Your Winter Ski-Prep Tabata Workout

Winter is here and if you’re planning to hit the slopes this ski season, getting started on this bodyweight series can save your back, knees, and shoulders—maybe even your neck.

Do this short workout three times a week to build the strength, power, and stamina you’ll need to stay healthy and safe on the slopes all day long. Use it to supplement your regular strength-training routine, and you’ll be skiing with grace and control like never before!

Winter Ski-Prep Tabata Workout

Technique Tips

Line-Drill Foot Work

This exercise helps develop speed and agility, preparing your body to make quick shifts in direction. Start with your feet about hip-width apart and your weight on the balls of your feet. Staying low to the ground, hop your feet forward and backward over an imaginary line, then do the same from side to side for the full 20 seconds.

Plank Hydrant Rotation

These rotations are about stability and core strength. Starting in a plank position, drive your right knee toward your right elbow and lift your right leg laterally. Keeping the shape, rotate out to the fire hydrant position, then back under your trunk. Repeat for the full 20 seconds and feel the burn.

Reverse Diagonal Skaters

Develop your balance and single-leg power and stability with this move. Starting with your weight centered on your left leg, jump backward, turning over your right shoulder to the 9 o’clock position and landing on your right leg. Now, jump forward, back to the starting position, and land on your left leg. Repeat for the full 20 seconds.

Crab Reach

This exercise will build your midline flexibility and help you adjust to maintain position. Start in a seated position, with your legs bent and the soles of your feet on the floor. Put your arms directly under your shoulders with your fingers externally rotated to face away from your feet. This is the starting position.

Now, reach your right arm up and above your head and parallel to the floor as you simultaneously extend your hips into a three-point bridge. Keep your hips fully open and your glutes fully flexed. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Continue for 20 seconds to give all the muscles along the front of your body a major stretch, while flexing your hamstrings, glutes, and back.

Low Squat Hop to Tuck Jump

Improve your power and reaction time with this exercise combo. Start in a 90-degree squat with your weight on the balls of your feet. Staying low, hop both feet just off the ground for 3 reps, then explode up into a tuck jump. Control the decent so you land on both feet in the low squat position. Repeat for the full 20 seconds.

It’ll Be Cold, So Warm Up!

Even though you hit the slopes to have fun and earn that beer in the bar afterward, skiing is still very physically demanding. As such, you need to prepare your body for the activity. Before you get too many ski clothes on—and definitely before you put on your boots—do a few sets of jumping jacks and bodyweight squats. If there are stairs at the lodge, take a few trips up and down them, moving both forward, laterally, and backward to wake up your balance and coordination.

Also perform dynamic stretches such as high knee hugs, toy soldiers, tiptoe and heel walks, and ankle rolls. And a few push-ups to side planks will prepare your core and upper body for any unexpected falls. Finally, be sure to stay hydrated between runs. That’s what chair lift rides are for.

This entire workout will challenge you—big time—but stick to it and you’ll see the benefits with each turn you carve and every run you crush!

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The Week That Was: Kliment Kolesnikov Closes 2017 with World Record

Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

Russian youngster Kilment Kolesnikov closed out 2017 with one more record breaking swim, slipping by the world record in the short course 100 back at a meet in St. Petersburg. See all the stories from the last couple weeks of 2017 in this week’s edition of The Week That Was.

The Week That Was #5 – Nation’s Capital Wins USA Swimming’s Top Club Excellence Award

Knoxville, TN - December 7, 2013: Nations Capital Swim Club Swimmer during the 2013 AT&T Swimming Winter National Championships on December 7, 2013 in Knoxville, Tennessee at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center. Photo By Matthew DeMaria/Tennessee Athletics

Photo Courtesy: Matthew DeMaria/Tennessee Athletics

Nation’s Capital Swim Club (NCAP) of the Washington, D.C., area continued it’s reign as the top club team in the United States, earning the No. 1 spot in USA Swimming’s Club Excellence program for the fourth year in a row. NCAP tallied 91,597 points to finish more than 30,000 points ahead of runner-up SwimMAC Carolina. Now in it’s 17th year, the Club Excellence program identifies strong club programs around the country, with the top 200 earning bronze, silver or gold rankings. Clubs are ranked based on the FINA Points Table that assigns point values to swimming performances based on time standards. You can see a full list of 2018 ranked clubs here.

The Week That Was #4 – Sun Yang Honored as China’s Best Male Athlete

yang-sun-victory-2017-world-champs

Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

Sun Yang was named as the best male athlete of 2017 at the China Laureus sport award ceremony. The honor was Sun’s second after previously winning the award in 2011. He won the award alongside female recipient and table tennis star Ding Ning. Sun won gold in the 200 and 400 free at the World Championships in Budapest last year. Also honored were Li Bingjie, who was named Rookie of the Year after winning three medals at Worlds, and the Chinese national synchro team won team of the year after winning gold at the World Championships.

The Week That Was #3 – Taylor Ruck Ties Canadian Record in England

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Taylor Ruck was one of a handful of Canadian swimmers from the High Performance Center Ontario who swam at Swim England’s Winter Nationals in Sheffield. Ruck put up some solid performances at the meet, winning three events and tying a Canadian national record over the course of the meet. The 17-year-old tied Brittany MacLean’s national record in the 200 free from last year, touching the wall in 1:56.94 to finish second. Ruck also posted three wins during the meet in the 100 free (52.96), 100 back (1:00.09), and 200 back (2:06.76). Her 200 back time was a Canadian 15-17 age group record and was just a tenth off of the world junior record in the event. Ruck would go on to set three more short course records at the Lausanne Swimming Cup just a few days later.

The Week That Was #2 – Katie Ledecky Named Female AP Athlete of the Year

katie-ledecky-usa-smile-wave-medal-2017-world-champs

Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky was named the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year, the eighth female swimmer to win the award and the first swimmer to take the honor since 1996, when Amy Van Dyken was named athlete of the year. Ledecky was named the winner after balloting by U.S. editors and news directors where she received 351 points, just beating out tennis star Serena Williams who earned 343. Olympic track star Allyson Felix was third with 248. Over her career Ledecky has won five Olympic golds, claimed 14 World Championship titles and broken 13 world records. This summer she left Worlds with six medals (5 gold, 1 silver), her biggest ever haul at an international meet and this fall set a new American record in the 1650 freestyle at the Art Adamson Invite. You can read the original report from NBC Washington detailing Ledecky’s award here.

The Week That Was #1 – Kliment Kolesnikov Closes 2017 with World Record

kliment-kolesnikov-rus-2017-world-champs

Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

Russian phenom Kliment Kolesnikov closed out 2017 with another record, this time lowering the world record in the short course 100-meter backstroke at the Vladimir Salnikov Cup in St. Petersburg, Russia. The 17-year-old posted a time of 48.90, clipping the previous record of 48.92 set by Matt Grevers at the 2015 Duel in the Pool. Kolesnikov had just set a world junior record in the 100 back just the week prior at the European Short Course Champs, winning the title in 48.99. Kolesnikov came home in a blazing fast 24.81 after an opening 24.09 first 50, just getting him under the old world record to end 2017 with a bang.

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‘It makes no sense’: Daily Mail survey of drivers’ gripes with cyclists criticised by cycling charity

Survey findings in contrast with widespread support for better cycling facilities found by Sustrans poll

A Daily Mail survey which concluded that cyclists should be made to wear hi-vis and have insurance has been criticised as “making no sense” by national cycling charity Cycling UK.

The online survey of more than 10,000 motorists, which was carried out by motoring campaign group FairFuelUK and promoted through its mailing list, found widespread support for measures such as forcing cyclists to take out insurance, wear high-viz clothing, and face the possibility of prosecution under a new dangerous cycling law.

However Cycling UK has expressed its concerns about the survey, with the ideas proposed likely to make people less willing to travel by bike.

>>> What is the evidence that wearing hi-vis clothing makes you a safer cyclist?

“If we want grandparents and grandchildren alike to be able to cycle safely and normally for day-to-day journeys, it makes no sense to impose unnecessary new rules and costs on would-be cyclists, particularly children,” Roger Geffen, Cycling UK’s policy director said.

“The top priority must be to create safe, cycle-friendly streets and junctions, while strengthening the enforcement of our existing traffic rules, rather than adding new ones.”

The charity also points to the findings of the Sustrans Bike Life report, which gathered data from a cross-section of the general population rather than those signed up to the mailing list of a motoring campaign group, and found huge levels of public support for better cycling facilities and the increased funding to provide them.


Watch: What lights do I need for winter?


The government is currently considering the possibility of introducing a new offence of causing death by dangerous cycling as part of a review into cycling safety launched in the wake of the Charlie Alliston case, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison in September on a charge of “wanton and furious driving” after killing pedestrian Kim Briggs while riding a bike with no brakes.

Geffen said that although the organisation had no objection to the introduction of such offences, which he says would be used just once every five years, it would be a more effective use of parliamentary time to concentrate on harsher penalties for the thousands of drivers who kill or injure cyclists and pedestrians each year, with greater use of driving bans, tougher sentences, and a tightening of the loophole which sees thousand drivers claim “exceptional hardship” to evade driving bans.

>>> Number of motoring offences hit nine-year high as 2.2 million caught speeding in 2016

“Whilst Cycling UK has no objection to the possible introduction of new cycling offences, these changes would do far more to ensure justice in the wake of road traffic crimes that can cause death or serious injury,” Geffen continued.

“Meanwhile the single most effective measure for preventing those crimes from occurring in the first place would be to reverse the cuts to roads policing that have occurred over the past decade or so.”


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British Cycling confirms departure of endurance coach Heiko Salzwedel

German coach Heiko Salzwedel was reportedly escorted out of the National Cycling Centre in Manchester in October

British Cycling confirmed on Tuesday (January 2) in a brief statement that track endurance coach Heiko Salzwedel has left the organisation.

Reports surfaced in October that Salzwedel had been escorted by security out of the National Cycling Centre – home of British Cycling in Manchester. The Daily Mail reported that Salzwedel had a difference of opinion with riders.

At that time, British Cycling did not comment on the allegations.

The statement issued on Tuesday said: “British Cycling can confirm that Heiko Salzwedel has left his position as men’s endurance coach for the Great Britain Cycling Team.

“Heiko, who coached the team to an Olympic gold medal in the men’s team pursuit in Rio, departs with the best wishes and thanks of everyone at British Cycling.”



Salzwedel had overseen the men’s endurance programme on the British cycling team since October 2014, and the German was seen as instrumental in setting up the GB team pursuit squad for its gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Bradley Wiggins, Ed Clancy, Steven Burke and Owain Doull set a new world record on their way to winning gold.

Salzwedel had previously been performance manager at British Cycling between 2001 to 2002, and 2008 to 2012.

>>> British Cycling reportedly sack men’s endurance coach after ‘rider revolt’

British Cycling has seen several members of staff departing in recent months. The organisation confirmed in early December that performance pathway manager Ian Yates was leaving.

Prior to that, BC chair Jonathan Browning announced in November that he was stepping down, having only been in the job for 10 months after replacing previous chair Bob Howden in February.

In April 2016, Shane Sutton resigned from his post as technical director amid allegations of sexism and bullying.


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January bike sales: Seven great deals from the winter sales

We’ve rounded up all the best January deals on the internet right now, including Wiggle, Chain Reaction Cycles, Evans Cycles

Sadly, the Christmas break has come to a close. Our waistbands have expanded and our motivation to ride lies severely diminished.

Happily, there’s a cure for both of these problems: new kit. Even better, this kit is now cheap as chips thanks to the January sales.

Here’s our round up of the best deals online right now. Wallets at the ready, go!

Tacx Blue Matic Magnetic turbo trainer

The Tacx Blue Matic makes an excellent starting place for those looking to enter the world of turbo training. It has a lightweight but sturdy frame and 10 levels of resistance to maximise your training.

Buy now: Tacx Blue Matic Magnetic turbo trainer at Evans Cycles for £94.99

Fulcrum Racing 3 road wheelset was £479, now £299

fulcrum racing 3 wheels

The budget price tag doesn’t stop the Fulcrum Racing 3 wheels being an excellent racing option. They’re lightweight, have a milled rim and are now £179 off.

Buy now: Fulcrum Racing 3 road wheelset at Chain Reaction Cycles for £299

Schwalbe One Folding tyre was £45.99, now £27

We’d recommend buying them now before they rocket back up in price again before summer.

Buy now: Schwalbe One Folding tyre at Ribble for £27

FWE Coldharbour thermal padded tights were £69, now £30

We’ve still got a few months of cold weather to go before the sun finally shows its face again.

These FWE tights won’t break the bank and comes lined with a fleecy Roubaix fabric for extra insulation. Right now all sizes are still available, too.

Buy now: FWE Coldharbour thermal padded tights at Evans Cycles for £30

Continental Grand Prix 4 season folding tyre was £64.95, now £31.99

Another top level racing clincher, the Continental Grand Prix 4 tyre is also perfectly at home on the winter roads. It’s grippy and has excellent puncture protection thanks to its Duraskin protection.

Buy now: Continental Grand Prix 4 season tyre at Wiggle for £31.99

Lezyne Zecto Drive 80 rear light was £32.99, now £23.59

Keep yourself safe in the last of these winter months with Lezyne’s powerful Zecto Drive rear light. It outputs 80 lumens in six different modes and is USB rechargeable,

Buy now: Lezyne Zecto Drive 80 rear light for £23.59

Oakley Jawbreaker Prizm road glasses were £174, now £103

Just one of the seven standard colour options available

Buy now: Oakley Jawbreaker Prizm road glasses at Chain Reaction Cycles for £103

The Oakley Jawbreaker Prizm road gkasses are the benchmark in cycling eye wear.

The excellent quality wide lenses won’t obscure your vision and the rubber edges sit comfortably on the face and block the wind from coming underneath.


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120 Years Ago: Celebrating Collegiate Swimming and The First Intercollegiate Swimming Championship of 1898

By Bruce Wigo

In January of 1897, the University of Pennsylvania became the first American college to make a swimming pool available to its students. To supervise the activities at the pool, the University hired George Kistler, an Englishman who had won the one-mile professional “championship of the world”, in London, in 1887.

1-2-2048-25-George Kistler

Photo Courtesy: ISHOF Archive: George Kistler, University of Pennylvania

Kistler had traveled to the US in 1891 hoping to find a position as a swimming instructor at a private athletic club. Unable to find a job in swimming, he found work as a  coal miner until the promoters of the National Swimming Association saw him swim and learned his background. The NSA was building the Wayne Natatorium in a suburb of Philadelphia. When completed it wold be the largest concrete swimming pool in the world, measuring 500 ft long by 100 ft. wide.  It had a fine clubhouse with changing rooms for ladies and when the “Nat” opened in July of 1895, a large crowd of amateur swimmers, representing the NSA, the Philadelphia Swimming Association, the New York Athletic Club, the University of Pennsylvania and a number of other organizations were present. It was indeed a gala occasion!

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Photo Courtesy: ISHOF Archive – Wayne Natatorium, Wayne, Pennsylvania

Two years later, Penn opened its pool in the basement of Houston Hall, a building designed as a recreational center for students. Where students could find relief from the rigors of study. In addition to the swimming pool, there was a bowling alley, pool tables and exercise rooms.  A university building dedicated to play was a revolutionary concept for Universities at the time.  With the building of the pool, the University also made it mandatory that students know how to swim, and to teach swimming it hired George Kistler as America’s first collegiate swimming instructor.

HoustonKissler

Photo Courtesy: ISHOF Archive – University of Pennsylvania Houston Hall Pool

On the occasion of Ladies Day at the university, on February 21, 1897 he organized the first swim meet in the pool that measured just 10 feet in width by 30 feet in length.  The meet included exhibitions of the strokes used at the time: the breaststroke, side-stroke, Trudgeon and over-arm side stroke, by Professor Kistler, relay races and a water polo game pitting students at Penn against members of the NSA.  Then in the Fall of 1897, Kistler organized the first Intercollegiate meet, featuring his Penn swimmers against swimmers from the New York Athletic Club who attended Columbia University.

The next year, Kistler joined forces with  James Sullivan (President of the AAU and namesake of the Sullivan Award) to organize the first “National” collegiate championship as part of the AAU Championships at the Sportsmen’s Show, in Boston, in March of 1898.

boston1900 sketch

Photo Courtesy: ISHOF Archive – 1898 Sportsmen’s Show, Boston Mechanic’s Hall

Like our modern-day Olympic Trials, a temporary tank was constructed in Boston’s Mechanics Hall and 14,000 spectators watched Penn beat Columbia in both swimming and water polo for the “National” intercollegiate titles. The next year the Championship was contested again at the Sportsmen’s Show, this time in New York’s Madison Square Garden before another huge crowd.

Water Polo MSG 1899

Photo Courtesy: ISHOF Archive: The Sportsmen’s Show at Madison Square Garden, 1899

The star performer of both the AAU and College events at MSG was E. Carroll Schaeffer, America’s first great swimmer and first great college swimmer. Swimming for the University of Pennsylvania from 1898 to 1902,  he held every American swimming record from 20 yds. to 1 mile. Called “Midget’ because of his small stature, Schaeffer swam his way back from polio and weighed a scant 118 lbs. when he began his brilliant swimming career at Penn.  Besides being a speed swimmer, he held the American record for swimming underwater (232 ft. 11 in).

ECarol Scheafer 1

Photo Courtesy: ISHOF Archive – E. Carroll Schaeffer

Collegiate swimming was off to a great start. Yale and Harvard formed teams in 1900, while Cornell, the University of Chicago, the Armour Institute and the University of Wisconsin formed teams in 1901. Princeton, Brown, and Washington University of St. Louis were next take up swimming as a sport. But it wasn’t until 1906 that Penn, Princeton and Columbia formed the first swimming league: the “Intercollegiate Swimming Association.”  By then, the pools built for the sportsmen’s shows were being used for motor boats and the Championships moved to the exhibition pools at the schools, like Penn’s Weightman Hall, which replaced Houston Hall in 1904, and measured 30 feet wide x 100 feet in length.

weightman

Photo Courtesy: ISHOF Archive:  Weightman Pool, University of Pennsylvania

This was the standard length until Steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie agreed to build what would become the finest swimming pool in America, if not the world.

“Yale’s Carnegie Pool was conceived and designed with the idea of providing not only a place for students to bathe and perfect themselves in the art of swimming, but also an amphitheater where lovers of aquatics could congregate and witness contests of speed, skill and endurance in swimming, water polo and kindred sports.”

Yale's carnegie pool

Photo Courtesy: ISHOF Archive: Yale’s Carnegie Pool, circa 1912

It was Ogden Reid, captain of Yale’s championship water polo team of 1905, who presented Mr. Carnegie with the idea and who worked out the plans by first giving his ideas to the architect. After his ideas had been placed on paper he then asked the leading competitive swimmers, coaches and managers in the country to criticize the drawings and make suggestions.

The pool measured seventy-five feet in length by thirty feet wide, ideal dimensions for both swimming races and water polo contests.   It’s depth ranged from six to eleven feet and galleries provided step-like rows of seats which could accommodate nearly one-thousand persons. Beneath the gallery were locker rooms, the manager’s office and hot, steam rubbing and and shower rooms. The entire pool as well as the walks around it and the gallery wall were in blue and white tiles. There were five blue lines running lengthwise along the bottom of the pool to serve as sides for swimmers and plungers, and th water polo lines were distinctly marked on the sides as well as on the bottom. A system of tiles has been arranged to measure off the feet for plungers.

The room was also of an unusual height, measuring over fifty feet from the water to the roof, which, besides giving clean, pure air and plenty of it, afforded every opportunity for high divers to indulge in their favorite pastime. Future pools at Michigan, Ohio State and the new pool at Yale 20 years later would model the idea of this incredible Carnegie gift to aquatics.

For the rest of the early history of intercollegiate swimming I recommend reading the newly released biography of Kiphuth of Yale: A Swimming Dynasty by Peter E. Kennedy, Ph.D. Available through Amazon

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Team Sky’s eight new recruits for 2018

British WorldTour outfit Team Sky have made eight new signings for 2018, five of whom are under 25

Team Sky have made a raft of new signings for 2018, with eight riders either joining the team from other WorldTour squads or making their debut in the top-flight.

Jonathan Castroviejo, David de la Cruz and Dylan van Baarle are the more established names, having inked deals with Sky from Movistar, Quick-Step Floors and Cannondale-Drapac respectively.

These three riders bring with them different skillsets. Spaniard Castroviejo, 30, is one of the strongest time triallists in the peloton, having taken an array of wins against the clock as well as being a mainstay of Movistar’s team time trial line-up.

“Everybody knows the strength in the team, and how important the spirit between the riders is to the team’s success,” said Castroviejo. “I’m really looking forward to being part of that, bringing my own experience and learning new things.”

>>> Riders take to Twitter and Instagram to show off their brand new kits for 2018 season

Fellow Spaniard de la Cruz, 28, is a rider on the ascendancy, having put in some impressive climbing performances in the Vuelta a España and Paris-Nice during 2017.

David de la Cruz won the final stage of Paris-Nice in 2017. Photo: Yuzuru Sunada

De la Cruz said: “I definitely feel that, at this point in my career, Team Sky is the best place for me to progress and to be the best rider I can be.”

Sky coach Xabi Artext said of de la Cruz: “He is a really versatile rider who can perform a lot of roles, but he climbs very well and he has had some excellent results on really tough mountain stages, like at the Vuelta a Espana and at Paris Nice.

“He has an interesting story in that he didn’t start in bike riding until quite late. His progression has been fast and his talent has always been obvious.”



Dutch 2014 Tour of Britain winner van Baarle is seeking to improve in the Classics, having placed fourth in the 2017 Tour of Flanders. At 25-years-old, van Baarle is just hitting his stride.

“Finishing in fourth place at Flanders has given me a lot of motivation,” said van Baarle. “Not just being so close to the podium, but also because I finished sixth the year before I could see the improvement in myself, and that’s what I want to keep up.

“I want to do even better in the next few years and target a podium in a big Classic like Flanders or Roubaix. That is my main goal.”

Five of the eight new signings are under 25 years old, as Sky seeks to continue to nurture young talent in its ranks.

Leonard Basso (Italy, 24), Egan Bernal (Colombia, 20), Kristoffer Halvorsen (Norway, 21), Chris Lawless (Great Britain, 22) and Pavel Sivakov (Russia, 20) are all looking to gain experience in the team throughout the coming season.

Lawless joins Sky from American development team Axeon-Hagens Berman, where he enjoyed a successful 2017 season.

>>> From Sky’s skinsuit to Sagan’s crash: the controversial moments that defined the 2017 season

“The overall win at the ZLM Tour and the stage win at Tour de l’Avenir were both really big wins for me,” said Lawless.

Chris Lawless

“I was happy with the way I won them. It’s not how I usually win races. I attacked instead of waiting for the sprint which I think showed I can do more than just finish quickly.

“The other highlight was obviously the British Nationals and winning the under-23 jersey. I was happy to be able to compete with the other WorldTour guys there and I was still able to attack and show my pace at the end.”

Team Sky will make their 2018 WorldTour season debut at the Tour Down Under in Australia over January 16-21. The squad has yet to confirm its line-up for the six-day race.


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Police appeal for witnesses after 77-year-old cyclist found dead at side of road on New Year’s Eve

Police not treating man’s death as suspicious

Police in Wiltshire are appealing for witnesses after a 77-year-old cyclist was found dead at the side of a country lane on New Year’s Eve.

The cyclist, a male rider who has not yet been named, was found lying next to his bike at the side of Cholderton Road near Newton Tony in Wiltshire at around 12.30pm on December 31.

Emergency services were called to the scene, but paramedics were unable to revive the man who was pronounced dead at the scene. His next of kin have been informed.

>>> Chance find by member of public sees stolen bike reunited with ‘stunned’ Cycling UK chief executive

The country lane was closed for several hours while police investigated the incident. Spire FM reports that officers were initially concerned that the man could have been involved in a road traffic collision, but have now concluded that no vehicles were involved in his death and are not treating the man’s death as suspicious.

Wiltshire Police are appealing for anyone with any information or who may have seen the cyclist before his death to get in contact by calling the 101 non-emergency number.


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Top Eight Swim Meets to Pay Attention to in 2018

Photo Courtesy: Chuckarelei / Pac-12

By David Rieder.

No, there is no long course World Championships in 2018. It’s that awkward middle year between Olympic cycles where the world’s best swimmers will never all be in the same pool at the same time. So for this year, there will be no definitive answer of “Who is the best?”

The good news is, there are plenty of meets of significant impact coming up. Let’s go through the eight most important ones, in chronological order.

You will hear plenty about all these meets when the time comes, with previews of every crack and crevice. For now, just a quick overview of what we’re watching for at each one.

1. Women’s NCAA Championships: March 14-17, Columbus, Ohio

Once again, all eyes will be on Stanford at this year’s women’s NCAA championships, with Greg Meehan’s Cardinal favored for a repeat championship—for good reason. His team is led by Olympic gold medalists Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel, Ella Eastin is one of the country’s top swimmers, and Stanford is the deepest team in the country,

Still, even if there’s relatively little drama at the top of the NCAA meet, the team battles remain compelling, and the ladies’ college ranks remain a star-studded affair: Kathleen Baker, Lilly King, Mallory Comerford, Abbey Weitzeil and plenty of other familiar names will be among those battling for individual NCAA crowns.

2. Men’s NCAA Championships: March 21-24, Minneapolis

For the first time since 2014, the men’s championships should hold some drama in the team race. After three years of Texas blowouts, the Longhorns suffered big enough losses that should bring them back to earth—while Cal, even after the graduation of star backstroker Ryan Murphy, has its most well-rounded team in years.

caeleb dressel

Caeleb Dressel — Photo Courtesy: Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports

Those two teams will battle for the NCAA championship, with the likes of Florida and North Carolina State hoping to play spoiler.

Speaking of the Gators, Caeleb Dressel will be there. The reigning World Swimmer of the Year will be competing in his final college meet, and some major barriers (18 seconds in the 50 free, 40 seconds in the 100 free) will be on high alert.

3. Commonwealth Games: Swimming April 4-9, Gold Coast, Australia

After winning just three gold medals at the 2016 Olympics and only one at the 2017 World Championships, the Australians will welcome the Commonwealth nations to the Gold Coast for the first of the year’s major regional meets. All of Australia’s stars that missed the 2017 World Championships, including sprinters Cate Campbell and Kyle Chalmers, are expected to be back in action.

adam-peaty-50mbreast-worldrecord-2017-world-champs

Adam Peaty — Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

Other top swimming countries that will send representative teams include Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore and the countries that comprise Great Britain—competing separately. So Adam Peaty and James Guy will represent England, while Duncan Scott is swimming for Scotland.

The meet will take place in the same outdoor venue on the Gold Coast that hosted the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships. But while the weather at that August meet was cold and rainy, much nicer conditions are expected for April.

Note also that the swimming competition lasts six days, as it does at the European Championships and Short Course World Championships later in the year. All these meets will offer semi-finals in 50 and 100-meter events, but not in 200-meter races.

4. U.S. Nationals: July 25-29, Irvine, Calif.

Aside from Olympic Trials, this Nationals is the biggest selection meet the United States has. That’s because teams will be selected for every major meet in both 2018 and 2019.

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

Katie Ledecky after setting a world record at U.S. Nationals in Irvine — Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

The U.S. will pick its team for the Pan Pacific Championships in Irvine, and results from Nationals and Pan Pacs will be combined to determine teams for the Short Course World Championships in 2018 and the World Championships, Pan American Games and World University Games in 2019.

So, yeah, it’s important. Anyone who has a bad meet is out of luck for not just one year but two.

For the fourth straight Olympic cycle, Irvine’s William Woollett Aquatic Center will host this all-important meet, and the sunny venue usually draws some nice crowds and produces some exciting swims. The last time Nationals were in Irvine, Katie Ledecky broke the world record in the 400 free for the first time.

5. European Championships: Swimming Aug. 3-9, Glasgow, Scotland

The British home nations will reunite for a home European Championships that will be the 2018 focus meet for every other country on the continent. The European Championships are a semi-annual affair, held in every even year, but in Olympic years, the meet occurs in the spring as a warm-up act. In 2018, it’s all that the top swimmers in Europe have.

sarah-sjostrom-victory-arms-2017-world-champs

Sarah Sjostrom — Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

Among the individual World Champions from last year expected to compete: Sarah Sjostrom, Katinka Hosszu, Yulia Efimova, Mireia Belmonte, Gregorio Paltrinieri, Gabriele Detti and Evgeny Rylov.

Oh, and countries can enter as many swimmers as they want in each event—but only two per country can advance out of prelims.

6. Pan Pacific Championships: Aug. 9-13, Tokyo, Japan

Yes, a major meet in Tokyo—two years before the Olympics come to town.

The Pan Pacific Championships were founded by four “charter nations,” including the United States, Australia, Japan and Canada, but many other countries outside of Europe send representative teams. Brazil, South Africa, China and New Zealand have all sent swimmers to past editions of Pan Pacs.

The pool swimming competition lasts just four days, and there are no semi-finals in any events. Instead, swimmers who qualify for the meet can swim any event they want, but only three swimmers per country can advance to either the A or B finals (max two per country per heat).

Also worth keeping an eye on: who ends up with the top two times among Americans. To determine the squads for the 2019 Worlds team, times from the A and B-finals at Pan Pacs (but not prelims times) are compared with times from Nationals, and the top two in each event qualify. Got that?

7. Asian Games: Aug. 18-Sept. 2 (Swimming TBD), Kemayoran, Indonesia

jiayu-xu-back-china-2017-world-champs

Xu Jiayu — Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

Straight off Pan Pacs, swimmers from Japan and possibly China, South Korea, Singapore and elsewhere will head to Indonesia for the Asian Games, traditionally the focus meet for anyone on that continent. Often held later in the calendar compared to other major meets (often October), this year’s Asian Games come right after the Pan Pacific and European meets.

Although Chinese swimmers occasionally compete at Pan Pacs, this will likely be the main meet for that country’s top swimmers, including Sun Yang, Xu Jiayu and Li Bingjie.

8. FINA Short Course World Championships: Dec. 1-5, Hangzhou, China

Technically, this is the only global competition of the year, but with Short Course Worlds, the world’s top swimmers almost never all show up.

That said, attendance should be better this December than it was last year, in the immediate aftermath of the Rio Olympics. European swimmers typically show up at nearly full strength for Short Course Worlds, but swimmers from the U.S., Australia and Asian countries frequently pass. It will be a while before we know exactly who will be making the trip to China next year.

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Chance find by member of public sees stolen bike reunited with ‘stunned’ Cycling UK chief executive

Cycling UK chief executive Paul Tuohy ‘stunned’ after being reunited with his red Brompton folding bike after someone spots it abandoned near a train station

Paul Tuohy, Cycling UK’s chief executive, has been reunited with his stolen Brompton folding bike after it was found by a member of the public.

Tuohy had the bike – valued at around £1000 – stolen from him during a train journey between London and Dartford on December 21 at around 7.15pm. He had left  it folded up behind his seat, and found that it was gone after he was engaged in a conversation with a passenger on the train.

A Dartford office worker, who only wanted to be identified as Jason, found the red bike abandoned near Dartford station. He took it home and after doing some research online identified it as the same bike stolen from Tuohy. The bike and its rightful owner were reunited a couple of days after it was taken.

>>> Cycling UK chief executive ‘disappointed and infuriated’ after having bike stolen from train

“I came back late from London Bridge and saw the bike near an underpass,” said Jason. “Nine times out of ten I would have left it, but I thought it was a bit odd so I picked it up and carried it home.

Paul Tuohy is reunited with his stolen bike

“I left it outside the flat and when my girlfriend got up, she wondered what the bike was doing there!”

“It was on my way to work when I was checking Twitter, and I saw the story and realised it was the bike Paul had had stolen. I Tweeted Paul, and then I phoned the office.”



Tuohy said he was ‘stunned’ that the bike was returned to him in one piece.

“It’s amazing in this day and age that someone would find a Brompton bike and make the effort to return it to its owner,” said Tuohy.

“For Jason to take the time and trouble to find me, and bring it back is incredible. It shows some real Christmas spirit at this time of year.

“I’ve had the bike since I started at Cycling UK, and in that time I’ve grown quite a strong attachment to it. We’ve been through a lot together, and when I thought I’d lost it, I was pretty down. I’m so grateful to Jason.”

Cycling UK reports that more than 327,000 bicycles are stolen every year in England and Wales.


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