Andrew Talansky announces retirement from pro cycling

Cannondale-Drapac’s Andrew Talansky describes his career as a ‘truly incredible ride’ as he retires at the age of 28

Andrew Talansky has announced his retirement from professional cycling at the age of 28.

The American has been a mainstay of the various incarnations of the Slipstream team – currently known as Cannondale-Drapac – since 2010.

In a short statement issued via social media on Tuesday, Talansky said: “After a great deal of thought and consideration, it is time to bring down the curtain on my career as a professional cyclist. It has been a truly incredible ride.

“I’ll miss my teammates and the camaraderie on and off the bike, but most of all I’m going to miss the fans. Few sports put its fans closer to the action, which is a large part of what makes pro cycling so special.

“Your support and encouragement, on good days and bad, has meant more to me than I can express. I’ve lived out a dream and I have Slipstream Sports and you, the fans, to thank for that.

“While this is the end of the road for my pro cycling career, it’s also a new beginning to follow my passion, and I look forward to sharing more soon. Until then, on behalf of myself and my family, thanks for seven great years.”

Talansky’s most notable victory is the 2014 Critérium du Dauphiné, and he most recently won a stage of the 2017 Tour of California, where he also placed third overall.

>>> Nearly $250,000 raised in first 24 hours of Cannondale-Drapac crowd-funding campaign

Although his wins were not numerous, Talansky scored several high placings in Grand Tours, where he was once touted as a contender. He finished fifth in the 2016 Vuelta a España, and 10th in the 2013 Tour de France. He completed this year’s Tour de France in 49th place in support of team-mate Rigoberto Uran, who finished second overall.

Talansky’s Cannondale-Drapac team are currently in the process of raising funds to continue into the 2018 race season after reportedly losing a key sponsor.

The team issued a statement at the end of August that they could not guarantee a WorldTour place for 2018, and freed riders from their contractual obligations.


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Amy Havens – Unilateral Reformer (40 mins) – Level 2

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US Open 2017: Venus Williams beats Petra Kvitova in final-set tie-break to make semis

Breaking news

US Open
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 28 Aug-10 Sept
BBC coverage: Live radio and text commentary on selected matches every day.

Venus Williams proved too strong for Petra Kvitova in a final-set tie-break in a thrilling US Open quarter-final in New York.

The 37-year-old American reached the 23rd major semi-final of her career with a 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-2) victory.

Williams, seeded ninth, came back from 3-1 down in the final set to win in two hours and 34 minutes.

She will next face Sloane Stephens, with an all-American semi-final line-up possible.

Madison Keys and Coco Vandeweghe will try to join their compatriots in the last four when they play their quarter-finals on Wednesday.

More to follow.

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Swimming New Zealand Head Coach Jerry Olszewski Resigns

Swimming New Zealand head coach Jerry Olszewski has resigned from his position after just a year on the job, according to a report from Stuff.

Olszewski told his bosses Tuesday that he would be returning to the United States, where he had coached for more than 25 years.

“There are personal and family reasons, [Jerry] has informed us. His whole family is back in the States, so it is going back to them really,” Swimming New Zealand CEO Steve Johns told Stuff. “It certainly caught us by surprise. We are busy now looking at what the short-to-medium term is going to hold for us, but we have to respect his decision.

“It’s always a risk when a sport in New Zealand brings in a international coach that at some point they’ll want to head back. I wasn’t around when Jerry was employed but that was discussed and it was felt it wouldn’t be an issue. For whatever reason he’s decided he needs to be back with his family.”

Mat Woofe, who had been a coaching intern and Olszewski’s top assistant, will take over in the interim. The moves comes at a tricky time for the organization, with the Commonwealth Games just seven months away.

After much turnover in recent years, Swimming New Zealand will now be looking for its fifth different head coach since 2014.

Read more from Stuff by clicking here.

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Daniel O’Connell Gives Verbal Commitment to Cal’s Class of 2022

Photo Courtesy: Daniel O’Connell

Agon is the proud sponsor of all high school coverage (recruiting, results, state championships, etc.) on SwimmingWorld.com. For more information about Agon, visit their website AgonSwim.com.

To report a college commitment, email HS@swimmingworld.com.
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NEW COMMIT: Daniel O’Connell has verbally committed to the University of California Berkeley Class of 2022. O’Connell is from Danville, California where he swims for the Crow Canyon Sharks.

O’Connell is a senior at De La Salle High School where he is a two time captain of the school team. He is the school’s 100 fly record holder. O’Connell was the CIF North Coast runner up in the 100 fly last spring and then swam that event and the 200 free at the 2017 CIF state championship He’s a two time high school All-American.

His top SCY times are:

  • 100 Fly 49.00
  • 50 Free 20.71
  • 100 Free 45.25
  • 200 Free 1:41.05

O’Connell told Swimming World,

“I chose Cal because it was an excellent opportunity for me to reach my full potential in college. It has been my childhood dream to become a Golden Bear and I can’t be more excited to join the Cal family. Go Bears!”

He’ll suit up next fall along with Reece Whitley and Christopher Jhong.

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New Dual Post Starting Platforms from SR Smith

Velocity and Legacy Starting Block series. Available with a dual post or single post frame

New from S.R.Smith, the Velocity and Legacy Starting Block series are now available with a dual post as well as single post frame.

“Our goal in expanding our line of elite starting blocks is to ensure we have an option for every aquatic facility,” said Dan Jorgensen, S.R.Smith V.P. of Sales.

The new dual post models are made from commercial grade stainless steel which is powder-coated to provide extra protection.  In addition to four standard colors, the frames can be ordered in custom colors to match school and swim team colors.

SRSmith_Dual Post Product Shot (1)

Photo Courtesy: S.R. Smith

The Velocity series features a sleek, strong fiberglass footboard (28” x 32”) with a five-setting (Olympic standard), adjustable track start wedge that conveniently tucks beneath the block and opens up the entire footboard for step-up relay exchanges. “We have found coaches and swimmers are especially attracted to the flexibility of our Velocity track wedge,” said Jorgensen.  “The 2nd, 3rd and 4th relay members don’t have to worry about tripping over a track start wedge, and can do the wind-up, step-forward exchanges they are accustomed to. There are also advantages during novice swim meets, when you might not want newer or younger swimmers using a track start wedge.”

SRSmith_Velocity_Sideview (1)

Photo Courtesy: S.R. Smith

The Velocity series is available with traditional sand tread that can be customized with colors and logos or our unique TrueTread™ non-slip platform surface, that’s made from a composite material with a raised diamond pattern. The Legacy series features a strong, reinforced acrylic footboard (24” x 32”) that is finished with slip-resist sand tread that can be customized with color and logos. Both blocks can be ordered with a patented RockSolid® anchor (U.S. patent #8033077), that virtually eliminates frame movement, and are compliant with FINA, USA Swimming, NCAA, NFSH and USMS competition pool rules and guidelines.

For more information, including product specifications and AutoCAD drawings visit srsmith.com or call 800.824.4387.

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American Stephens into US Open semis after final-set tie-break

Sloane Stephens

US Open
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 28 Aug-10 Sept
BBC coverage: Live radio and text commentary on selected matches every day.

American Sloane Stephens won a final-set tie-break to beat Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova and reach her first US Open semi-final.

The 24-year-old, ranked 83rd as she makes her way back from injury, won 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-4) in New York.

Stephens played superbly to come back from 3-1 down in the final set, converting her first match point with a brilliant backhand.

She will face compatriot Venus Williams or Petra Kvitova in the last four.

With Madison Keys and Coco Vandeweghe also through to the last eight, there is the prospect of an all-American semi-final line-up.

It is four years since Stephens made the Australian Open semi-finals, but her ranking had plummeted to 957th following an 11-month break with a foot injury.

Only two months later she is through to a Grand Slam semi-final and projected to break back into the world’s top 40, at least.

“Oh man, I’m getting teary-eyed,” said Stephens. “I think my coach is probably crying.

“This is just incredible. When I started my comeback at Wimbledon I could never have dreamed of this happening.

“Making the semi-final of my home Slam, it’s indescribable.”

‘I just told myself to keep fighting’

Sloane Stephens and Anastasia Sevastova

Stephens got the 24,000 spectators on Arthur Ashe Stadium for the day session animated as though it was a night match with a dramatic win.

She looked to have learned from Maria Sharapova’s defeat by Sevastaova in the previous round as she reined in her power and, after a timid opening service game, began to move forward whenever possible.

Sixteen trips to the net and two breaks of serve helped Stephens to the first set, and Sevastova’s hopes appeared further damaged when she had a medical timeout for attention to her leg.

However, the Latvian resumed in more measured fashion, cutting her errors from 18 in the opening set to six as she clinched the second.

Stephens was now struggling on serve, making less than 50% of first serves, and a woeful smash seemed to signal the end as she fell 3-1 behind.

Quite the contrary – a gripping conclusion saw the American level at 3-3, the pair swap service breaks and then hold impressively on their way to a decisive tie-break.

It was Stephens who made the running, and the pressure told as three errors from Sevastaova left the American with match point, converted as she drilled a backhand down the line.

“I just told myself to keep fighting,” added Stephens.

“I’d been playing so well and so consistent, I knew if I stuck with it I’d have a chance, and that’s what I did.”

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American Stephens into US Open semis after final-set tie-break

Sloane Stephens

US Open
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 28 Aug-10 Sept
BBC coverage: Live radio and text commentary on selected matches every day.

American Sloane Stephens won a final-set tie-break to beat Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova and reach her first US Open semi-final.

The 24-year-old, ranked 83rd as she makes her way back from injury, won 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-4) in New York.

Stephens played superbly to come back from 3-1 down in the final set, converting her first match point with a brilliant backhand.

She will face compatriot Venus Williams or Petra Kvitova in the last four.

With Madison Keys and Coco Vandeweghe also through to the last eight, there is the prospect of an all-American semi-final line-up.

It is four years since Stephens made the Australian Open semi-finals, but her ranking had plummeted to 957th following an 11-month break with a foot injury.

Only two months later she is through to a Grand Slam semi-final and projected to break back into the world’s top 40, at least.

“Oh man, I’m getting teary-eyed,” said Stephens. “I think my coach is probably crying.

“This is just incredible. When I started my comeback at Wimbledon I could never have dreamed of this happening.

“Making the semi-final of my home Slam, it’s indescribable.”

‘I just told myself to keep fighting’

Sloane Stephens and Anastasia Sevastova

Stephens got the 24,000 spectators on Arthur Ashe Stadium for the day session animated as though it was a night match with a dramatic win.

She looked to have learned from Maria Sharapova’s defeat by Sevastaova in the previous round as she reined in her power and, after a timid opening service game, began to move forward whenever possible.

Sixteen trips to the net and two breaks of serve helped Stephens to the first set, and Sevastova’s hopes appeared further damaged when she had a medical timeout for attention to her leg.

However, the Latvian resumed in more measured fashion, cutting her errors from 18 in the opening set to six as she clinched the second.

Stephens was now struggling on serve, making less than 50% of first serves, and a woeful smash seemed to signal the end as she fell 3-1 behind.

Quite the contrary – a gripping conclusion saw the American level at 3-3, the pair swap service breaks and then hold impressively on their way to a decisive tie-break.

It was Stephens who made the running, and the pressure told as three errors from Sevastaova left the American with match point, converted as she drilled a backhand down the line.

“I just told myself to keep fighting,” added Stephens.

“I’d been playing so well and so consistent, I knew if I stuck with it I’d have a chance, and that’s what I did.”

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Blake Aldridge, Rhiannan Iffland Claim Redbull Cliff Diving Titles at Hell’s Gate

Photo Courtesy: Romina Amato/Red Bull Content Pool

With an exceptional display of diving, Blake Aldridge (GBR) leaped to his first World Series victory since 2014 going into the second half of the 2017 season, while Australian Rhiannan Iffland continued her dominance with another commanding performance to stretch her lead at the top of the overall standings.

Aldridge, second here last year behind Jonathan Paredes, turned the tables on his rival from Mexico with the final dive of the day, edging past the ‘styelmaster’ into first place to become the fourth different winner in four events this season. In what was one of the closest finals from the 27m platform ever, only eleven points separated the top seven divers, and an enthusiastic crowd of 9000 fans on boats, kayaks and paddleboards cheered American David Colturi into third place and his second podium finish in a row.

In a day full of surprises, it was once again Iffland who found herself atop the women’s podium from the 21m platform for the third time this season. The 25-year-old came out of nowhere in 2016 to win the season opener in Texas as a wildcard and then went on to secure the women’s title. In 2017 the Aussie has shown last year was no fluke as she continues to dominate the women’s division.

Mexico’s Adriana Jimenez in second place and fellow Australian Helena Merten in third joined her on the podium. The final positions also reflect the women’s overall standings, although the reigning champion is now beginning to streak clear with a lead of 170 points over Jimenez.

While the women’s division looks the same with Iffland on top, the men’s division underwent a major shakeup with Aldridge catapulting himself into the overall lead in the fight for the men’s title. Paredes leaped up into third behind six-time champion Gary Hunt (GBR) and Colombia’s Orlando Duque dropped down from first to sixth place.

With four different male winners, three different overall leaders in the men’s and two new faces on top of the podium in each division it is still anyone’s game as the World Series goes on to Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the season final in Lago Ranco, Chile.

Photos from Hell’s Gate, Texas:

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Quotes from the winners

Blake Aldridge, GBR
I didn’t miss a dive all weekend and I feel like I deserve to win. After the last dive I didn’t know the scores. It’s great to be in an event as good as this. Everybody hitting their last dives. The standard was absolutely phenomenal. It’s been a long time since my last victory in 2014 in Cuba. So I waited a long time for this and I’m just super happy with the way I performed.
My dream has always been to win the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, so to have an opportunity to do this this year is a great one. Hopefully I can go to the next two stops and I can finish on the podium and secure a top-three spot and maybe even win the Series. I enjoyed my time in Texas, but back to training as soon as I get home from here. Bosnia is next.

Rhiannan Iffland, AUS
Last year was definitely a whirlwind for me. I walked in as the rookie and I didn’t expect to perform the way I did. I had a lot more pressure coming into this competition. This year I came in with higher expectations but once I got here and saw the crowd having a great time, the pressure was lifted off my shoulders and I was able to hit my dives.
This result definitely puts me in a good position for the following two competitions. So I’m going to train hard from here on now and I hope I can get two more victories, but I just want to go out there and enjoy it.

Results – Stop #4, Texas | USA
MEN
1 – Blake Aldridge (GBR) – 399.95pts
2 – Jonathan Paredes (MEX) – 398.75
3 – David Colturi (USA) – 391.30
4 – Andy Jones (USA) – 390.85
5 – Gary Hunt (GBR) – 390.45
6 – Michal Navratil (CZE) – 389.20
7 – Alessandro De Rose (W) (ITA) – 388.30
8 – Kris Kolanus (POL) – 369.65
9 – Sergio Guzman (MEX) – 251.10
10 – Steven LoBue (USA) – 249.90
11 – Alain Kohl (W) (LUX) – 244.60
12 – Miguel Garcia (W) (COL) – 240.30
13 – Orlando Duque (COL) – 233.80
14 – Owen Weymouth (W) (GBR) – 213.00

WOMEN
1 – Rhiannan Iffland (AUS) – 315.60pts
2 – Adriana Jimenez (MEX) – 304.15
3 – Helena Merten (AUS) – 293.85
4 – Tara Hyer-Tira (W) (USA) – 288.50
5 – Ginger Huber (USA) – 287.10
6 – Cesilie Carlton (USA) – 279.40
7 – Iris Schmidbauer (W) (GER) – 227.20
8 – Maria Paula Quintero Torres (W) (COL) – 226.50

Standings (after 4 of 6 stops)
MEN
1- Blake Aldridge (GBR) – 480pts
2- Gary Hunt (GBR) – 460
3- Jonathan Paredes (MEX) – 450
4- David Colturi (USA) – 410
4- Andy Jones (USA) – 410

WOMEN
1- Rhiannan Iffland (AUS) – 690pts
2- Adriana Jimenez (MEX) – 520
3- Helena Merten (AUS) – 450
4- Ginger Huber (USA) – 430
5- Tara Hyer-Tira (W) (USA) – 270

Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series

Since 2009, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series has provided a platform for exhilarating action and dives of ever-growing complexity. The series features elite athletes as well as young up-and-coming talent and a Women’s World Series was introduced in 2014. In 2017 the sport’s best athletes will once again leap, twist and somersault from up to 27m with no protection, except their concentration, skill and physical control during six competitions around the world.

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LSU Swimming and Diving Aids in Hurricane Harvey Relief

Photo Courtesy: LSU

After seeing the destruction that Hurricane Harvey caused to Houston and the Texas Gulf Coast, the LSU swimming and diving team decided to team up to send clothing and shoes to the storm victims.

“When you see what’s going on in Houston, Beaumont, and those Gulf towns, it reminds you particularly of last year and what happened here in the Baton Rouge area,” swimming head coach David Geyer said. “It hits home quickly. I accepted my position here before Hurricane Katrina and moved down afterward, so to see some of the aftermath of that, it’s not even a second guess or second thought to send aid.”

When the University of Houston Swimming and Diving team called out for help, Geyer and LSU diving head coach Doug Shaffer gathered and shipped more than 200 towels, 10 pairs of shoes, and 30 sets of warmup gear.

“We know all too well the impact Hurricane Harvey has made on Houston residents and surrounding areas,” Shaffer said. “It’s devastating and our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to all affected. By sending clothing, towels and shoes we hope will put smiles on some faces while fulfilling what we know is an immediate need. We’re glad we were able to help.”

LSU and Houston will meet along with Rice and Tulane in the annual quad meet Jan. 26-27, 2018 in the LSU Natatorium.

The above press release is courtesy of LSU Swimming and Diving

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