Tom Dumoulin: ‘I’m afraid of that final week; we haven’t even done half the climbs yet’

Pink jersey wearer taking nothing for granted after beating Nairo Quintana at Oropa

Despite two stage wins so far including stage 14’s summit finish to Oropa, race leader Tom Dumoulin says that he is still afraid of the mountainous final week of the Giro d’Italia.

With time bonuses, Dumoulin put 24 seconds into pre-race favourite Nairo Quintana (Movistar) on the summit finish. Quintana had a gap early on the climb, but the Dutchman from Maastricht returned and dropped him for the stage win and bonus seconds.

>>> Tom Dumoulin distances Nairo Quintana on summit finish to extend Giro d’Italia lead

“It’s very much still open,” Dumoulin said, after riding though the press room on his black bike, pink tape wrapped around the handlebars to match his pink long-sleeve jersey.

“We have the last week, and we haven’t even had half of the climbs yet. It will be very, very hard, and so much can happen. I am still a little bit afraid of the last week, so we will see.”

The 26-year-old Sunweb rider has been in this position before in a Grand Tour, being to win the 2015 Vuelta a España before cracking on the penultimate stage. This year, however, he prepared for the first time to win a Grand Tour.

>>> Five talking points from stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia

Quintana struck with four kilometres left no the climb to Oropa and gained time with Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r La Mondiale) and Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin). Dumoulin, though, kept his rival insight, and passed him in the final two kilometres. Zakarin went to the front, while Quintana faded.

Dumoulin took over and charged for the line with the roar of fans covering the hillsides. Victory brought a 10-second bonus to add to the 14-second gap on Quintana.

He noveleads the race by 2-47 minutes over Quintana, 3-25 over Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and 3-40 over Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida).

>>> Can Tom Dumoulin win the 2017 Giro d’Italia?

“Now I even have more of an advantage,” Dumoulin said. “It’s a really nice advantage. We cannot sit back and relax, we have to stay focused. And then we will see what happens in the last week.”

The Giro continues tomorrow with an Il Lombardia-esque stage to Bergamo. After a rest day the riders will climb the Stelvio twice, before four more stages in the mountains.. Dumoulin’s pink light at the end of the tunnel is a 29.3-kilometre time trial from Monza to Milan on the last day.

“It’s the number of high altitude climbs that worries me,” Dumoulin continued. “I’m not afraid of my competition, I ‘m not afraid of anything really, I just need to stay focused and it will be OK.”


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N’Dam wins vacant WBA middleweight title with points win over Murata

20/05/2017 16:54

Hassan N’Dam (36-2, 21 KOs) was awarded a controversial 12 round split decision over previously undefeated Ryota Murata (12-1, 9 KOs) to win the vacant WBA middleweight title on Saturday at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, Japan.

N’Dam rallied from a fourth round knockdown to win by scores of 116-111 and 115-112, while the third judge had it 117-110 for Murata.

The Japanese fighter got the better of N’Dam in the early rounds, landing numerous hard shots and dropped the Frenchman in the fourth round.

But Murata could not follow up and N’Dam scored with jabs and moved well to avoid Murata’s blows for the remainder of the bout.

Also on the card, Japan’s Daigo Higa (13-0, 13 KOs) stopped Mexico’s Juan Hernandez (36-3, 25 KOs)  in the sixth round to win the vacant WBC flyweight title.

Higa dropped Hernandez in the second and fifth rounds before stopping him in the sixth with a barrage of punches.

The WBC 112 lb title was only at stake for Higa after Hernandez failed to make weight and was stripped of the belt before the bout.

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Rikako Ikee Claims Two Wins on Day 2 of 2017 Japan Open

Photo Courtesy: Adrian Seetho/Singapore Swimming Federation

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The 2017 Japan Open continued with British and Japanese Olympians collecting multiple wins. Adam PeatyRikako Ikee, and Daiya Seto were among the event winners at day two.

Adam Peaty, Britain’s breaststroke phenom, added to his breaststroke success with a win in the 50 breast. Peaty delivered a 26.94 to be the only athlete beneath the 27-second mark. Yasuhiro Koseki touched second overall with a 27.44, while China’s Yan Zibei was third with a 27.53.

Britain’s Imogen Clark collected the women’s 50 breast title with a 30.63. Japan’s Satomi Suzuki grabbed second overall with a 30.82, followed by Britain’s Sarah Vasey’s 30.87.

James Guy added to Britain’s medal count with a top showing in the men’s 400 free. Guy chased down Japan’s Naito Ehara for a gold medal finish of 3:46.61, while Ehara slipped to second with a 3:47.57.

The women’s 400 free was topped by Japan’s Chihiro Igarashi. Fellow countrywoman Chinatsu Satou finished second with a 4:11.00, followed by Australia’s Mikayla Messer and her time of 4:12.31.

Japan’s Rikako Ikee collected two gold medals with top showings in the women’s 50 fly and 100 free. Ikee flew to a sizzling 25.78, finishing just off her season best time of 25.51. Sayuki Ouchi of Japan finished second with a 26.63, followed by Britain’s Alys Thomas and her third place finish of 26.78.

Ikee flexed her sprint prowess in the 100 free, clocking a 54.47 to her teammate Tomomi Aoki’s 54.90. Ikee’s 2017 best sits at a 53.83 from the Japanese Championships. Ouchi took third overall with a 55.09.

Shinri Shioura continued Japan’s sprint free success into the men’s 100 free. Shioura touched first in a close field, where the top three finished within .04 seconds of each other, with a final time of 48.82. Fellow countrymen Katsumi Nakamura touched second with a 48.84, while Britain’s Duncan Scott was third with a 48.86.

Britain’s Ben Proud grabbed gold in the mens’ 50 fly over Japan’s Takeshi Kawamoto. Proud stopped the clock at a 23.31 over Kawamoto’s 23.66.

Daiya Seto out-lasted the competition in the men’s 400 IM, touching first with a 4:10.18. Takeharu Fujimori turned in a second place finish of 4:10.90, followed by Kosuke Hagino’s 4:11.53.

Japan delivered a 1-2 punch in the women’s 400 IM, led by a top finish by Yui Ohhashi. Ohhashi collected gold with a top time of 4:36.48, while fellow countrywoman Sakiko Shimizu took second with a 4:37.78. Britain’s Hannah Miley was third with a 4:38.32.

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Five talking points from stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia

The summit finish to Oropa didn’t play out how everyone expected…

Dumoulin gains time on his rivals’ terrain

Tom Dumoulin about to cross the line on stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia (Credit: Sunada)

The pattern of this Giro d’Italia had appeared to be set – Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) would attempt to defend his lead in the mountains while his climbing specialist rivals like Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) attacked him, before taking time back in the final time trial

What was not in the script was for Dumoulin to win a mountain top finish. When Quintana attacked him halfway up the finishing climb of Oropa, it looked as though the pendulum of the race was swinging back into the Colombian’ favour. But, pacing his effort astutely, the pink jersey kept his rival within his sights at little more than ten seconds for a while, before finally catching up to him.

>>> Tom Dumoulin distances Nairo Quintana on summit finish to extend Giro d’Italia lead

Dumoulin has shown in the past that he is willing to attack when the opportunity presents itself, but it was still a marvel to see him accelerate away from Quintana in the final kilometre, gaining 24 seconds over him and pulling off a stunning stage victory.

The reasonable gradient of Oropa suited his style, and he will probably find it more difficult during the final week, but with a margin now of 2-47 to Quintana, right now Dumoulin looks difficult to beat.

Other contenders lose time

Thibaut Pinot limited his losses to 35 seconds after being dropped midway up the climb (Credit: Sunada)

On a day when they might have hoped to have gained time, many of Dumoulin’s main rivals were instead left nursing their wounds.

Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) was dropped early on the climb, but did manage to recover towards the top to finish fifth, limiting his losses to 35 seconds.

>>> Can Tom Dumoulin win the 2017 Giro d’Italia?

By contrast Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) spent most of the climb on Dumoulin’s wheel, but collapsed spectacularly near the summit to slip out of the lead group and lose 43 seconds, even being passed by Pinot.

Worst off however was Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), who was dropped as soon as the racing got going on the climb, and, in what will feel like a familiar pattern for a rider who often starts Grand Tours very well only to fade away later on, he falls from third to sixth overall.

A strong team showing from Movistar

Nairo Quintana crosses the line after loosing 14 seconds to Dumoulin (Credit; Sunada)

Nairo Quintana may have been left humbled when he was dropped by Dumoulin in the sprint for the finish, but there are still positives he can take away from today’s events.

For one thing, he still looks like the man most likely to challenge Dumoulin for the pink jersey, having gained time on all the other GC contenders.

Secondly, his Movistar team put in a very strong showing, with Victor de la Parte and Winner Anacona helping to set a ferocious pace on the lower slopes of Oropa, and Andrey Amador retaining his useful position in the top ten overall.

>>> Nairo Quintana says he needs to ‘make another strategy’ to win Giro d’Italia

Considering that Dumoulin was quickly isolated on the climb, Movistar ought to be encouraged that they could be able to put him under considerable pressure in the longer, harder mountain stages of the final week.

It’s worth remembering, after all, that Dumoulin lost the Vuelta a España in 2015 to Fabio Aru on the penultimate stage when Astana managed to ambush him and leave him without any team-mates. Quintana and Movistar ought to be planning something similar.

Team Sky still fighting

Diego Rosa attacked early on the climb to Oropa (Credit: Sunada)

Much has been said about Team Sky’s apparent curse at the Giro d’Italia, but, despite the bad luck that has continued to fall upon following the crashes suffered by Mikel Landa and the now abandoned Geraint Thomas, they seem determined to take something away from this race.

First Diego Rosa attacked on the run-in to the climb, in search of a stage win. It came to nothing as the GC teams turned on the pace in the peloton, but we can expect to see him i out on the attack in the upcoming stages.

>>> Crashes, time penalties, and stomach problems: a history of Team Sky’s bad luck at the Giro d’Italia

More impressive was Landa, who clung on to the lead group to finish third on the stage. His ride suggests that he has recovered from any injuries sustained last wekk, and should therefore be well in the mix for stage wins.

At over 40 minutes down on GC, he’ll be given plenty of leeway to get into breakaways for a chance to win stages, and will be a difficult man to beat from such a scenario.

Adam Hansen suffers a scare

Adam Hansen is on course to finish his 17th consecutive Grand Tour (Credit: Watson)

One of the sub-plots of every Grand Tour these days is Adam Hansen’s (Lotto-Soudal) continued streak of starting and finishing every single one – if he can finish this Giro he’ll have extended the record to 17 consecutive Grand Tour finishes.

That’s a particularly impressive feat when you take into account how difficult it is to avoid crashes in the hectic peloton of Grand Tours, and indeed the Australian suffered a fright when he hit the deck on the run-in to the final climb today.

However, the Australian is made of stern stuff, and managed to get back on his saddle and finish fourth-last among a small group of stragglers who came in behind the gruppetto. Fingers crossed he hasn’t sustained any lasting injuries and will be able to make it to Milan.


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Tom Dumoulin extends Giro d’Italia lead over Nairo Quintana with superb summit finish victory

Dutchman extends his overall lead towards three minutes

Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) produced one of the best rides of his career as he won stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia, beating Nairo Quintana in the summit finish to extend his overall lead.

The third week of this Giro d’Italia was meant to be a battle between Dumoulin and Quintana, with Dutchman trying to limit his losses, but after the first Alpine stage the Sunweb rider now finds himself with a lead of nearly three minutes.

As expected, the summit finish to Oropa saw an attack from Quintana with four kilometres remaining, a stinging acceleration that was enough to distance all of his rivals.

Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) were comprehensively dropped, but Dumoulin was slowly but surely able to claw his way back on to the Colombian’s wheel, making the junction with two kilometres to the line.

From there many would have expected the Dutchman to ride defensively, but instead he attacked, briefly putting Quintana in trouble.

However the Movistar rider made his way back onto Dumoulin’s wheel, bringing Mikel Landa (Team Sky) and Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) along with him, meaning there would be four riders contesting the stage win.

Dumoulin led them into the final 300m, when Zakarin burst for the line. Dumoulin quickly jumped onto the Russian’s wheel, while Quintana, suffering from his early efforts was distanced.

As the road turned left into the finishing straight it was a two-horse race between Zakarin and the pink jersey, and in the final 150m to former faded, allowing Dumoulin to come around the right-hand side to take a famous stage win and tighten his grip on the pink jersey.


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Ohio Sprinter Nate Mullens Verbally Commits to NC State

Photo Courtesy: Nate Mullens Instagram

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.

Nate Mullens has sent his verbal commitment to the NC State Wolfpack. Mullens is a sprinter from Ohio who has seen dramatic recent improvement. He trains with Canton City Schools and attends Hoover High School.

His top times are:

  • 50 Free 20.45
  • 100 Free 45.45
  • 50 Back 24.35
  • 100 Back 51.46

At this year’s Ohio High School Division 1 State Championship that 20.45 was good enough for the state title. Just last year he was a 21.09 in the splash and dash. He’s improved from a 49.48 in 2016 in the 100 free.

In the ACC it took a 20.15 to score in the 50 freestyle this year. Given Mullens recent improvement trend, he’ll likely enter scoring range after another year of training at home and a season with the Wolfpack. The Pack had five scoring swimmers in that event.

He shared on his Instagram, “I am thrilled to announce that I will be attending North Carolina State University concluding my senior year! I am so happy to be joining the Wolfpack family, and advancing not only my academics but my swimming as well. As always #gopack”

To report a verbal commitment email HS@swimmingworld.com.

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Oklahoma Christian Announces Inaugural Women’s Swimming Class

Photo Courtesy: Oklahoma Christian Athletics

OKLAHOMA CITY (May 19, 2017) – Ten standout swimmers have signed to compete on Oklahoma Christian’s inaugural women’s swimming team, OC coach Josh Davis said Friday.

“I love that Oklahoma Christian University is not only providing a much needed new college swimming option, but one that is committed to developing all the areas of a total athlete – mind, body and spirit,” Davis said.

“I’m excited to work hard for this first class in helping them reach their potential while having a great time. And the whole campus is excited to cheer on this first-ever OC swim team.”

The Lady Eagles will begin competition with the 2017-18 season. Included on the first OC roster will be:

Madeline Benitez of Irving, Texas (Nimitz High School), who specializes in the freestyle;
Rachel Brock of Drexel, Mo., who will swim the butterfly and freestyle strokes;
Allison DeWeirdt of Keller, Texas, who will swim freestyle and breaststroke;
Megan Diamond of San Antonio (MacArthur High School), who will swim freestyle, butterfly and individual medley;
Hanna Forbat of Evanston, Ill. (Evanston Township High School), who will swim the freestyle and butterfly;
Heidi Fritscher of Mandeville, La. (Mandeville High School), who will swim the individual medley and freestyle;
Christian Ruiz of Irving, Texas (Irving High School), a freestyle specialist;
Hailey Webster of San Antonio (Smithson Valley High School), who will swim the freestyle and butterly; and
Kassidy Young of Los Lunas, N.M. (Los Lunas High School), who will swim the individual medley and breaststroke.

Those nine swimmers will join Ashley Harmon of Houston, who signed with the Lady Eagles last fall. Davis said he expects more swimmers to sign in the coming months.

“This inaugural freshman class is very special in their desire, work ethic and potential,” Davis said. “We look forward to forming some fun rivalries with other Division II schools in this five-state region. We have a great mix of athletes who are excited to keep their swim career going and we have some who will be qualifying for the NCAA Championships and, most likely, Olympic Trials by their senior year.”

Oklahoma Christian Athletics contributed this report. 

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Aude Biannic left traumatised after being hit by car in training

FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope rider Aude Biannic says that she’s still traumatised after being hit by a car during training. Biannic had been training on her time trial bike on Tuesday near Rennes in northern France when she was struck from behind by a motorist. Since the accident, she has only been on the home trainer, concerned that she may be hit again.

“At first I did not want to talk too much about it, I thought it would not change anything,” she told French newspaper Le Telegramme. “But yes, I, too, got hit by a car on Tuesday in training. And I too am doing well … I only have big aches, but it could have been more dramatic. I am still traumatised: since the accident, I have not been back out.

“I do not want to go on the road. I am scared. The first time I go out to train, I certainly will not go alone. Looking back, I think I was lucky. A few centimetres … If the person had not braked at all, she would have crushed me. In my misfortune, yes, I had a little luck.”

Biannic explained to Le Telegramme that she had only just started her training ride when the car appeared to accelerate into the back of her. “I started training on my time trial bike, and after just five minutes at an intersection, a car came at me from behind,” she said.

“I turned to the left, the car that was following me took the same direction. At the end of the intersection, as the light was red, I slowed down while the car accelerated. I still wonder why. She hit me from behind and I fell back. My head hit the ground first. Fortunately, I had my helmet. It had to be going at 30-40 kph. The shock was violent. I have to wear a neck brace for seven days but as the [injured] muscles are more located in the front of the neck and the abdomen, this neck brace doesn’t do much for me.

“I still do not understand why she did not see me; I was right in front of her. I did not slalom between the cars.”

When will it stop?

Biannic is the latest in a long line of riders whohave been involved in incidents involving vehicles during training. Last month, Michele Scarponi was killed when he was struck by a truck at an intersection near his home. Tour de France champion Chris Froome was hit by a car during training last month, but fortunately escaped serious injury. Wanty-Groupe Gobert’s Yoann Offredo was left with a broken nose and rib after being attacked by a motorist while he was out training with friends. Former Moto GP world champion Nicky Haydon also remains in critical condition after being hit by a car while he was riding his bike in Italy.

“On Tuesday evening, a cyclist was also struck in Rennes by a lady who had two grammes of alcohol [in her system]. He was less lucky than Antoine [Benoist]  and me, he died. I get the impression that these accidents between motorists and cyclists happen every day. There was also the MotoGP rider [Hayden], Froome … When will it stop?” Biannic asked.

Asked what needed to be done to prevent more accidents like her own, Biannic said that the authorities needed to take a firmer stance.

“I do not know. I think that the authorities should really take this issue hand in hand,” she said. “With a shock campaign of awareness, for example. It cannot last. We cannot do our sport safely anymore… Personally, I was wondering about Tuesday night. Risking your life for a sport. My parents told me to change sports. When they know that I am in training, they are not reassured. I understand them.”

Biannic is set to race for the first time since the accident at this Sunday’s Coupe de France de Loudéac.

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‘I would have been happy with top 20’: Team Sky’s Jon Dibben reflects on his first pro win

23-year-old took his debut pro win on stage six of the Tour of California

After spent the first five months of his professional career working for others, Jon Dibben was understandably delighted to take his first pro win at the Tour of California, revealing that a top 20 finish would have been satisfactory enough.

The 23-year-old Team Sky rider blasted around the 24km time trial course on stage six of the Tour of California, setting a time of 28-27 that was enough to hold off the general classification contenders, even with Dibben easing off 50m from the line.

“When I crossed the line I didn’t know I’d set the fastest time for a couple of minutes,” Dibben said after the stage.

“I was pretty happy with that because I knew a few people who were targeting the time trial had gone before me. But I thought [Andrew] Talansky and [Brent] Bookwalter would be up there, so I didn’t think I’d be in the hot seat for long.

“Then when I beat Vegard Stake Laengen, who I thought would go well, I got slightly nervous. I started to believe. Watching the last guys come in was stressful!”

>>> Crashes, time penalties, and stomach problems: a history of Team Sky’s bad luck at the Giro d’Italia

While the course at Big Bear Lake was a fairly simple out-and-back course, the fact that it was at more than 2,000m above sea level meant that Dibben and the rest of the riders in the race were unsure what to expect.

“After the Tour de Yorkshire me and Tao flew straight to Park City, which is at 2,000 metres, and we were there for nine days,” Dibben continued.

“We didn’t got there with this TT in mind, it was more just to get an altitude camp and a good block of training in ahead of the race, but it would definitely have helped today.

“We were all discussing this morning how we thought it was going to go, what difference being at altitude would make, but no one really knew.

>>> Tour of California 2017 live TV guide

As part of his first year at Team Sky, Dibben has ridden races in the Middle East and the cobbled Classics in support of others (including finishing 47 minutes down and outside the time limit at Paris-Roubaix), but admitted that he has had an eye on races which could suit him for personal glory.

“At the start of the year I didn’t have any specific goals. Just to turn up at races and do my job, hitting performance targets. Along the way I guess I’ve highlighted days like today and thought, ‘OK, that could suit me,’ but to win…

“Beforehand I was speaking to Tao and I didn’t really know what to expect. I guess I’d have been happy with a top 20 so to win is pretty damn good!”


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Monica Wilson – Reformer Workout (60 mins) – Level 3

Challenge your range of motion with this advanced Reformer workout with Monica Wilson. She teaches Colleen, who recently completed her training with Romana’s Pilates. She focuses on keeping the rhythm and flow of the class while also feeling strong and stable from the ground up.

Because this class is designed for advanced practitioners, Monica recommends watching this class before taking it so you know what to expect.

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