Dan McLay is ill and has finished last in the two most recent Tour de France stages.
British rider Dan McLay has admitted that he didn’t think he would beat the time cut on stage 15 of the Tour de France – and he doesn’t know how he’ll fare in the Alps this week.
The Fortuneo-Oscaro sprinter finished over 38 minutes behind race winner Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) in Le Puy-en-Velay, and on stage 16 was dead last yet again.
He is the current lanterne rouge, with fellow Brit Luke Rowe (Team Sky) 18 minutes ahead of him.
Speaking to Cycling Weekly before stage 16, McLay said that he is dealing with illness: “I’m struggling a little bit. I feel like I am getting a little bit sick right now but I will try and make it through. I just a feel a bit knackered, to be honest.”
With the Alps coming up in the next two stages, McLay appreciates that he could be fighting off the chasing broom wagon yet again, a situation he has found himself in in each of the last two days of racing.
“I struggle anywhere when it goes up hill and I think not feeling 100 percent, it makes it a little harder.
“Days in the mountains are harder for me. It’s a bit stressed at the end of a sprint day, but at least you’re racing for something. These days are long days in your head.
“I can’t tell you how I’ll ride [in the Alps]. I don’t know the answers.”
After stage 15, the Leicestershire-raised 25-year-old, who finished third on a stage of the 2016 Tour, refused to comment to the media such was his tiredness.
Reflecting on his solo ride through the Massif Central, he said: “It was a long day mentally and I was on my own since the first climb of the day.
“I just kept riding and to be honest I thought I wouldn’t make it [the time cut] but thankfully I did.”
At the start of stage 16, McLay was presented with a red lantern by a Belgian journalist, to which he wasn’t so impressed with. But he said: “I’d rather be last and not here.” For now, McLay remains in the Tour.
Today at the World Championships, the women competed in preliminaries and semi finals on ten meter platform, and the first team event took place.
After semifinals on platform, twelve women move onto finals. Currently standing in the top two positions is Si Yajie and Ren Qian, both from China. They are trailed by Kim Kuk Hyang of the People’s Republic of Korea and Meaghan Benfeito of Canada.
Jessica Parratto from the United States is currently tied for eighth place with Pandelela Pamg from Malaysia.
The German and British women will not be continuing onto finals, which takes place tomorrow.
The ten meter and three meter mixed team diving event, which also took place today, is not an Olympic event. It is diving’s version of a relay.
Similarly to mixed synchro, the team event involves two partners, one male and one female. The duo must perform six dives, three on three meter and three on ten meter. Each diver must perform three dives, and at least one from each height.
The six dive list, also similarly to the synchro event, includes two voluntaries, where the degree of difficulty is 2.0 regardless of the dive, and then four optional dives. The voluntaries must be performed in the first two rounds, and one by each diver, and they can be done on the same board.
The top three teams this year finished only 10.5 points apart. Earning a gold medal, Matthieu Rosset and Laura Marino of France took the top spot. They were followed by Rommel Pacheco Marrufo and Viviana del Angel Paniche from Mexico. The Bronze medal team was Krysta Palmer and David Dinsmore from the United States.
These are the first diving medals at Worlds for France, Mexico and the United States this year.
The Mexican and French teams were in a close battle until the end. France secured their victory with their final dive, a forward double twisting two and a half pike (5154B) that earned them 81.6 points.
Surprisingly, the Chinese team finished in sixth place.
Tomorrow, along with the women’s platform finals, the men will compete in the preliminaries and semifinals on three meter springboard.
LottoNL-Jumbo’s George Bennett says that he will look at to race the Vuelta a España after man flu caused him to abandon the Tour de France
LottoNL-Jumbo’s George Bennett is “devastated” that he has been forced to abandon the Tour de France with a “serious case of man flu”.
The New Zealand-born rider was sitting in 12th position at the beginning of stage 16, over six minutes minutes off leader Chris Froome (Team Sky).
He started to get ill on Sunday’s stage to Le Puy-en-Velay, and his condition worsened during yesterday’s rest day, when he was unable to eat solid food. He started today’s stage but unpinned his numbers early on.
“I’m devastated to leave,” the 27-year-old said. “I dedicated everything to this race. I spent however many months of my life sitting at the top of the mountain and I’m going home.
“It wasn’t a nice moment [when he quit]. Sitting on the side of the road, you don’t roll into Paris with the planes flying over your head, you get in a team car and get on a plane home to Girona.
“One of the worst things you can do as a bike racer is to leave a bike race, and the Tour de France… you can’t describe it, it sucks.
Stage 16 of the Tour de France highlights
“That’s part of the job and I knew that when I came here. You have crazy highs and crazy lows. You just have to keep your feet on the ground and put it into perspective. I’ve still had an amazing few weeks here.”
The women of Russia successfully defended their World Championships title during finals of the Team Technical routine during day five of competition. Today’s victory marked the third synchro gold medal that Russia has won so far in Budapest.
Of the eight members on the team only Vlada Chigireva and Maria Shurochkina were also on the gold-medal winning team in Kazan. The two veterans were joined by newcomers Anastasia Bayandina, Veronika Kalinina, Daria Bayandina, Maryna Goliadkina, Polina Komar, and Darina Valitova, performing to the song “The Rhythms of the City.” As a team they scored a total of 96.01.09 points improving upon the 95.7457 score that won gold in 2015.
Following their gold medal performance, Team Russia spoke to FINA and the associated press, explaining,
“We have a new team. That’s why we were nervous about our performance. The newcomers don’t have enough experience of competing at such important championships. Well, to tell you the truth, we are always concerned about the result – not the scores but the performance in general. We are very happy with the marks in the final, we improved after the prelims. Although there is no limit for excellence. Because, first of all, we have to overcome ourselves.”
China defended their 2015 silver medal with a 94.2165 score, while Japan once again finished third at the World Championships with a score of 93.1590.
We all know that the shoulders can take a lot of abuse with swimming. At some point in your swimming career you will most likely experience some type of shoulder issue.
The shoulder is a very mobile joint, and being so mobile, it needs to be well controlled by the muscles and ligaments that surround the joint. Over-training, fatigue, hypermobility, poor stroke technique, weakness, tightness, previous shoulder injury or use of hand paddles can lead to your muscles and ligaments being overworked. If this goes on, injuries such as rotator cuff impingement and tendonitis, bursitis, capsule and ligament damage, or cartilage damage can occur.
With the repetitive overhead, internal rotation of the shoulders in swimming while pulling forcefully down, the front of the shoulder tends to get over worked. This is where problems can occur. For the past five years here at the Bellingham Bay Swim Team (BBST), we have spent time in every dry land session doing some scapular stabilization exercises that have paid huge dividends. We have seen very few shoulder injuries and the swimmers have developed strong, balanced shoulders that have helped performance in the pool.
There are many scapula (shoulder blades) stabilization exercises that we do daily. I would like to share two. The focus of these exercises is to strengthen and mobilize the 17 muscles that attach to the scapula. Doing this, will help take the pressure off of the front of the shoulder and create more balance.
We do these types of exercises prior to or after dry land or practice in the pool. This is not something that you do to failure. The goal is to activate the muscles attaching to the scapula. We want them “online” prior to and after a big workout.
Scap Pull Up:
-Either hanging or standing, place your hands on a pull up bar, palms facing away. (Hanging is more difficult, but what you should be working towards.)
Relax the neck. Lock the elbows. Slowly start to draw your scapulas down the back and toward the spine, as if you were going to put them in your back pockets.
Slowly let the scapulas slide up, gliding up the rib cage.
The only things moving are the scapulas.
Repeat for 10 reps. Do 3-4 sets of 10 reps.
On hands and knees, hands placed slightly wider than the shoulders.
Have head in line with the spine, and lock elbows.
Move scapulas down the back, then slide them out to the side and back up and in at the top. Do this for 10 reps.
Reverse the direction of the scapulas: up the back, out to the side, and then back down and towards the spine.
Don’t arch the back.
It takes practice, but the only thing moving should be the scapulas.
All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff. All swimming and dryland training and instruction should be performed under the supervision of a qualified coach or instructor, and in circumstances that ensure the safety of participants.
The footage shows Degenkolb ride up from behind on the right and appear to strike Matthews on the back of the head and left ear.
“I was waiting for the result and he grabbed me on the way past,” Matthews said. “The officials saw it. We’ll see what the officials will do about it. I don’t think it’s very sportsmanlike.”
In the jury post-stage press release, Degenkolb failed to appear with other violations, including four riders fined 100 Swiss Francs for sticky bottles.
The UCI jury, ever-vigilant after the stage four Sagan incident, could still decide on the newly emerged footage. In 2010, when Carlos Barredo attacked Rui Costa after the finish, the jury fined them 400 Swiss Francs each, with Barredo also receiving a two month ban at the start of the 2011 season.
The U.S. team bound for the FINA World Championships in Budapest has named its four captains: Matt Grevers and Nathan Adrian for the men and Elizabeth Beisel and Katie Meili for the women.
Grevers, Adrian and Beisel are all veterans in the captain’s role, with both Adrian and Beisel having jointly led the Olympic swim team last summer. The other four captains from that Olympic team, Michael Phelps, Anthony Ervin, Allison Schmitt and Cammile Adams, are all absent from the Worlds team.
This year’s meet will mark Grevers’ fourth World Championships, Adrian’s fifth and Beisel’s sixth. For Meili, it is her first, as last year’s Olympics was her debut on a senior U.S. international squad.
The U.S. team is departing Wednesday from training camp in Opatija, Croatia, to head to Budapest.
But she is determined to make further progress towards her goals of becoming world number one and winning grand slams.
“I know there’s a lot of work to be done between now and achieving such things,” she said.
“I definitely feel I can physically improve, I’d like to get stronger, move even better on the court – maximise my movement.”
Konta, who was ranked 150 at the start of 2015, often speaks of the mental “process” she relies upon during her rise up the rankings and believes experience will improve her tactical game.
“I’m constantly looking to be more mentally strong and technically sound. I’m trying to leave no stone unturned,” she said.
‘This is the place I miss when I’m away’
Konta said she was proud to represent Great Britain after her nationality was questioned by BBC presenter John Humphrys on Radio 4’s Today programme.
The veteran interviewer said: “We talk about you as being British, but you were born in Hungary, Australian citizenship, and I seem to remember that the Australian high commissioner, when you won the quarter-final, said: ‘Great to see an Aussie win’, and we were saying: ‘Great to see a Brit win’ – so, what are you?”
She laughed before replying: “I was actually born in Australia to Hungarian parents, but I have lived half my life here now, almost. So, I’m a British citizen, and I’m incredibly proud to represent Great Britain. I have done so officially since 2012.”
Konta, who came to the UK aged 14, later told BBC Sport of her bond with Britain.
“This is my home, where I consider to be from and where I come back to. This is the place I miss when I am away,” she said.
“People are entitled to their opinion, but this is the only place I’ve truly represented and will continue to do so.
“I’m a British citizen and representing Great Britain at the 2016 Olympics was one of the proudest moments of my career.”
Some newspaper reports during Wimbledon referenced the fact that five years ago Konta did not know the words to the national anthem.
“Seeing as I’ve sung the national anthem at both the Olympics and many Fed Cup ties, I do know the words to my national anthem, yes,” she said.
Wimbledon defeat and greater analysis
Konta reached the Wimbledon semi-finals with a thrilling defeat of Romanian second seed Simona Halep which was watched by a peak of 7.4 million viewers, the BBC’s best TV figures for the 2017 tournament.
“It’s a massive compliment and a brilliant thing for tennis. It’s great that so many people got invested and involved in my match and were living the moment with me,” she said.
“I’ve definitely noticed that I’ve been recognised on the street more but it’s always positive. People have only said good things and congratulated me on my run and said I’ve inspired them or their children.”
She went out with a 6-4 6-2 defeat to five-time champion Venus Williams.
“I digested the match quite quickly and understood the things I could have done better, and acknowledge how well she played,” said Konta.
A higher profile has led to greater analysis of Konta by tennis pundits – but she tries to keep her focus.
“I employ the team around me to bring the most out of myself, and leave it to them to listen to lot of external things,” she said.
“I limit the amount I open my ears to because it can be a little bit overwhelming and confusing. Within my career, the simpler I’ve kept it, the better. I don’t listen too much to what’s going on outside.”
Muffins, music and films
Away from the court, Konta has been enjoying her new-found love of baking, although admits it brought her to tears during Wimbledon.
“It was very random, I forgot to buy some chocolate chips (for muffins) in the supermarket and I only realised when I got home. I think I was a bit tired that day,” she said.
“I’m a massive fan of food. I like exploring new restaurants and cuisines. I’ve only just started baking so the only thing I can make is muffins – I’ve been making blueberry ones, chocolate and banana, white chocolate and raspberry.”
She also lists live music and the cinema as two other interests in her downtime.
“I’m going to see U2 soon and I’m very excited about that, and then I’m going to see Celine Dion with my mum.” she said.
Managing the schedule
Konta is next due on court at the Rogers Cup, which starts in Toronto on 7 August, having chosen not to defend her title at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, California.
Another tilt at a Grand Slam title will begin on 28 August at the US Open, where Konta has reached the fourth round for the past two years.
“I only finished Wimbledon on Thursday and haven’t played since. I’m resting for the rest of this week and start training again on Monday. This is the only chance in the year when I can take more than two or three days off at one time,” she said.
“We play a lot of tennis in the season and the season is very long. So to be able to find those moments where you can remove yourself from it and take care of your body goes towards ensuring the longevity and you being able to play many years.
“I need to remind myself to do that because I am a bit of a busybody. I like lists and ticking things off lists, so I need to make sure I do chill out and relax and try to get a day on the sofa here and there.”
Longer term she hopes to play again for Britain in the Fed Cup team event after this year’s controversy which led to Romania captain Ilie Nastase being suspended by the International Tennis Federation after swearing at the umpire and abusing Konta and her captain Anne Keothavong.
“It is not something that anyone should experience. It’s not something I think about or look to revisit. My life has moved on from it,” she said.
“One of the biggest honours you get as an athlete is to represent your country, especially in a team event. I would definitely love to keep participating.”
Irish rider loses 51 seconds in crosswinds on stage 16
Daniel Martin in the 2017 Tour de France. Credit: Yuzuru Sunada
Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) has said his dreams of taking the Tour de France yellow jersey are very likely over after he lost 51 seconds in the crosswinds on stage 16.
When the race split in the crosswinds between Le Puy-en-Velay and Romans-sur-Isère, Martin found himself in the second group and with Team Sky, Team Sunweb and Ag2r La Mondiale pushing the pace in the front group he was unable to catch back on.
“The yellow jersey is probably over but we’re still fighting,” he told a gaggle of reporters as he warmed down by his Quick-Step Floors team bus.
“I haven’t been bad before but it’s a bit different doing across wind stage in the last week than the first week. That was shame to lose time.
“I was in the red and then the downhill was so dangerous. That’s partly what led to me I losing position because just as it split on the downhill there were a couple of very very near crashes with guys getting swept in the wind into the left of the group I had to slam the brakes on a couple of times and that’s why I lost the ten positions that were vital when the bunch split.”
However, the team also used up much of its limited fire power trying to get its sprinter, green jersey wearer Marcel Kittel, back into the front group after he and others were distanced from the peloton early in the stage.
Watch: Tour de France stage 16 highlights
When asked if the team had put its efforts in the wrong place today, sports director Brian Holm said: “That would make sense. Gilbert is out, Matteo [Trentin] is out, we are short of numbers. When you’re two riders less it makes it slightly more difficult. Marcel couldn’t follow on the climb, he was dropped, but we looked after Dan. I don’t know if it was the crash or not [to blame for his time losses].”
However Martin said that he didn’t feel the team was struggling to balance its sprinting and GC ambitions.
Holm added: “We’re usually quite alright in the crosswinds but three riders it’s not really the same as with nine in the crosswinds so we knew it would be quite difficult.”
Despite slipping to seventh place on GC 2-03 behind race leader Chris Froome (Team Sky) Martin will continue to aim for a podium place.
“We’ll see if I have a bit more freedom, I said anything can happen it has now so we’ll regroup and see what happens,” Martin continued. “I’m not going to race any differently.”
Kittel, meanwhile, saw his lead in the green jersey competition cut as Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb), who is currently in second place, won both the intermediate and final sprints netting himself a maximum 50 points.
He is now 29 points behind Kittel with 50 points on offer for winning each of the two remaining sprint stages, and 20 for the intermediate sprints.
Kittel said: “I can’t say I’m happy about losing all the points today, but there was nothing I could do. I think I gave my best at the very beginning. We tried to keep ourselves in contention, but it wasn’t our day today.”
“It’s been one guy [Peter Sagan] dominating for the last years,” Matthews said, “so to see a fight to Paris for the green jersey will be special.”
Sagan won the points competition the last five years in a row, from 2012 to 2016. The jury made the controversial move to disqualify him after a stage four incident with Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), who had to abandon with a fractured shoulder blade.
Kittel appeared to be in control with Sagan and then Arnaud Démare (FDJ) leaving the race. He won five stages and moved into a strong lead. Even after his fifth, he warned that the green jersey was not a done deal.
Michael Matthews wins the 16th stage of the Tour de France (ASO)
“Unfortunately, the Tour de France is three weeks long and not only two,” Kittel said.
“I was probably right [after my fifth win] to say it’d be settled on the Champs-Élysées.”
Two chances remain for sprint finishes, one in Marseille and one in Paris. German Kittel is the fastest sprinter of the two, but Australian Matthews the more versatile. He escaped the other day to pick up points and on stage 16, tried to do the same.
Once he realised Kittel was dropped, he ordered his Sunweb team to pull hard to possibly force him to be time cut or to at least ensure he would be without his top rival at the finish.
“When Kittel was dropped, I went to the front, the guys just smiled and were ready to work for me,” Matthews said.
“We kept up the pressure and kept pulling full, so if he’s out of the race, it’s better for me. I took the intermediate and we got the final points as well. I got 50 points today
“It was really an amazing day, we had a great plan in the bus, but this worked out 10 times better than planned.”
At one point, the data showed that Sunweb worked 61.1 per cent at the front. The next best team, Dimension Data for Edvald Boasson Hagen, worked 13.5 per cent.
Kittel can only defend his green jersey by winning and having his team make sure Matthews fails to win the intermediate sprints in the coming two mountain days.
“The climb at the start today was something that suited him better, so what can I do about it? I won’t think about the lost points now,” Kittel added.
“I can’t say I’m happy about losing all the points today, but there’s nothing to do. We also tried to keep Dan Martin in contention today [he slipped from fifth to seventh], but it wasn’t our day. We have to move on and think about out next chances.”