The Vuelta a Colombia

Colombian artist Vita Osorio Sanmartín inherited a bike from her father. Like many in the country, he was a passionate cyclist.

Every year, Colombians flood the streets to cheer at the Vuelta a Colombia – one of the toughest races in cycling.

But this is more than a sporting event. In the early 1950s, two years into a bloody sectarian conflict, the tour was initiated as a sign of peace and goodwill.

Today, a new generation of Colombians again face conflicting ideas. Some like Vita hope that cycling can once more bring a sense of unity and nationhood to Colombia.

Hear more on Colombia’s love of cycling on The Documentary from BBC World Service.

Video produced by Ellen Tsang. Footage filmed by Mark Rickards.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-42570996

Jason Kenny: How the ‘Horwich Humdinger’ geared up Olympic star for track return

Jason Kenny and Laura Trott

When you have won six Olympic gold medals by the age of 29, and are married to a woman who has won four more, you’re usually considered an inspiration to the grassroots and amateurs far below.

For Jason Kenny, a champion ready to leave it all behind, it came the other way round. At the end of October 2017, having not raced a bike competitively since the Rio Olympics, he entered a race in the North-West Cyclo-Cross League called the Horwich Humdinger. He finished 50th of 54 riders, and loved every second.

“I had a running commentary from other riders’ families on the way round,” he remembers. “‘You’re beating Jason Kenny!’ ‘You’re now lapping Jason Kenny!’ ‘You’re lapping Jason Kenny again!’

“I went fully expecting to get my head kicked in. I’m by no means a great cyclo-crosser, but I’m not unfit, and I’m good at riding a bike, obviously, but these guys are really fit and really strong, and they work for a living at the end of the day.

“I found it so inspiring, to step out of our bubble and see that – guys and girls, just enjoying it, playing around and getting really muddy. What’s not to love about that?”

Kenny can appear an accidental sporting hero. He rides track because he loves the sensation of speed coming down the banking, rather than to be a household name. He struggles to celebrate at the end of a victory because the fun part – the battle for first – is over.

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Kenny came home from Rio with three gold medals but hasn’t raced competitively since

And so it is fitting that his return to it all was unintended too, at a point where he had no ambition to ever race again.

“Track work is very specific, it’s a very restrictive lifestyle that we live; we obsess, and we’re very good at a very small part of life,” he says.

“It was just nice to properly switch off. While I’ve had breaks before, two weeks here and there, I’ve never really done that – I’ve always been thinking about getting back on my bike, and that when I get back to training I’m going to do this or that.

“But I was able to be myself for a year. I started walking the dogs and spending plenty of time outside, and then I began going to the gym just to get back in shape and because I enjoyed it.

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Kenny reversed his decision to retire from cycling

“I was going out on the road on the bike, doing sportives, just because I enjoyed doing them. So I was sort of training anyway, and I just thought, sod it, and cracked on properly, thinking, let’s give it another nudge and see what happens.

“It was about getting the love back: realising I do still enjoy it, and that I don’t just do it because we’ve put it in a planner and the planner says do it.”

It has not been straightforward, not least because there is now another Kenny in the house in addition to him and Laura.

Their first child Albert arrived in late August. Since then neither of his parents have slept for more than four hours in a row. It’s happiness, but a very tired one.

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Kenny and Trott became parents for the first time in August

“It’s been a challenge,” he admits. “To be honest, I didn’t think I’d be able to do it, then I spoke to a few people who kind of convinced me that I would be, and now I’m doubting that a little bit, four months down the line.

“We’ve got a gym in the garage now, which has helped a lot, because it’s taken the commute out of doing gym sessions. Having little Albie has made us have to streamline our lives; when it’s just the two of you, you can be quite wasteful, and you’ve got plenty of time, but now that’s all changed, and we have to try to train as efficiently as possible, and to make Albie our priority.

“We’ve got turbo-trainers set up in the garage, and he does sleep through the sound of us riding them. That’s the best thing about having the gym in the garage: just take him in there when he’s asleep, and then do your gym session. And hopefully not wake him up halfway through.”

On 6 January Kenny will race on the track once again, at the Revolution event at the Manchester velodrome. It was where he started, as a bright-eyed kid from Farnworth in Bolton, and where this next Olympic cycle begins for him; by the time of the European Track Championships in the summer, he knows he must be pushing to get back in the GB team.

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Kenny finished first in the Men’s keirin at the 2013 Track Cycling World Cup in Manchester

“I hope to have pretty good form, to be honest, but it’s not really happening – honestly, I thought we might have slept a bit more than we have done.

“Not to keep going on about it, but we’re not sleeping awfully well at the minute. It’s learning all the time about how that affects your recovery, and how much you can train.

“And it’s different for me now, because I’m used to training having had a base of a year behind me. Whereas this time I’ve come into it off much less specific training – I was fairly fit, but I hadn’t done much strength training.

“So it’s new ground for me: it’s the start of it all, the day I start racing again. And then we’ll go from there.

“Whether it goes really well or whether it goes terribly, it’s just a stepping-stone. Just like that ‘cross race. The result was by the by. I was still racing someone, I was just racing the blokes in 49th and 51st…”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/42450501

British Cycling: Heiko Salzwedel leaves role as GB men’s endurance coach

Heiko Salzwedel and Sir Bradley Wiggins

Salzwedel and Wiggins have worked together over a number of years

Heiko Salzwedel has left his role as coach of Britain’s men’s endurance team, British Cycling has announced.

The 60-year-old German had three spells with the organisation, most recently from October 2014.

Salzwedel guided Ed Clancy, Steven Burke, Owain Doull and Bradley Wiggins to team pursuit gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

And he also coached Wiggins in his successful UCI Hour Record attempt in London in June 2015.

It was reported in September that Salzwedel had been sacked from his post at the National Cycling Centre.

In a statement on Tuesday, British Cycling said he left “with the best wishes and thanks of everyone” at the organisation.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/42545626

Froome’s path to Vuelta victory – stage-by

Chris Froome and Vincenzo Nibali

Chris Froome beat Vincenzo Nibali by more than two minutes to win the Vuelta

Britain’s Chris Froome has become only the third man to win the Vuelta a Espana in the same year as the Tour de France.

The four-time Tour winner, who has finished runner-up three times at the Vuelta, said before the race that he had “unfinished business”.

And he dealt with that as he joined French greats Jacques Anquetil (1963) and Bernard Hinault (1978) in winning both races in the same year.

This is how he achieved his goal.

Saturday, 19 August – Stage 1: Nimes, 13.7km (8.5 miles) team time trial

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Rohan Dennis is the first Australian rider to wear the red jersey since Michael Matthews kept it for three days in 2014

Winner: BMC Racing

Report: Team Sky finish fourth on first stage

Chris Froome makes a solid start to his quest to become the first rider in almost 40 years to complete the Tour de France-Vuelta a Espana double. The Briton’s Team Sky squad finish fourth but crucially he beats all his rivals for the overall victory. BMC Racing’s Rohan Dennis will wear the race leader’s red jersey after crossing the line first in the winning team.

Sunday, 20 August – Stage 2: Nimes – Gruissan, 203.4km (126.4 miles)

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Yves Lampaert won his first Grand Tour stage to take the leader’s red jersey

Winner: Yves Lampaert (Bel/Quick-Step Floors)

Report: Lampaert wins stage two to take Vuelta lead

A flat stage that looked on paper set to end in a bunch sprint had a surprise winner as Yves Lampaert capitalised on expert work from his Quick-Step team in the crosswinds late on to break away, win the stage and take the leader’s red jersey. The race largely stayed together until the high winds in the final 10km, with the decisive splits occurring 2km from the finish. Chris Froome missed the first split, losing eight seconds to rival Vincenzo Nibali, but gained five more seconds on Alberto Contador and Romain Bardet.

Monday, 21 August – Stage 3: Prades Conflent Canigo – Andorra la Vella, 158.5km (98.5 miles)

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Vincenzo Nibali is one of six cyclists who have won the three Grand Tours in their career

Winner: Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Bahrain-Merida)

Report: Froome takes Vuelta lead after stage three

Chris Froome became the new leader of the Vuelta a Espana on Monday after finishing third in the mountainous stage three as Italian Vincenzo Nibali snatched the stage win in the final 400m of the race in the Pyrenees in Andorra.

Tuesday, 22 August – Stage 4: Escaldes-Engordany – Tarragona, 198.2km (123.2 miles)

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Matteo Trentin won his first Vuelta a Espana stage to add to victories at the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France

Winner: Matteo Trentin (Ita/Quick-Step Floors)

Report: Trentin wins stage four as Froome retains lead

The peloton left Andorra on a largely flat route, ending in the first stage finish in Spain of this year’s race. Stephane Rossetto and Diego Rubio attacked the early break with 70km remaining but were caught inside the final 10km. Matteo Trentin won the bunch sprint – he has now won a stage in all three Grand Tours – while Britain’s Chris Froome retained the leader’s red jersey.

Wednesday, 23 August – Stage 5: Benicassim – Alcossebre, 175.7km (109.2 miles)

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Lutsenko won his national time trial championship in 2015

Winner: Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz/Astana)

Report: Froome extends lead as Lutsenko wins

Leader Chris Froome says he learned “a lot about his rivals” as he improved his advantage over the rest of the field. Lutsenko’s biggest victory of his career came after he went off the front of a breakaway group and kept the chasers at bay.

Thursday, 24 August – Stage 6: Vila-real – Sagunt, 204.4km (127 miles)

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Marczynski, who finished 47th at the Giro d’Italia back in May, celebrates his maiden Grand Tour stage win

Winner: Tomasz Marczynski (Pol/Lotto-Soudal)

Report: Froome extends overall lead by one second

Another day for the breakaway and Poland’s Tomasz Marczynski claims his first Grand Tour stage winning the three-man sprint for the line. Tejan van Garderen, Chris Froome’s nearest rival before the stage, crashes twice to lose time as Esteban Chaves moves up to second overall.

Friday, 25 August – Stage 7: Lliria – Cuenca, 207km (128.6 miles)

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Mohoric became the fourth rider to win his first Grand Tour stage with victory on Friday

Winner: Matej Mohoric (Slo/UAE Team Emirates)

Report: Froome maintains 11-second lead

Matej Mohoric, 22, produced a stunning finish, breaking clear 10km from the finish line to win his first Grand Tour stage. There was little change in the general classification with Chris Froome finishing safely in the bunch alongside his rivals to maintain his slender advantage.

Saturday, 26 August – Stage 8: Hellin – Xorret de Cati, 199.5km (124 miles)

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Alaphilippe joined the growing group of first-time Grand Tour winners at this year’s Vuelta

Winner: Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Quick-Step Floors)

Report: Froome attacks rivals to extend lead

Chris Froome attacks his rivals late in the day on a testing climb prior to a steep descent to the finish line to extend his lead to 28 seconds over Esteban Chaves. France’s Julian Alaphilippe took victory on the 199km stage eight.

Sunday, 27 August – Stage 9: Orihuela – Cumbre del Sol, 174km (108.1 miles)

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Froome also won a model building to add to his collection of red jerseys

Winner: Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky)

Report: Froome wins stage to further extend race lead

Chris Froome attacks 500m from the finish on an uphill drag to take his first stage win of this year’s race and move a few more seconds clear of his general classification rivals. The Briton now leads Colombia’s Esteban Chaves by 36 seconds after delivering another psychological blow to those chasing the overall victory.

Monday, 28 August – rest day, Provincia de Alicante

Tuesday, 29 August – Stage 10: Caravaca Ano Jubilar 2017 – ElPozo Alimentacion, 164.8km (102.4 miles)

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Matteo Trentin followed up his first Vuelta win with a second seven days later

Winner: Matteo Trentin (Ita/Quick-Step Floors)

Report: Froome retains Vuelta lead as Trentin wins stage

Italian Matteo Trentin pulls clear of a 15-man breakaway to beat Jose Joaquin Rojas and Jaime Roson Garcia to the line and claim his second stage victory of the race. Britain’s Chris Froome retains his overall lead, with Ireland’s Nicolas Roche moving into a share of second place with Colombian Esteban Chaves.

Wednesday, 30 August – Stage 11: Lorca – Observatorio Astronómico de Calar Alto, 187.5km (116.5 miles)

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Miguel Angel Lopez beat Chris Froome by 14 seconds

Winner: Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana)

Report: Chris Froome extends lead as Lopez wins stage 11

Colombian rider Miguel Angel Lopez surges to victory with 2km to go of a mountainous stage in the Sierra Nevada in Andalucia. Britain’s Chris Froome finishes second on the stage and increases his overall lead to one minute 19 seconds, as Italian Vincenzo Nibali moves up to second overall. Esteban Chaves finishes 17th, losing more than two minutes on the day to slip to third overall.

Thursday, 31 August – Stage 12: Motril – Antequera, 160.1km (99.5 miles)

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Tomasz Marczynski became the second rider to win more than one stage in this year’s Vuelta

Winner: Tomasz Marczynski (Pol/Lotto-Soudal)

Report: Froome crashes twice as overall lead is cut

Poland’s Tomasz Marczynski claims his second stage win of the race. He led with 21.5km to go and won by 52 seconds. Britain’s Chris Froome crashes twice and finishes 20 seconds behind the main group of general classification favourites, including second-placed Vincenzo Nibali. The Team Sky rider now leads the Italian by 59 seconds.

Friday, 1 September – Stage 13: Coin – Tomares, 198.4km (123.3 miles)

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Matteo Trentin beat fellow Italian Gianni Moscon in a sprint to win his third stage of the Vuelta

Winner: Matteo Trentin (Ita/Quick-Step Floors)

Report: Froome maintains lead in Vuelta a Espana

Italy’s Matteo Trentin wins his third stage, beating compatriot Gianni Moscon in a sprint, while Chris Froome finishes safely in seventh place. The Team Sky rider maintains his 59 second lead over Vincenzo Nibali.

Saturday, 2 September – Stage 14: Ecija – Sierra de La Pandera, 175km (108.7 miles)

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Rafal Majka won stage 14, plus a collection of small trees

Winner: Rafal Majka (Pol/Bora-hansgrohe)

Report: Froome protects his overall lead as Rafal Majka wins stage

Rafal Majka claimed a breakaway victory on stage 14’s summit finish while Chris Froome protected his overall lead. Team Sky’s Froome countered several attacks from Nibali on the day’s final climb, but the Italian pushed on to take the time bonus for third place.

Sunday, 3 September -Stage 15: Alcala la Real – Sierra Nevada. Alto Hoya de la Mora. Monachil, 129km (80.2 miles)

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Miguel Angel Lopez claimed another stage win as Chris Froome increased his overall lead

Winner: Miguel Angel Lopez (Col/Astana)

Report:Froome extends lead in high mountains

Chris Froome increased his overall lead on another tough day as Miguel Angel Lopez impressively won stage 15. Team Sky wore down an attack by Vincenzo Nibali, second overall, on the final climb and Froome finished strongly to add six more seconds to his lead over the Italian and take it back out over a minute.

Monday, 4 September – rest day, Logrono

Tuesday, 5 September – Stage 16: Circuito de Navarra – Logrono, 40.2km (25 miles) Individual time trial

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Froome’s victory was his fifth career stage win at the Vuelta

Winner: Chris Froome (GB/Team Sky)

Report: Froome dominates time trial to extend lead

Team Sky’s four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome produced a dominant performance to increase his overall lead over Vincenzo Nibali by 57 seconds. Team Sunweb’s Dutch rider Wilco Kelderman was second on the stage, 29 seconds slower, enough to move him up to third overall, with Alberto Contador moving up to fifth with a determined effort.

Wednesday, 6 September – Stage 17: Villadiego – Los Machucos, 180.5km (112.2 miles)

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Stefan Denifl won his first Grand Tour stage

Winner: Stefan Denifl (Aut/Aqua Blue Sport)

Report: Froome has lead cut as Denifl wins stage 17

Chris Froome had his lead cut by 42 seconds as Austrian Stefan Denifl won stage 17 of the Vuelta a Espana. Froome, who won Tuesday’s time trial, struggled on the gruelling final climb to Los Machucos, conceding time to second placed Vincenzo Nibali.

Thursday, 7 September – Stage 18: Suances – Santo Toribio de Liebana, 169km (105 miles)

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Froome (right) also repelled attacks from Spain’s Alberto Contador on the climb to the summit finish

Winner: Sander Armee (Bel/Lotto-Soudal)

Report: Froome puts more time into Nibali

While Sander Armee was claiming his maiden Grand Tour victory, the main excitement was taking place further down the final ascent to the finish with race leader Chris Froome responding superbly to losing time to Vincenzo Nibali the day before by riding clear of the Italian to improve his advantage to more than 90 seconds. The race is beautifully poised for a big showdown on the Angliru on Saturday’s penultimate stage.

Friday, 8 September – Stage 19: Caso. Parque Natural de Redes – Gijon, 149.7km (93 miles)

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Thomas de Gendt became the latest rider to win a stage in all three Grand Tours with victory in Gijon

Winner: Thomas de Gendt (Bel/Lotto-Soudal)

Report: Froome maintains lead before deciding stage

With the overall favourites looking to rest as much as possible before Saturday’s testing stage, the peloton allowed a large breakaway to go clear early on. Ivan Garcia Cortina went solo with 35km to go before he was joined by Romain Bardet, Nicolas Roche and Matej Mohoric in the run-in to Gijon. However, a group of five chasers caught back on, including Thomas de Gendt, who denied Garcia Cortina and Jarlinson Pantano in the sprint to win. Alberto Contador mounted a late attack behind but was reeled in, with Chris Froome easily maintaining his advantage of one minute 37 seconds over Vincenzo Nibali.

Saturday, 9 September – Stage 20: Corvera de Asturias – Alto de l’Angliru, 117.5km (73 miles)

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Contador is the first Spanish stage winner of this year’s race

Winner: Alberto Contador (Spa/Trek-Segafredo)

Report: Froome all-but wins Vuelta after Contador takes one last stage

Chris Froome effectively sealed the Tour-Vuelta double by finishing third, giving him a lead of more than two minutes over Vincenzo Nibali heading into Sunday’s largely processional ride around Madrid. In a fitting finale to his career, Spain’s Alberto Contador delighted the home fans with an attack on the Angliru that saw him win for one last time before retiring.

Sunday, 10 September – Stage 21: Arroyomolinos – Madrid, 117.6km (73.1 miles)

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Contador was allowed a lap of honour both during and after the final stage in his home city

Winner: Matteo Trentin (Ita/Quick-Step Floors)

Report: Froome completes historic Vuelta victory

Chris Froome finishes safely in Madrid to wrap up a sensational Tour de France-Vuelta a Espana double. But, not content with winning the race, the Briton sprints for 11th place to keep the green points jersey and deny stage winner Matteo Trentin. Alberto Contador gets a fitting send off as he retires from professional cycling.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/40933339

Dan Halksworth: Jersey sportsman aims for third sport at third Commonwealth Games

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Jersey’s Dan Halksworth is aiming to become the first person to compete in three different sports at the Commonwealth Games.

“My old coach used to say I was a Jack of all trades and master of none and I think I’ve carried it on through my life.”

Dan Halksworth is an athlete you have probably never heard of, but come April next year the 31-year-old form Jersey will be aiming to be a history-maker.

Halksworth will be cycling in the time-trial and road race at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, having previously competed as a swimmer in 2006 in Melbourne and a triathlete in Glasgow in 2014.

If he makes the start line, he will be the first person ever to have competed in three different sports at three different Commonwealth Games.

“I decided to give cycling a go because I’d got a bit older, got a mortgage and don’t have the time to do all three sports [in the triathlon] any more,” he told BBC Sport.

“I thought I’d still try and enjoy sport and just try and focus on one.

“Initially it wasn’t my aim to get to the Commonwealth Games, I was just trying to get back into sport really.”

‘I needed a target’

Halksworth has always been a star sportsman on Jersey – he was the island’s first Commonwealth Youth Games gold medallist in 2004 when he won swimming gold in the 400m individual medley and silver in the 200m individual medley.

He then swam both medleys at Melbourne 2006, but failed to get out of the heats. Having not reached the heights in the pool he had aimed for, he knew it was time for a change.

Having done a triathlon the previous summer, he turned his back on swimming and focused on the three-discipline event with great success.

He turned professional over the gruelling Ironman distance – a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride topped off with a marathon.

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Halksworth has won Island Games medals in swimming, cycling, triathlon and athletics

He went on to represent his home nation in the Glasgow 2014 triathlon, where he eventually finished 17th, despite being third behind double Olympic medallists Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee after the swim and cycle stages.

He has twice doubled-up at an Island Games – winning triathlon gold in 2015 and 2017, while racing in the 10,000m on the track two years ago and taking time trial bronze this summer.

“I took a bit of a break after the Island Games in 2015 and I needed a bit of a kick, and in the end I said ‘I need a target to set myself’ and that target was to get myself to the Commonwealth Games.

“At the start of the year I was quite far away from getting the selection criteria, but I started working with my coach Matt Botterill and he believed I could do it, and when you’ve got someone behind you and they believe you can do it, it pushes you a bit more.

“Luckily enough in my last qualifying race of the year I managed to get there.”

Record breaker

Since the start of the Commonwealth Games in 1930 – then the British Empire Games – a number of sportspeople have competed at two different sports.

Some, like Halksworth, have done triathlon combined with one of the event’s individual disciplines – cycling, swimming or running.

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Halksworth is a former British Ironman champion and was a professional over the discipline

Others have competed at sports with similar skill sets, such as weightlifting and shot put, or 100m and rugby sevens, but nobody has ever done three.

The closest came in Delhi 2010 when Ghanaian Christopher Symonds was due to compete in the 50m and 100m freestyle swimming, as well as the cycling time trial, having previously finished 26th in the triathlon at Melbourne in 2006.

But he did not start either of his swimming events, so while he has been selected for three sports he has not participated in all of them.

Halksworth’s last Commonwealth Games?

So, is this really the final act for Halksworth when it comes to Jersey and the Commonwealth Games?

Could the ‘Jack of all trades’, who is also a keen skier, not turn to a sport which required less aerobic dedication, such as shooting, bowls or archery in a future Games?

“I’m going to enjoy a glass of wine without feeling guilty and eat what I want for a while,” he joked.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen, sometimes I have these silly ideas in my head and I go all guns blazing into it.

“I’m always going to keep fit, at the moment I just don’t want to be racing after the Commonwealth Games.

“I want to enjoy sport and I also want to do some challenges. I haven’t really thought of what to do yet, but something that’s going to challenge me.

“I also want to try and get a bit more skiing in as well, I’ve missed out on that in the last couple of years.”

Just as well there is not a winter Commonwealth Games – or else Halksworth might well be in the slalom or downhill representing Jersey too.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/42409681

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