de France green points jersey winner, Sagan has 11 stage wins in the race.

“It was a straightforward decision, even if I still have one more season to go under my current contract.,” said Sagan.

“I’ve enjoyed two remarkable years with this team and I wouldn’t want to move. I feel confident the coming years will be as fulfilling as the first two,” he said.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/45690889

Fancy Bear doping hackers ‘were Russian military intelligence’

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The UK government has accused Russia’s military intelligence service of being behind four high-profile cyber-attacks.

The National Cyber Security Centre says targets included firms in Russia and Ukraine; the US Democratic Party; and a small TV network in the UK.

A Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman described the accusation as a “rich fantasy of our colleagues from Britain”.

World Anti-Doping Agency computers are also said to have been attacked.

Files later emerged showing how British cyclists Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome had used banned substances for legitimate medical reasons.

At the time, some of the attacks were linked to Russia – but this is the first time the UK has singled out the GRU, the Russian military intelligence service.

British police think the men who carried out the Salisbury poisoning in March worked for the same group.

  • The risks of cyber-conflict with Russia
  • Russia accused of net hack attacks
  • Russian spy: What happened to the Skripals?

Speaking on behalf of the Russian foreign ministry, Maria Zakharova said the UK’s accusations were “mixed in one perfume bottle”, adding: “Maybe a Nina Ricci bottle: GRU, WADA, Kremlin hackers – it’s a diabolical perfume.”

But Defence Minister Gavin Williamson condemned Russia as a “pariah state”, and said Moscow’s “reckless and indiscriminate” attacks had left it isolated in the international community.

The NCSC said it has assessed “with high confidence” that the GRU was “almost certainly responsible” for the cyber-attacks.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the GRU had waged a campaign of “indiscriminate and reckless” cyber strikes that served “no legitimate national security interest”.

Cyber security consultant Andrew Tsonchev said individuals can get “caught up” in the attacks.

He said: “The more obvious and urgent effect that people need to be aware of is that the services they use – the essential services – are at risk and are actively being targeted for sabotage.”

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Reuters

What is the GRU accused of?

The NCSC says hackers from the GRU, operating under a dozen different names – including Fancy Bear – targeted:

  • The systems database of the Montreal-based World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), using phishing to gain passwords. Athletes’ data was later published
  • The Democratic National Committee in 2016, when emails and chats were obtained and subsequently published online. The US authorities have already linked this to Russia
  • Ukraine’s Kyiv metro and Odessa airport, Russia’s central bank, and two privately-owned Russian media outlets – Fontanka.ru and news agency Interfax – in October 2017. They used ransomware to encrypt the contents of a computer and demand payment
  • An unnamed small UK-based TV station between July and August 2015, when multiple email accounts were accessed and content stolen

Media captionWhat do we know about the Russian intelligence organisation, the GRU?

Former UK diplomat Lord Ricketts said it was likely the Russians targeted Wada “to distract from the very serious allegations about Russian athletes”, and targeted the Ukraine as they were trying to “destabilise” the region.

But he added other attacks seemed random and might have been part of a “pilot project” to “see what they can do at a point where they wanted to use” cyber warfare.

What has the UK government said?

“The GRU’s actions are reckless and indiscriminate: they try to undermine and interfere in elections in other countries; they are even prepared to damage Russian companies and Russian citizens,” said Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

“This pattern of behaviour demonstrates their desire to operate without regard to international law or established norms and to do so with a feeling of impunity and without consequences.

“Our message is clear: together with our allies, we will expose and respond to the GRU’s attempts to undermine international stability.”

Lord Ricketts believes rather than the UK participating in an offensive cyber counterattack, the government should continue targeting “dodgy Russian money” with economic sanctions.

Analysis

By Gordon Corera, BBC security correspondent

Today’s statement is part of a drive by Britain to keep the pressure on the Russian state and specifically on Russia’s military intelligence outfit – the GRU.

Some of these cyber-attacks had been previously attributed by private sector researchers to Russia. Britain had also attributed other cyber-attacks to Russia.

But for the first time British intelligence has singled out the GRU – and not just the Russian state – as specifically responsible for a series of events which hit a wide range of targets.

The statement also collates the range of names that have been publicly linked to the GRU by different security researchers.

Some are well known, like Fancy Bear, and others less well known. The British statement puts them all together in one place and confirms that in the view of British intelligence they all belong to the GRU.

Do other countries carry out cyber attacks?

Russia is not the only state to have been accused of cyber-attacks.

What is the GRU?

Media captionWhat do we know about the Russian intelligence organisation, the GRU?

The GRU, also known as the Main Intelligence Directorate, is the intelligence arm of the Russian military.

It is different to the former KGB (now known as the SVR and FSB) as it conducts undercover military operations and collects intelligence operations around the globe.

In recent years the GRU has been accused of undercover involvement in the conflict in Ukraine, which saw the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014.

It is believed that the two men accused of poisoning Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, named as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, were GRU agents.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45741520

Tour de Yorkshire 2019 host venues revealed

Tour de Yorkshire 2018Image copyright
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Hundreds lined Sutton Bank on the North York Moors during stage three of this year’s race

The start and finish venues for the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire cycle race have been revealed by the organisers.

The stages will begin or end at Barnsley, Bedale, Bridlington, Doncaster, Halifax, Leeds, Scarborough and Selby.

A tour of next year’s UCI Road World Championships circuit in Harrogate is also included.

The full route will be announced in December and the race will run between 2-5 May.

The Tour de Yorkshire has also been elevated in status to the tier below a World Tour event by the UCI, the sport’s governing body.

Unveiling the details Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said Redcar would be a host town for the 2020 race.

He said: “We’re thrilled that Bedale will be making its debut as the town gave the riders an amazing reception when they passed through earlier this year, and I’m sure Redcar will also excel in 2020.

“The other locations have already proven themselves as more than worthy recipients and we cannot wait to return.”

Sir Gary added: “We felt it was important to confirm the inclusion of the Harrogate circuit as the sport’s best riders are already planning their trips to the 2019 UCI Road World Championships and the Tour de Yorkshire will be the only chance they get to sample that circuit under race conditions before then.”

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Harry Tanfield, from North Yorkshire, took the first stage of the 2018 tour in Doncaster

More than two million spectators took in four days of spectacular cycling action in the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire.

The race, extended to a fourth day for the first time, reached a dramatic conclusion in Leeds with Frenchman Stephane Rossetto, riding for the Cofidis team, claiming victory in the final stage.

The title was claimed by the reigning Olympic champion, Belgian Greg van Avermaet.

Harry Tanfield became the first Briton to win a stage of the race when he crossed first after the 182km (113m) stage one route to Doncaster from East Yorkshire.

Tanfield, 23, from Great Ayton in North Yorkshire and riding for Canyon Eisberg, said he “never ever dreamt it would happen”.

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The riders in 2018 were offered words of encouragement from a washing line in Elsecar, Barnsley

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The eight locations to feature in the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire have been revealed

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-45747403

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