Specialized adds disc brakes and gorgeous new colour ways to the Allez Sprint

Specialized’s crit racing bike gets the disc brake treatment

With the intentions of extending the performance of its criterium racing bike by adding an additional level of stiffness, Specialized has included bolt through axles front and rear as well as adding disc brakes to its Allez Sprint frame.

Read more: Specialized Allez Sprint Comp review

While disc brakes offer more power, Specialized also says that the more powerful stoppers offer a greater level of modulation and for that reason add more control to your ride.

The brand continues with its EP5 Premium Aluminium frame and D’Alusio Smartweld Technology that it says offers a fine balance between strength, rigidity and weight.

This frame is partnered to a S-Works FACT carbon fibre fork which is the same as that found on the top-tier Specialized S-Works Tarmac Disc. The Allez Sprint and Allez Sprint Disc also comes with the Venge FACT seatpost to add some aerodynamic gains to your ride.

Watch: Merida Mission CX first ride

The Allez Sprint rim brake version full build model is available for £1600 and comes equipped with a Shimano 105 groupset, Praxis chainrings and DT R460 wheels.

The Allez Sprint Disc is also available as a complete bike and will cost £1800, complete with a Shimano 105 disc brake groupset with Praxis chainrings and DR R470 disc wheels paired with Specialized Turbo Pro tyres.

Alternatively, you can buy the Allez Sprint Disc as a frameset for £1300 with a new Satin Splash colour way. This ships with a bottom bracket and a Specialized Venge Aero seatpost.

Alongside this, Specialized has also released the Allez Sprint rim brake frame in the famously stylish, and very limited edition, Red Hook Crit LTD colours costing £1300 as designed by mural painter Michael Reeder. There’s no denying how great in looks, with the blue fading in grey before meeting the seat tube painted with distinctive geometric shapes.

This year, the Allez Sprint has had a successful campaign of racing under the Hagens Berman Axeon cycling team and Team Specialized-Rocket Espresso.

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USA Diving Seeking Bids for 2020 Junior Nationals, 2021 Zone Championships

Photo Courtesy: USA Diving

USA Diving is seeking bids to host the 2020 USA Diving Junior National Championships and the 2020-2021 USA Diving Zone Championships.

The USA Diving Junior National Championships serve as the premier domestic junior competition for USA Diving.  Top junior divers from around the country will contend for national titles on 1-meter, 3-meter and 10-meter individual events as well as international and team selection opportunities. USA Diving is accepting bids from interested hosts for 2020.

The 2020-2021 USA Diving Zone Championships serve as qualifying competitions for the USA Diving Junior National Championships. Divers will compete for qualifying spots on 1-meter, 3-meter and 10-meter individual events. This event will be awarded to six sites – one within each geographic Zone (click here to see map of geographic breakdown of each Zone). USA Diving is accepting bids from interested hosts for 2020-2021

USA Diving is seeking hosts with the capability of hosting a large number of athletes, coaches, and officials as well as facilities that meet FINA regulations and standards for the aforementioned events. In addition, facilities with dryland training opportunities will be preferred.

Bids must be submitted to the USA Diving national office by October 1, 2018. For the complete bid packet and additional information for the 2020 USA Diving Junior National Championships, please click here. For the complete bid packet and additional information for the 2020-2021 USA Diving Zone Championships, please click here.

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with USA Diving. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com.

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Illinois Swimming & Diving Releases Competition Schedule

Photo Courtesy: Illinois Athletics

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Fighting Illini swimming & diving team has released its 2018-19 schedule, which features three home dual meets against Big Ten foes Michigan State, Iowa and Nebraska. The new campaign will begin with the annual Orange & Blue Intra-Squad meet on Saturday, September 29, and is highlighted by the first-ever ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

“This is a very competitive schedule for us,” head coach Sue Novitsky said. “We have some new meets on the schedule, the House of Champions Invitational and the ACC/B1G Challenge, and it is always a good experience to compete against some different teams. We want to make sure that we are challenging the athletes with the competition and allowing the team to continue to develop and gel.”

Schedule Notes:

  • Home opener set for Friday, October 12 versus Michigan State
  • Dual meets against five Illinois schools, including SIU, ISU, UIC, University of Chicago and Northwestern
  • Inaugural ACC/Big Ten Challenge set for Nov. 10-11
  • UI will face off against Chicago and Youngstown State for the first time in program history
  • Diver Kuhn will look for repeat success after winning 1-meter competition at the UIC Diving Invitational a year ago
  • NCAA Championships will be held in Austin, Texas, from March 20-23

* All dates and times are subject to change

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with University of Illinois Athletics. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com.

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Florida State Picks Up In-State Verbal from Cameron Taddonio

Photo Courtesy: Cameron Taddonio

NEW COMMIT: Boca Raton, Fla., native Cameron Taddonio has opted to stay in-state with a verbal commitment to Florida State. He will join the Seminoles as part of the class of 2023.

Specializing in distance freestyle, Taddonio does his club swimming with Boca Raton Swim Team. At the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships this past March, he won the 1650 free (15:55.60) and recorded five additional top-eight finishes. He swam personal bests in the 200, 400 and 1500 freestyle events at the USA Swimming Futures Championships – Cary a few weeks ago.

Also representing Boca Raton High School, the rising senior won the 500 free (4:31.70) and took second in the 200 free (1:41.79) at the 2017 FHSAA 4A Region 3 meet. One week later, he finished sixth in the 500 free (4:33.66) and 12th in the 200 free (1:42.90) at the FHSAA 4A State Championships.

He told Swimming World:

“I chose FSU because I loved the coaches and the campus, and I know that it will feel like a home. I’m very excited to continue my swimming career there! Go Noles!”

His best times include:

  • 200 free – 1:41.79
  • 500 free – 4:31.70
  • 1650 free – 15:55.60

His club coach, Allan Williams, told Swimming World:

“Cameron is an amazingly positive young man. He will be a great addition to the Florida State swim team! Cameron has plenty more that he can and will achieve in college swimming.”

Taddonio will join a solid distance group when he arrives in Tallahassee in the fall of 2019 that includes Nicholas Finley, Alex Cronin and Patrick Butkovich. The Seminoles finished fifth at the 2018 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships.

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Leslie Hasselbach Adams Named USA Diving High Performance Manager

Photo Courtesy: Twitter, @USADiving

USA Diving has announced that Leslie Hasselbach Adams, a long-time diving coach and FINA judge, has been named the organization’s High Performance Manager.

Hasselbach Adams brings extensive diving knowledge to USA Diving after serving as head diving coach at Clemson University for 18 years and traveling the world representing the United States as a FINA judge.

“I am looking forward to working with Leslie. I’ve known her for over 18 years and think she is one of the most honest, loyal, organized and hard-working individuals you could possibly have on your staff,” said USA Diving High Performance Director Dan Laak. “We have worked alongside each other for years both on the pool deck and on committees, and I have turned to her for advice and help many times.”

While at Clemson, Hasselbach Adams served as the diving representative on the NCAA rules committee and was also a member of the NCAA Championships diving subcommittee. Her experience coaching and evaluating talent at the collegiate level along with her years as a judge will bring valuable insight to the High Performance Department. Her work ethic, organization skills, and personality will bode well in this role as USA Diving moves forward towards 2020 in Tokyo and beyond.

“I’m very excited to join the USA Diving staff. Dan (Laak) and I have worked well together in the past, and I look forward to the opportunity to make a difference in the development and success of USA’s athletes,” Hasselbach Adams said.

Hasselbach Adams assumed her new role in the High Performance Department August 1.

The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with USA Diving. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com.

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European Tournaments Offer Testing Ground for Proposed FINA Water Polo Rule Changes

If FINA changes too much, what’s left to complain about? Photo Courtesy: Beeldboot.nlGertjan Kooij

By Michael Randazzo, Swimming World Contributor

Tangible outcomes of rule changes proposed at the FINA Water Polo Conference held last May in Hungary are now on display back where the changes were proposed. The 4th FINA World Men’s Youth Water Polo Championships 2018, being held August 11-19 in Szombathely, Hungary, is the first of three proposed testing opportunities to determine the viability of select changes.

Photo Courtesy: FINA

Consisting of 20 teams from all continents, FINA Youth Worlds includes eight teams from Europe, five from the Americas, three from Asia, two from Oceania and two from Africa.

This is an ideal starting point for FINA’s attempt to transform a sport which many believe is not spectator friendly enough to thrive in the new century. In fact, the conference in Budapest was keen to point out the many flaws—from indifferent marketing to indecipherable rules—plaguing the oldest Olympic team sport.

Some, including Ratko Rudic, Ricardo Azevedo and Adam Krikorian, are less concerned with rule changes than with providing more visibility for water polo, which has expereinced a popularity dip in Europe.

“Before we do anything, before we start trying to change all these things, let’s find out how good our sport is,” Krikorian said in an interview last May. “It’s impossible to know where your holes are when you’re not operating at close to 100 percent. We have an opportunity—70 percent we’re not maximizing. We get caught up in: We need to change 20 different rules.”

Is change quantifiable?

The most important change on trial is Rules Amendment #8 which impacts Rule WP 14.03. The existing rule has to do with a shot outside of 6 meters after an ordinary foul. In the past the attacker who was fouled could not fake; now—according to notes from FINA’s Technical Water Polo Committee (TWPC)—after the player visibly puts the ball in play, that player can fake and shoot or swim and shoot.

An endangered play? Photo Courtesy: AWFoto.nlGertjan Kooij

The other half of the proposed rule is: “Once the player visibly puts the ball into play, the defender can attack the player with the ball,” said the TWPC’s notes about the change. A defender can now react to a prospective shot, rather than giving the attacker an uncontested scoring opportunity.

Another key adjustment has to do with an attacker on a break. The trailing defender can no longer pull the player from behind without incurring a foul. In the old interpretation, the attacker needed to drop the ball to draw the exclusion, but the TWPC was clear that leaving this up to a referee’s interpretation was a mistake.

“If the defender contacts the arm, back or shoulder, a penalty must be awarded.” the TWPC wrote. “This will eliminate the potential decision and call of the referee that the ‘ball was in the hand’ that we saw in the past and which was incorrect in many cases.”

Rule Amendment #2 revises where free throws are taken; proposed is changing the location of the ball after a foul. Before—according to Rule AP 19.1, a free throw was taken where the foul was committed, pulling the ball back from an offensive opportunity. Now the free throw is taken from where the ball has travelled since the foul was committed—an important distinction in a fast-paced game.

Changing Rule WP 20.15 initially appears cosmetic—but it could have significant impact if approved. It cuts the time for an attacking team’s second or subsequent possession to 20 seconds no matter what the circumstances. According the TWPC: “The team is not to lose time as a result of the exclusion, nor is the offending team to benefit from a reduction in possession time.”

Too many whistles?! Photo Courtesy: FINA

This means that 10 seconds will be shaved off of the possession no matter if it’s a goalie save deflected out of play, a rebound picked up by the attacking team or an exclusion called during an offensive possession. This time reduction is also in effect for corner throws; those are now 20 seconds, rather than 30.

Not everything is changing

Some rule changes will not be tested at this tournament, including a decrease in halftime from five to three minutes, and the maximum number of players set at 13 (plus 2 substitutes). There’s no surprise here; a more informative testing opportunity comes next month at FINA’s Men’s Water Polo World Cup 2018 in Berlin, when the national teams of Australia, Croatia, Hungary, Japan, Serbia, South Africa, the U.S and host Germany will play under the new rules.

This trial period—including one additional opportunity later this month, at the FINA World Women’s Youth Water Polo Championships in Belgrade—will allow analysis before the Olympic qualification cycle, which begins next spring. Changes prior to the 2020 Olympics, including a reduced roster of 11 players for all men’s and women’s squads, and an increase of women’s teams from eight to 10, were already approved more than a year ago, generating much disagreement.

Krikorian is right; before making changes, clearly identify what’s working. But trying new things—especially if it makes the polo easier to understand—is also valuable.

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Victoria Duran: The Girl With a Dream

Photo Courtesy: Bailey Duran

Commentary by Bailey Duran, Swimming World Intern. 

Victoria Duran is an athlete who eats, sleeps, and breathes swimming. She trains nine times or more a week totaling over 20 hours. She comes up with her own dryland sets to do on her own time and is super strict with recovery and nutrition. She is a dreamer who is putting feet to those dreams.

The Early Years

When asked if she was always this passionate about swimming, Duran just laughs and says, “Absolutely not.” As a young child, she was passionate about dancing. She danced every night to “Lord of the Dance” on VCR and begged to be able to take dance lessons. “I loved river dance and watched it literally every night. I had the dances memorized and was convinced that I was going to be a professional dancer,” Duran says.

Photo Courtesy: Bailey Duran

Her parents put her in dance lessons at the same time her older sisters began swim team. After a few months of dance lessons, her parents decided that their energetic eight-year old daughter needed to do swim team as well as dance. “Torey was only dancing one night a week,” her mom Candi Duran says, “and I felt like she should join swim team for exercise. I never would have imagined that our little dancer would have become such an amazing swimmer.”

At first, Duran went to swimming just because her parents made her go. For the first couple of years, Duran says that she was the worst swimmer on the team: “I wanted to swim because my sisters did it. I was definitely the worst swimmer on the team. I was the oldest swimmer in my group and was getting destroyed.”

Photo Courtesy: Bailey Duran

Her first year of swimming, Duran didn’t even qualify for the league or seasonal state meet. Instead, she watched her sisters swim, sad that she wasn’t able to compete herself. Most people would give up; she, however, wasn’t deterred. She had been bit by the swimming bug at this point and was determined to become great. Duran quit dancing of her own accord and put her whole efforts into her swimming at ten years old.

At this time, she and her sisters switched to another team. Even though the coach didn’t want to take her, she made it onto the team nonetheless. She swam in her own lane with intervals much slower than the rest. She even remembers being lapped on 100s and 200s and would come home crying because of how far behind she was than the other swimmers. This didn’t stop her from dreaming big, though.

Photo Courtesy: Bailey Duran

Duran recalls the first time she told some of her teammates that she wanted to swim in college and even make it to the Olympics someday: “We were doing starts after practice one day, and the topic of the Olympics came up. I remember telling the other kids that someday I was going to swim at the Olympics. Some of the kids laughed at me and said it would never happen. I was so mad, but it lit a fire in me to work harder and to prove them wrong.”

Hard Work Pays Off

She began going to the pool with her family outside of practice. They gave her tips and cheered her on. With the help of her family and new coach Ian MacLaren, she slowly but surely began to see improvements. The very next year at 11 years old, she qualified for the league meet and for Colorado Seasonal State. A year later, Duran broke the Colorado Seasonal State record in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:11.01 and got second place high-point.

Photo Courtesy: Bailey Duran

Duran kept making improvements and decided to become a year-round swimmer so that she could begin taking steps to realize her dreams of becoming an elite swimmer. The long days, hard practices, and early mornings began paying off at fourteen years old. At the Western Slope League meet, Duran qualified for the Colorado Long Course Championships and Arena Western Zones – the first year that she had qualified for a meet faster than Seasonal State. “We knew she was close to qualifying for long course state,” her dad Vic Duran said, “but we had no idea that she was even close to Zones. We were blown away.”

Despite the surprise, her family drove her to California to swim the four events that she had qualified for (1500 free, 800 free, 400 free, and 200 free). After cutting more than a minute, Duran placed fifty-fourth in the mile with a time of 19:08.96, when her time two weeks prior in that event was 20:20.11.

Photo Courtesy: Bailey Duran

Going to Zones gave her a taste of what it would be like to race at an elite level. The competition wasn’t like anything she had experienced before, and she wanted more. After talking to her parents, Duran made the hard but necessary decision to switch to the Durango Swim Club under Coach Alex Martinek, a more competitive club an hour away from her home in Cortez. “I decided that I wanted to be more competitive and take my swimming to the next level. At that point I was training by myself a lot on my other team, so I wanted training partners and a more competitive coach. It was definitely the right decision.”

Her first season there, she and her relay team qualified for Speedo Sectionals in Phoenix, Ariz. Duran swam on the 800 freestyle relay and was able to swim some time trials. In the 1650 free time trials, Duran had the race of her life and qualified for Sectionals the coming year. She also won the girls’ 13 & 14 200-yard backstroke at the 2017 MAValanche swim meet with a time of 2:15.58.

Photo Courtesy: Bailey Duran

Once she turned fifteen, Duran really took off. She started training like never before and knew what she had to do to reach her goals. Swimming has become her passion, and she loves every aspect of it.

Duran became the 2018 Western Slope League Champion in the 15 & Over girls 400 free and the 1500 free this summer. She qualified for seven events at Arena Western Zones and placed top 25 in the 800 free with a time of 9:34.72 after cutting 42 seconds. She finished top 18 in 1500 free with a time of 18:23.77. In addition, she has qualified for Speedo Sectionals in three events and is working hard to qualify for Futures this coming year.

Photo Courtesy: Bailey Duran

Looking Forward

Duran’s long-term goals are to swim in college (hopefully for Liberty University), qualify for Olympic Trials and just maybe the biggest meet in the world. Duran credits her success to her family, coaches, her teammates, and ultimately, to God.

“He gives me my strength and success,” she says, “and I pray that He’ll give me the opportunity to swim in college and if it’s His will, make it to some of the biggest meets in the world. I couldn’t do it without my faith.” She also hopes to be a positive role model to other young swimmers with big dreams.

What makes Duran different is her unmatched work ethic, positive attitude and her drive to never give up, even when things get tough. Because she had to fight her way from the very bottom, she knows what it’s like to have a dream and to work for it even when it seems nearly impossible.

Photo Courtesy: Bailey Duran

“I think it’s easier to really work for your dream when you come from the bottom and have to really work your way to the top, because you don’t know any different than working hard and fighting to be better every single day – whether that’s in practice or competition,” Duran says.

As a 15-year old high school freshman with such a fire inside of her, she can do anything she puts her mind to.

Dream big, no matter if you’re the slowest or fastest one in the pool. Put in the work, and someday you’ll amaze yourself by how far you’ve come.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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Simon Fraser University Adds Maxime Marechal-McCoy, Dylan Roguski As Assistant Coaches

Simon Fraser University swimming and diving head coach Liam Donnelly has announced that Maxime Marechal-McCoy and Dylan Roguski will be joining the program as assistant coaches for the 2018-19 season.

Originally from Pointe Claire, QC, Marechal-McCoy received his Bachelor in Sports Science from the University of Paris-Sud in Orsay, France before returning to Canada to earn his Master’s in Kinesiology from the University of Montreal. A dual Canadian-French citizen, he spent a year as the head coach of the Marquette Swim Team in Montreal before moving to BC to take over the Okanagan-based Lumby Swim Club in 2015.

Marechal-McCoy comes to SFU after having spent the past three years as an assistant coach with the Delta Sungod swim club. As an athlete, he made four appearances at France’s National Championships (2003-2006) and also competed at the Canadian Interuniversity Championships (CIS) in 2011.

A Clan alumnus, Roguski was born in Edmonton, AB and joined the SFU team in 1996, leading them to a NAIA title in his sophomore year. He began his professional coaching career in 1999 with the Port Moody Aquarians swim club and after completing his degree in Kinesiology, rejoined his alma mater as SFU’s assistant swim coach as well as becoming the inaugural head age group coach of Simon Fraser Aquatics (SFA).

While with the SFU and SFA programs, Roguski coached several Provincial and National champions in a career highlighted by leading a group of athletes to the World Championship Trials in Montreal in 2004 where SFU placed two swimmers onto the Canadian World Championship Team.

Simon Fraser University is Canada’s only NCAA swim program. The SFU men finished 10th overall at the 2017 NCAA Championships, while the SFU women were 23rd.

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with Simon Fraser University. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com.

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Katie Hall signs with Boels Dolmans

The Boels Dolmans team announced the signing of American Katharine ‘Katie’ Hall, winner of this year’s Amgen Women’s Race, Tour of the Gila and Joe Martin Stage Race. The 31-year-old climber is joined by former speedskater Eva Buurman on the new additions list for the team.

“I had a successful season in the US this year, and I am excited to make the jump to Europe with Boels-Dolmans,” Hall said in the team’s press release. “I know the transition to Europe can be challenging but this team’s strength, support, and experience will set me up for success.”

Hall turned professional with UnitedHealthcare in 2014, having raced in the collegiate ranks while pursuing an advanced degree in Molecular Toxicology at UC Berkeley. She has steadily risen through the ranks, winning a stage of the Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt in 2015. Hall won the queen stage of the Tour Femenino de San Luis in 2015 and repeated in 2016 en route to the overall victory.

She also won the mountains classification in the Aviva Women’s Tour in 2016 and in the Tour de Feminin this season and looks to demonstrate her prowess on the climbs with the team and directeur sportif Danny Stam.

“My ambitions are to be the best team member I can be and to meaningfully attack other teams’ best climbers in the hills and mountains and to put them under real pressure,” Hall said. “I want to create opportunities for my teammates and to capitalize on opportunities that arise for me.”

Buurman comes across from Trek-Drops. A former speed skater, Buurman won the best young rider classification of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and has earned six top-ten places throughout the season.

“During the Giro Rosa, I was contacted by Danny Stam, who asked me what my plans were for next year,” said Buurman. “I was really honoured to be considered for Boels-Dolmans. After a meeting with Danny it all felt really good, so the decision was made quite easily actually.

“Danny and I discussed how I see myself progressing further, plus how he sees my role within the team. My focus will probably be on the hillier races, but details have yet to be discussed. Foremost, I’d like to take that next step and hope to learn a lot from my new teammates. It’s pretty impressive to become teammates with the current world champion and Olympic champion.”

Boels-Dolmans currently has Olympic road champion Anna Van der Breggen and world road champion Chantal Blaak under contract through 2020, the only other two riders confirmed for the coming season. More announcements from the top-ranked squad are expected soon.

If you’ve ever wanted to know what it feels like to be part of a top-level cycling team, and to be on the ground, inside the barriers, at the Tour de France, then RUNNING WITH WOLVES will take you there. It is available to rent for $3.99 USD or buy for $6.99 USD.

You can also still purchase our first two films, THE HOLY WEEK and CRESCENDO, on Vimeo.

RUNNING WITH WOLVES from Cyclingnews Films on Vimeo, produced by La Pédale and a special thanks to Quick-Step Floors.

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