Li Zhuhao Breaks Chinese Record at National Championships

Photo Courtesy: Melissa Lundie

The second day of the Chinese national championships featured a new national record from Li Zhuhao in the men’s 50 fly, while Olympic champions Sun Yang and Ye Shiwen each put together notable performances.

Li won the 50 fly in 23.36, knocking one hundredth off Yu Hexin’s national record of 23.37 from 2015. Li also moved to third in the world this year with that effort. Shi Yang (23.67) and Zhou Jiawei (23.91) completed the top three.

Zhang Yufei edged out Lu Ying to win the women’s 100 fly, 57.63 to 57.98. Those times rank fifth and eighth in the world this year, respectively. Zhou Yilin took third in 58.34.

Ye Shiwen, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist and 2011 World Champion in the 200 IM, will be headed back to the World Champs in Barcelona this summer after winning that event in 2:11.66, making her way into the world top ten. Second went to Zhang Sishi (2:12.82), just ahead of Zhang Jiaqi (2:12.87).

Yan Zibei, just a day after becoming the first Chinese man to break 59 in the 100 breast, won that event in 59.28. His semifinals time of 58.92 ranks second in the world this year. Li Xiang took second in 59.84, and Wang Lizhao finished third in 59.98.

As for Sun, he posted his second No. 1-ranked time in as many days with a 1:46.11 in the men’s 200 free. After already reaching the 3:42-range in the 400-meter event, Sun moved ahead of Gabriele Detti at the top of the world rankings. Wang Shun (1:47.24) and Ji Xinjie (1:48.61) will bracket Sun in the final.

Neither of China’s Olympic medalists in the 100 back, Xu Jiayu and Fu Yuanhui, were the top seeds into finals of their events. Xu qualified second for the men’s 100 back in 54.32, trailing Li Guangyuan (53.79), and Fu’s tme of 1:00.37 was good for the third seed behind Chen Jie (1:00.11) and Wang Xueer (1:00.15).

Yu Jingyao (1:08.23) and Zhang Xinyu (1:08.45) led the way into the women’s 100 breast final, with Olympic finalist Shi Jinglin third in 1:08.53.

Click here to view live results (in Chinese).

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Evgeny Rylov And Anton Chupkov Shine At Day 2 Russian Nationals

Evgeny Rylov and Anton Chupkov booked a ticket to Worlds and topped the world rankings with impressive results on the second day of Russian Nationals Championships in Moscow.

Evgeny Rylov cruised to victory in the men’s 100 backstroke with a 53.13, the second fastest time in the world this year. Louisville-trained Grigory Tarasevich got second and won silver with 53.54. Both will represent the country in Budapest this summer. Andrey Shabasov finished third with a 53.77.

Anton Chupkov won gold in a breathtaking men’s 200 breaststroke battle between five men fighting for the national title and a spot on the team. Five swimmers stopped the clock under 2:10 (2:10.04 was the qualification criteria for Worlds) but Chupkov, who was fourth after the last turn, threw down an impressive last 50 and touched out Ilya Khomenko for the gold – 2:08.03 against 2:08.09. This result is the third fastest in the world, with the world record (2:06.67) set by Ippei Watanabe in January on the top of world rankings. Chupkov and Khomenko both joined the Worlds team, while yesterday’s top seed, Kirill Prigoda, who finished third (2:09.02) was left with bronze.

Rozalia Nasretdinova celebrated victory in the women’s 100 freestyle with a 54.86. The qualification standard for this event was 54.12 but Nasretdinova, along with Victoria Andreeva (55.01) and Arina Opyonysheva (55.02), makes the relay team.

Darya K. Ustinova grabbed gold in the women’s 200 backstroke with a rapid 2:07.23, a result that ties her with Canada’s Kylie Masse for first in world rankings. Ustinova won in her usual manner, with more than three seconds lead ahead of her rivals. Egorova Polina finished second with a 2:10.45 but this result was not enough to make the team. Irina Prikhodko was third with a 2:10.49.

Veronika Popova won the women’s 400 free with a 4:07.59 and will swim this event in Budapest. Anna Egorova was second but did not make the team, finishing with a 4;10.47. Arina Opyonysheva touched third with a 4:12.52.

Olympians Vladimir Morozov and Danila Izotov were the two top qualifiers for tomorrow’s men’s 100 freestyle final. Morozov’s 48.54 ranks him no.2 this year currently, only behind Cameron McEvoy’s 48.13 from NSW Open in March. Izotov’s 48.70 gives him lane five for finals. Andrey Arbuzov was third with a 49.05.

Yulia Efimova topped the women’s 200 breast semifinals with a 2:25.45. It’s not her fastest result this year, she posted a 2:23.17 in the meet in Australia earlier in March but it was pretty comfortable and a solid swim to give her lane four for finals. Maria Temnikova was second with a 2:26.26 and Sofia Andreeva was third with a 2:26.89.

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LumaLanes Performance of the Week: Kylie Masse Posts Textile Best

Photo Courtesy: Kevin Light/Swimming Canada

This week’s Performance Of The Week, sponsored by LumaLanes, goes to Canadian Olympic medalist Kylie Masse for her performance in the 100 back at the 2017 Canadian Swimming Trials.

Masse broke the Canadian national record twice throughout the week, first in prelims with a 58.42 before taking the record all the way down to 58.21 in finals, just one tenth off of the current world record and the third fastest performance all-time. Both her prelims and finals swims broke her national record from this summer that earned her a bronze medal in Rio and both times were faster than Katinka Hosszu’s gold medal performance at the Games (58.45).

In setting her record, Masse also passed by backstroke greats Emily Seebohm (58.23) and Missy Franklin (58.33) to become the fastest performer ever in a textile suit, making her the new favorite for gold at this summer’s World Championships. And while gold will certainly be on her mind, the 21 year-old Canadian will also most certainly be looking to take down Gemma Spofforth’s 2009 world record of 58.12 to officially put her name in the record books.

Congratulations Kylie Masse on earning Swimming World’s Performance of the Week!

Special Thanks to LumaLanes for sponsoring Swimming World’s Performance of the Week.

Learn More About LumaLanes

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Sarah Sjostrom, Jennie Johansson, Franziska Hentke Post World-Leading Times in Stockholm

Swedish sprint ace Sarah Sjostrom continued her remarkable meet at the Stockholm Cup with the 100 free on the final day of competition, and she posted her fourth world-leading time in as many days.

Sjostrom won the women’s 100 free in 52.54, passing Cate Campbell (52.78) as the fastest swimmer in the world this year. The time was also quicker than the 52.70 that both Simone Manuel and Penny Oleksiak swam at the Olympics in Rio to share the gold medal, and Sjostrom improves to fourth all-time in the event.

Fellow Swede Michelle Coleman, a double-winner earlier in the meet, finished second behind Sjostrom in the 100 free with  time of 53.38, good for seventh in the world this year.

Sweden’s Jennie Johansson dominated the women’s 100 breast, finishing in 1:06.30. That topped Jessica Vall (1:06.44) for the top time in the world this year.

Germany’s Franziska Hentke also posted a world-leading time, this one coming in the women’s 200 fly. She finished in 2:06.84 to edge out 18-year-old Japanese swimmer Hiroko Makino (2:06.92). Finishing second behind Hentke was Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, who touched in 2:08.05 for fourth in the world this year.

The top men’s performance of the day came from Sweden’s Johannes Skagius, who touched in 27.16 in the 50 breast. That time is good for fourth in the world rankings behind Adam PeatyNicolo Martinenghi and Cameron van der Burgh.

Germany’s Sarah Kohler moved up to third in the world with a dominant swim in the women’s 800 free, touching in 8:25.32. In the equivalent men’s event, Denmark’s Henrik Christiansen put together a dominant performance, finishing in 7:49.40, also the third-best time recorded this year.

Germany’s Phillips Heintz added a win in the men’s 200 back, touching in 1:57.81 to move into a tie for tenth in the world. Niksja Stojkovski then won a tight race in the men’s 50 free, touching in 22.59 to edge out Bjorn Seeliger (22.62) and Christopher Carlsen (22.64).

Click here to view event-by-event results from the entire meet.

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The Veazeys of Dallas: How A Swim Family Fell for Water Polo

Liam and Jonas Veazey. Photo Courtesy St. Francis Brooklyn Athletics

by Michael Randazzo, Swimming World Contributor.

Liam Veazey was once considered one of the best young swimmers in the state of Texas. A top finisher in 2001 and 2002 at Texas Age Group Swimming (TAGS) Championships, by 2010, despite endless hours in the pool in a futile quest to “drop time,” Veazey had hit a wall. He simply couldn’t go faster. It was then that water polo coach and evangelist Joe Linehan—unexpectedly yet utterly—changed Veazey’s swimming trajectory, rewriting the legacy of one of the more distinguished swimming families in North Texas.

A Family Tradition

Swimming with the Mustang Swim Club in Dallas, skippered by Mook Rhodenbaugh, a celebrated coach and former NCAA champion at Southern Methodist University, Veazey was heir to a distinguished swimming heritage. His brother Caleb—who swam for Dallas Bryan Adams High School as well as the Mustangs—was Texas High School State Champion in the 200 and 500 freestyle events in 2009, earning him a scholarship to attend Arizona State. Their father, Jeff, also had been a standout swimmer for Bryan Adams and has had a distinguished career, both as a competitor, including masters’ events, and a coach for the past five decades at a number of Dallas schools and programs.

Jeff, who had been taught to swim by his mother, passed along his passion for the water to sons Caleb, Liam and Jonas, each three years apart.

veazey-bros-young

Liam, Jonas and Caleb Veazey. Photo Courtesy: Jeff Veazey

“I taught all three boys to swim in a pool my mom built in her back yard after I was grown and moved away,“ he said. “They would hold my shoulder and we would float and scull. I helped them find a natural balance in the water. Once they were able to do that, they could really swim.”

“My dad was absolutely the biggest reason my brothers and I got into swimming,“ said Jonas, the youngest of the Veazey brothers. “I don’t have a memory of learning to swim or my first time in the water. It was always just a part of my identity. It’s funny, because Dad never forced us to swim competitively. He got us in the water at a young age and we just kept going with it.”

An early indication of the Veazey progeny’s ability was their fearlessness.

“I remember a family snorkeling trip near Destin when Jonas was not yet 5 and he was exploring by himself in 10-15 feet of water, 50 yards from the boat,“ Jeff recalled. “Someone said: ‘Your little boy is getting kind of far.’ “Our four-year-old swims better than any other kid out there—except his brothers,” their mother, Shannon, replied.

A Brother and a Trailblazer

Caleb, now 26 and a jazz musician living in Los Angeles, set a high standard for his siblings. Competing for the Mustang club where his father was an assistant coach, he became one of Texas’s strongest freestylers. Though all three boys were accomplished swimmers—Liam and Jonas were both high school All-Americans—in a swimming career that earned him a Division I scholarship as well as invites to two Olympic Trials, the World Championship Trials, and multiple Nationals meets, Caleb was at the top of the family roster.

“Caleb had a different kind of talent,“ Jeff Veazey said. “As much as [Caleb] was known as a hard worker, Liam and Jonas had to work really hard to get better.”

Liam, in an email from Indonesia where he was traveling, acknowledged the broad wake left by his older brother.

“Caleb was a tremendously successful swimmer growing up and fully dedicated to the sport,“ said Liam, “what most coaches dream of: a fully dedicated swimmer without too many distractions—except for his musical pursuits.”

Moved up to the Mustang’s top team at the beginning of high school, the younger Veazey was in pursuit of records, and his brother: “My intention was to follow his blueprint and—in my head—be just as ‘fast’ as he was.”

But, despite his best efforts, he couldn’t meet the daunting standards set by Caleb.

Enter Joe Linehan

Patriarch Jeff Veazey recalled the moment in 2009 that his family’s aquatic identity changed forever.

“Toward the end of Caleb’s senior year in high school—Liam was a freshman—a guy named Joe Linehan walked on to the pool deck,” he explained. “Three years later Liam was a high school All-American water polo player and Jonas had helped lead his middle school club team to the Texas state championship.”

A one-time regional director of development for USA Water Polo who had done yeoman’s work from 2003–2008 building a club network in Houston, Linehan has a brash personality and the persistence to make the sport grow wherever (and whenever) pool time is available.

A graduate of Texas A & M, the San Antonio native returned home after a stint in New York City as head coach for the men’s water polo team at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. He set about organizing high school and age group play in the fall of 2008, but there was minimal infrastructure for him to work with in the Dallas metropolitan area, which Linehan took as a challenge.

“I was going to prove to everybody that this can be done in a blank slate place,” he said this week by phone.

It wasn’t easy.

“You gotta start, you gotta go—and we’re gonna make it look good for the parents,” he said about the early days of North Texas water polo. “We had clocks out there, we had refs in whites. How good were the refs? They probably weren’t that good. Oh well—that’s okay.”

“We had to go through some hits and misses.”

According to Jonas, “Linehan changed everything in Dallas.”

He certainly changed the object of his and his brother’s athletic focus, which had always been pointed to swimming.

Liam’s Turning Point

Liam had gained some experience playing polo with his high school team during freshman year at Adams, but it was in the summer of 2010 that the increasingly frustrated swimmer made a crucial decision. Linehan invited Liam to join the Dallas Water Polo Club for Junior Olympics and—after checking with his swim coach Rhodenbaugh—Veazey agreed to take the plunge.

“That summer I was swimming four hours a day and practicing water polo for two,“ Liam said. “I decided to attend JOs only because it started after my [Texas] Sectionals Swimming Championships ended in late July. I arranged to swim in Houston at Sectionals, and then fly to California for JOs.”

“I was hoping for a breakthrough meet that summer in Houston, but I swam miserably. In retrospect, I probably put too much pressure on myself and swam tight. I was upset with my performance when I left Houston. I remember sitting in the airport with my mom and feeling like the whole summer of hard training had been a waste,“ he added.

Despite believing that he had let his coach and swim team down, Liam decided to compete with a Dallas U18 water polo team stocked with experienced players. The beginning was not auspicious.

“The tournament started rough for me,“ he said. “Everything was moving so fast, but through each game I improved. I was made a starter during the tournament and made an impact in many of our wins.”

That summer in California was a revelation for Veazey, who until then thought of himself strictly as a swimmer who dabbled in polo.

“After that tournament, I knew inside that I was in love with the game of water polo,“ he said. “I also thought that maybe, with enough work and help from my coaches and teammates, I could become a good player. I was still committed to swimming, but I knew that my priorities had changed.”

They had changed so much that, when deciding where to pursue his athletic career, Liam chose to go East to St. Francis Brooklyn, where he could play polo with the Terriers’ nationally ranked squad while also continuing to swim. According to his father, moving to New York turned out to be a wise decision.

“Liam’s biggest thrill in water polo was the Terriers’ trip to the Final Four his freshman year [2012] and scoring in the third-place game against Air Force at USC [a 14-8 St. Francis win] in front of a couple of thousand people,” Jeff said.

To this day, Linehan talks about one of his most memorable players, who ended up going to back-to-back NCAA Final Fours and captaining the Terriers in his senior year.

“I say to kids, ‘There’s this kid named Liam Veazey. Every time I said ‘Over in the corner,’ Liam was always the kid in the corner looking right up at you, making as much eye contact as possible and asking questions,” Linehan said.

“There’s a reason that he was one of the best players in that first generation of [Dallas] kids. That’s why he went out and scored in an NCAA championship as a freshman.”

Liam’s switch caused a mini-chain reaction; Jonas, then in middle school, looked up to his elder brother and followed him whenever he could—including into polo.

“When I started playing polo I knew it was what I wanted to do.“ Jonas said. “Once I started I never looked back.”

Their shared passion allowed Jonas to play as a freshman with Liam at St. Francis, a connection that caused their father a bit of wistful thinking.

Caleb, Jonas and Liam Veazey

Caleb, Jonas and Liam Veazey

“I saw the passion that I have for swimming in the way Liam and Jonas had for water polo,” Jeff said. “They had the opportunities that my friends and I always wanted. I love the sport and activity of swimming, but I always wondered what it would have been like to have grown up in California where I could have played more water polo.”

Caleb, who was too late to switch sports, and—according to Jonas—was inclined towards the solace swimming provides—ended up being the only Veazey son to fully commit to swimming.

“Once [Liam and Jonas] were in water polo, they clearly were stronger swimmers and just had a knack for the ball that Caleb never really had,” said their father.

Swimming vs. Water Polo: Which Is Better?

When it comes to playing water polo, an oft-repeated idea—perhaps falsely attributed to swim coaches—is that it degrades stroke and form, leading top swimmers to steer clear of the sport.

When asked about this, the Veazey family swim expert responded analytically.

“They are different sports,“ Jeff explained. “The vision required to see the field makes it impossible to swim as efficiently as possible in polo as we do in swimming….[I]t does seem to me that my younger swimmers who also play polo need to be reminded that backstroke is swum with the head back and not a whip kick or scissor kick in competitive swimming.”

By way of example, the proud father pointed to his sons as proof of the two sports’ interdependence.

“Every water polo coach who has ever coached Jonas or Liam [has] told me that their swimming training and skills gave them a huge advantage over players who didn’t have that background.”

Jonas added that, despite a primary focus on polo training, he continues to drop time, including this year as a sophomore on the St. Francis swim team.

“I qualified for the state swim meet my senior year and—as I get stronger—I keep getting faster,” he said. “I had my best times this year swimming for SFC.”

No matter the thinking—polo or swimming—Liam was at peace with his choice.

“I do look back at my swimming years before water polo, but I never wonder what might’ve been if I kept swimming, because I was a full-time swimmer for so long,” he said. “I gave it everything I had, but as it turns out, I was better suited for water polo.”

Then, acknowledging the importance of his early focus on swimming, Liam added, “I could not have developed in the sport of water polo as quickly as I did without my swimming background.”

veazey-legacy

Caleb, Liam, Jeff and Jonas Veazey.

The person responsible for the legacy that Caleb, Liam and Jonas have made their own pointed out that the sport he loves is at the core of his children’s notable success.

“From the very beginning, Liam and Jonas knew they had found a sport they loved more than swimming,” Jeff Veazey said. “Make no mistake—as shown by their swimming at St. Francis after a grueling college water polo season—they love to swim.”

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Scarponi to lead Astana at Giro d'Italia in absence of Aru

Astana have announced that Michele Scarponi will lead the team at the Giro d’Italia in the absence of the injured Fabio Aru. General manager Alexandre Vinokourov also confirmed that Jakob Fuglsang will be team leader at the Tour de France, and said that no date has been fixed for Aru’s return to racing.

On Monday, it was confirmed that Aru would miss the Giro after injuring his left knee in a training crash in Sierra Nevada on April 2. The Sardinian was diagnosed with pre-patellar bursitis of the left knee following a consultation in Milan.

“We decided to come to the Giro with Michele Scarponi as our leader. He will replace Fabio Aru, who is forced to skip the race due to the knee injury,” Vinokourov said.

The 37-year-old Scarponi was named the winner of the 2011 Giro when Alberto Contador was handed a retroactive doping ban and stripped of his victory at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2012. Later that same year, Scarponi was handed a three-month ban for frequenting the banned Dr Michele Ferrari. It was the second sanction of his career following his suspension for his implication in the Operacion Puerto blood doping case.

Scarponi placed 4th overall at the Giro in both 2012 and 2013, before moving to Astana the following year. His abandon due to a crash at the 2014 Giro allowed Aru to take the reins of team leadership, and the Sardinian went on to place 3rd overall. Scarponi finished 16th overall last year and played a key supporting role in the overall victory of Vincenzo Nibali.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport on Tuesday, Astana directeur sportif Giuseppe Martinelli expressed the hope that Aru would recover in time for the Tour de France, but Vinokourov stressed that no revised racing programme has been planned just yet.

Fuglang has been earmarked as Astana’s Tour leader since the beginning of the season and the Dane will continue to prepare for La Grande Boucle. A deluxe domestique for Nibali in recent seasons, Fuglsang placed 7th at the 2013 Tour, the last occasion he led Astana in a Grand Tour.

“As we already communicated yesterday, Fabio has to pass the full treatment and recovery from his injury, so he won’t be able to start in his home race. For all of us, his good and full recovery is on the first place, while his further calendar will depend on the time of recovery and the results in the first races after it,” Vinokourov said.

“Despite this unhappy situation, we don’t talk about any great changes in our program. We are looking forward to the Giro d’Italia with the team we have as well as to the Tour de France, where Jakob Fuglsang, like it was planned, is preparing to take a leading spot.”

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Colorado study reveals the main reason why some cyclists break the rules of the road

Apparently we just all want to be safer

Two Colorado graduate students have released a study addressing why some cyclists knowingly break the rules of the road, with the most common reason being to improve their own safety.

Aaron Johnson, a graduate student at the University of Colorado, Boulder and a teacher at Metropolitan State University of Denver teamed up with Wesley Marshall, a graduate student at the University of Colorado, Denver to conduct the research project.

They collected data and answers from nearly 18,000 cyclists in their local Colorado communities over a three-month timespan from January to March 2015.

>>> ‘Why do cyclists ride side by side? – you asked Google and we’ve got the answer

By using a sequence of 20 questions in a snowball-sampling framework and an online, scenario-based survey, Johnson and Marshall interviewed participants about what infractions they most often commit and why they think their actions are justified. After collecting all of the data, the responses overwhelming indicated that bike riders of all age levels most commonly pass through red traffic signals without thinking twice.

The most common reasons cyclists said they thought it was justifiable to break a law while riding their bike were perceived increase in their own safety, saving energy and saving time – i.e. rolling through a traffic signal when no cars are in sight.

In the nearby state of Idaho, a law introduced in 1982 allows cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs and red lights are stop signs. Most commonly known as the Idaho stop, this law has yet to be adopted by any other states, including Colorado.

>>> Attempt to hit visiting cyclists with $25 tax defeated by Montana state legislature

According to the study published in the Journal of Transport and Land Use, cyclists tend to run through red lights much less often in high traffic areas.

Johnson and Marshall concluded that, “Unlawful drivers and pedestrians tend to rationalize their behaviors as time saving; bicyclists similarly rationalize their illegal behaviors but were more inclined to cite increasing their own personal safety and/or saving energy.”

The Colorado study also cites two other studies conducted in Australia and the United Kingdom, that showed that between 32 and 37 per cent of cyclists knowingly travelled through a red light within the last month.


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Sprinter Parker Harp Selects Old Dominion University

Photo Courtesy: Parker Harp

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.

Parker Harp of the Coast Guard Blue Dolphins has committed to swim for Old Dominion University for the next four years. Harp attends York High School. He won individual Virginia state titles for his school in the 50 and 100 freestyle.

He is primarily a sprint freestyler. His top times are:

  • 50 Free 21.03
  • 100 Free 46.75
  • 200 Free 1:42.89
  • 100 Breast 1:00.20
  • 200 Breast 2:10.79

At this year’s CCSA Championship Harp would have been a 50 and 200 freestyle B finalist and in the scoring C final of the 100 freestyle.

Harp explained why he chose ODU, “Overall ODU has everything I’m looking for in a school it has a great program and great finance program.”

He went on to thank his family and coaches for their support in getting him to this place in his swimming career,

“My parents have been by my side since I started swimming for the Y when I was 7 and have always been there for me. My coaches have trained me, set high expectations for me, and have always encouraged me to do my best.”

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

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Attempt to hit visiting cyclists with $25 tax defeated by Montana state legislature

Amendment proposed in unrelated bill removed by Montana House committee

A Montana House committee has killed an amendment to senate bill 363 that would have charged visiting cyclists a $25 fee to ride in the state.

Originally introduced by the Republican Bozeman State Senator Scott Sales, the Montana State Natural Resources Committee held a hearing regarding the bill, removing the provision in a unanimous, bi-partisan vote.

Part of the move can be attributed to the swift advocacy response from PeopleForBikes, Bike Walk Montana and Adventure Cycling – headquartered in Missoula, Montana.

Nearly 600 letters opposing the tax were sent to the the legislature by bicycle advocates after news broke of the amendment on March 31.

>>> New York cyclists battle $4,600 fine for running red lights

The amendment proposed by Sales and tacked on to the unrelated SB 363 (a bill tackling invasive species and more specifically the spreading of mussel larvae in reservoirs) would have required a $25 decal for each visiting bicycle, supposedly to help fund the state’s battle against invasive mussels.

Sales’ proposal was one of three bills that have been introduced recently by Republicans of Montana aimed directly at cyclists; one that would prohibit riders from travelling on roads without shoulders and the other requiring all bikes to be fitted with a fluorescent orange flag standing a minimum five-feet above the ground. Neither of these bills gained much momentum and died quickly.

>>> Five US races to look forward to this year

Cycling groups across the country expressed dismay at the bill, fearing the most recent provision would have significantly jeopardized future bicycle advocacy movements.

“This outcome could not have been achieved without thoughtful and well-articulated comments from bike riders to their elected officials,” PeopleForBikes said.

Not only would the bill have sent an unwelcoming message to visitors, Montana Governor Steve Bullock expressed his concern that the non-resident bicycle decal requirement would threaten the cycling tourism economy, one which the state relies heavily on. Currently, the state’s cycling tourism is estimated at $3.5 billion annually.


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Fabio Aru sheds light on the crash on a high speed descent that has put him out of the Giro d’Italia

Astana rider crashed during altitude training in Spain

Astana’s Fabio Aru has explained the sequence of events that led to him sustaining the knee injury that will mean he won’t compete in the Giro d’Italia.

Aru crashed nine days ago while training in Tenerife as part of a block of altitude training, hitting the deck on a high speed descent after a blowout to one of his inner tubes.

>>> Giro d’Italia 2017 start list

“I fell at 45kph on the descent of the Alto de Monachil. If it happened a few seconds earlier, when we were going at 70kph, I don’t know whether I’d be here to talk about it,” Aru told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“When [Aru’s coach] Maurizio Mazzoleni got out to come to my aid, he thought I’d fractured my pelvis. But I only have some scratches, and nothing on the hands.”


Watch: Giro d’Italia 2017 essential guide


The Italian rider did not sustain any fractures in the crash, but will sit out the Giro d’Italia, which will start on his home island of Sardinia on May 5, with the pain in his knee continuing to impair his training.

“The cartilage of the knee is inflamed and compressed. I fell heavily and the cartilage absorbed the impact,” Aru explained.

“That impedes movement. When I’m still, the pain is normal, but just bending the knee is like having a screwdriver twist into your flesh. I’m not able to pedal and I haven’t trained in nine days.”

>>> Bora-Hansgrohe leader ruled out of Giro d’Italia with knee injury

Aru, who had been one of the favourite for the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia, will also miss the upcoming Giro del Trentino and Tour de Romandie, with doctors recommending that he spends at least another 10 days off the bike.

With his next doctors appointment on April 20, Astana have not yet put a date on the return of their star rider, but will be surely be hoping that he will be fit enough to take to the start line of the Tour de France on July 1, a race that he been expected to miss due to his planned Giro participation.


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