Tech of the week: Wattbikes, wheelsuckers and wind blocking kit

This week we’ve had training aids, options to make your ride a bit easier and clothing for cooler weather

New trainers and power meters

Wattbike Atom

The new Wattbike Atom scales down Wattbike’s functionality

Wattbike has launched a new trainer this week. Called the Atom, it’s cheaper, lighter and quieter than the original Wattbike, but still keeps all the same functions and analysis. And Bkool has announced two new, quieter turbos as well as a system to support side to side movement of the bike as you train.

We’ve also had a closer look at the new Garmin Vector 3 pedal-based power meter and asked if the pros should be banned from using power meters.

giro prolight techlace

Giro Prolight Techlace shoes are a seriously lightweight option

And September’s Tech of the Month video features the ultra-light Giro Prolight Techlace shoe, Lazer’s aero Bullet helmet, the Wahoo Elemnt Mini computer and new Lapierre Aircode pro-level aero bike.

Drafting and motors

This week, we’ve looked at the differences between the new Ultegra and Dura-Ace groupsets. One is the greater range that Ultegra still offers – which riders on the Vuelta a Espana found useful on last Wednesday’s 30 per cent gradients, swapping from Dura-Ace to Ultegra rear mechs so they could fit a larger cassette. You might also need lower gears for some of Mark Beaumont’s favourite places around the world to ride a bike.

But if you fancy an easier ride, we’ve had a couple of options for you this week as well.

Here’s why it pays to be a wheelsucker

Swiss Side wheels has been calculating the benefits of being a wheelsucker. Sit 10cm behind and you’ll save yourself over a third of the effort needed to overcome aerodynamic drag. And you can continue to get significant benefits right out to 20m off the back.

Spot the motor on Orbea’s new Gain e-bike

Or you could take to Orbea’s new Gain e-bike. With the battery stashed in the down tube and a rear hub motor, it takes quite a close look to see that you’re getting a push. Even the UCI might not notice – we’ve also reported the results of an investigation that questions the UCI’s methods for detecting hidden motors.

Bikes and jackets

Gear-wise we’ve had run-throughs of Trek’s and Specialized’s bike ranges and Cannondale’s CAAD12 options, telling you what the American superbrands have on offer this year.

Santini’s got you covered for wetter, colder rides

While if your autumn wardrobe is in need of a lift, we’ve had a look at Mavic’s 2018 range, Primal’s cooler weather gear and Santini’s Beta jackets, which go from a lightweight windblocker right through to its full-on cold and wet resistant winter offer.

And we’ve given you our favourite deals from Evans Cycles and the pick of the crop from the online retailers in Sunday Trading.

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Walker Cup 2017: United States thrash Great Britain & Ireland 19-7

Dejected looking GB players at the closing ceremony of the Walker Cup

The United States won back amateur golf’s Walker Cup by thrashing Great Britain and Ireland 19-7 at the Los Angeles Country Club.

The match was tied at 2-2 after Saturday’s morning foursomes, but the home side dominated that afternoon’s singles to open an 8-4 lead.

They then won Sunday’s foursomes 3-1 and the final singles matches 8-2 to secure a comfortable victory.

The US regained a trophy they lost at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2015.

David Boote was the only British player to win a singles match on Sunday, while Robert MacIntyre and Scott Gregory both halved their matches.

Home teams have won 11 of the past 13 Walker Cups, with GB’s last win in America in 2001.

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Dana Santi – Challenging Mat Flow (25 mins) – Level 2/3


Get ready to have fun in this quick Mat workout with Dana Santi. She approaches the class as “overlooking the ugly” by taking the movements and doing them without worrying about perfection. She teaches wonderful variations and combinations that will challenge you in different way including the Series if Five, Neck Pull, and so much more!

What You’ll Need: Mat

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Florida’s Katie Schorr Sends Verbal Commitment to Louisville

Photo Courtesy: Southwest Aquatics Twitter (@SouthWestAquati)

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NEW COMMIT: The University of Louisville has added a verbal commitment from Katie Schorr to the Class of 2022. Schott is a senior at Monteverde, Florida’s Monteverde Academy. She trains at Winter Garden’s Southwest Stars Swim Club.

The sprint freestyler’s top times are:

  • 50 Free 22.81
  • 100 Free 49.23
  • 200 Free 1:47.77

Schorr has had a successful high school swimming career. At the Florida High School 1A State Championships she was a double winner in the 50 and 100 freestyle in 2015 before finishing second and third in the 100 and 200 freestyles in 2016.

At the 2017 ACC Championships Schorr would have slipped into the 50 freestyle C final by .02 with her best time. She also would have been a 100 and 200 freestyle C finalist, just missing out on a B final swim in the longer event. Louisville’s top freestyler Mallory Comerford will be a senior when Schorr gets to Louisville. Freestylers Casey Fanz, Nastja Govejsek, and Jillian Visscher will overlap with Schorr for two years, giving her a great group of training partners.

Alena Krausanother Florida native, is also verbally committed to the Cards. Michigan’s Annette Schultz has very similar 100 and 200 freestyle times to Schorr. She’ll also suit up in 2018.

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Rafael Nadal wins US Open with straight-set win over Kevin Anderson

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal won his third US Open and 16th Grand Slam title with a one-sided victory over South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in New York.

The world number one powered to a 6-3 6-3 6-4 victory in Sunday’s final at Flushing Meadows.

The Spaniard, 31, has now won two Slams in the same year for the first time since 2013, having won the French Open in June.

More to follow.

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Hewett loses US Open wheelchair singles final

Alfie Hewett

Britain’s Alfie Hewett was beaten 6-2 4-6 6-3 by France’s Stephane Houdet in the US Open wheelchair singles final.

Hewett had hoped to add the title to the doubles trophy he won on Saturday.

But Hewett, who won his maiden Grand Slam singles trophy at the French Open this summer, succumbed to fatigue.

Hewett, 19, beat compatriot Gordon Reid in a three-hour semi-final on Saturday before teaming up with the Scot to defeat 46-year-old Houdet and Nicolas Peifer in the doubles final later on.

“Congratulations to Steph for a great final,” said Hewett. “I just didn’t have enough in the tank after such an exhausting singles and doubles yesterday.

“But I’m proud to be in the final in my first time here. There’s a lot of positives to take and hopefully I can be back next year.”

The teenager was outplayed by Houdet in the opening set but recovered from a break down in the second to level when the Frenchman double-faulted.

However, Hewitt failed to hold his serve once in the final set and Houdet clinched his first Grand Slam singles title in four years.

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Diego Ulissi wins GP Montréal from late breakaway group

The Italian thwarted the sprinters by beating Jesus Herrada and Tom-Jelte Slagter from a breakaway group in the Canadian race

Diego Ulissi took victory in the second Canadian WorldTour race of the weekend, the GP Montréal, sprinting to the line ahead of rivals from a late breakaway group.

The Italian, who took third in the race behind Greg Van Avermaet and Peter Sagan in last year’s edition, made no mistake this year as he jumped into a move of 16 riders that broke clear with around 16km to go.

That group, thanks to the attritional climbs of the circuit race, five kilometres later that group was down to just six, including Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal), Jesus Herrada (Movistar), Tom-Jelte Slagter (Cannondale-Drapac), Jan Bakelants (Ag2r La Mondiale) and Ulissi.

They were able to hold a 25 second gap to the main peloton which contained the likes of Sagan and Van Avermaet, but they remained disorganised.

Attacks from that group from the likes of Sergio Henao (Team Sky) and Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) failed to make an impact, while a move from Sagan was short lived as no-one wanted to work with the world champion.

Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) also tried his best to bring things back together, but by the time the break had reached two kilometres remaining and had 15 seconds, it was too late.

Gallopin was the first to make a move with 1.5km to go, and it looked to be a good one until the tight hairpin turn towards the finishing straight saw the other breakaway rider get back on.

Gallopin was then dropped in the final uphill run to the line, with Bakelants putting a dig in early. Herrada and Slagter held on behind but never looked like threatening Ulissi, who came from behind Bakelants and launched his sprint with perfect timing to take victory.

Herrada then grabbed second as Bakelants faded, with Slagter taking the final podium spot.

Greg Van Avermaet was able to save some face by winning the sprint from the main bunch 16 seconds back, with Michael Matthews (Sunweb) and Sagan following in.


Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal (205.7km)

1. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates, in 5-22-29
2. Jesus Herrada (Esp) Movistar
3. Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac
4. Jan Bakelants (Bel) Ag2r La Mondiale, all same time
5. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo, at 6s
6. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Soudal, at 11s
7. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing, at 16s
8. Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb
9. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
10. Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Cannondale-Drapac, all same time

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Jack Gray Stays In State With Verbal Commitment to UConn

Photo Courtesy: Jack Gray

NEW COMMIT: The University of Connecticut has received a verbal commitment from Jack Gray. Gray is primarily a freestyler for the Westport/Weston YMCA. He is a senior at Trumball High School.

His top times are:

  • 100 Fly 51.83
  • 200 Free 1:40.48
  • 500 Free 4:33.71
  • 1000 Free 9:24.58
  • 1650 Free 15:59.05

At the 2017 YMCA Nationals Gary earned points in the 200, 500, and 1000 freestyle, finishing in the top 16 in the 200 and the 1000. At the 2017 American Athletic Conference Championship Gray would have been a multiple event scorer. His top mile time would have finished ninth, just out touching the Huskies’ Anthony Dell’Isola. He’ll be a senior Gray’s freshman year. Gray’s 100 fly would have put him in the C final.

Gray told Swimming World,

“The moment I stepped on Campus, I knew that it was the place I wanted to spend the next four years. The team as a whole was very supportive of each other in and out of the pool which is exactly what I wanted. The academic supports that UConn offers is over the top, which will help me succeed as a student! Additionally, the direction that the program is heading towards under the guidance of Coach Chris, Coach Tim, and Coach Christa made me have an even bigger desire to commit to UConn. I am very excited to attend UConn to be apart of such an amazing up and coming program! Go Huskies!”

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US Open men's final: Rafael Nadal set for Kevin Anderson challenge

Rafael Nadal and Kevin Anderson

US Open men’s final
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: Sunday, 10 September Time: 21:00 BST
BBC coverage: Live radio and text commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, the BBC Sport website and app.

Top seed Rafael Nadal will start as a strong favourite when he takes on South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in Sunday’s US Open final at 21:00 BST.

The Spaniard, bidding for a 16th Grand Slam title, will play in his 23rd major final, but Anderson is making his debut in a Slam final.

The pair, both 31, have known each other since junior days, and Nadal has won all four previous meetings.

“I’m happy for him because I know him since we were 12,” said Nadal.

“It’s great to see him in a final of one of the most important events of the year.”

Nadal and Anderson

‘I am happy if I am healthy’

Nadal has enjoyed a spectacular resurgence in 2017, reaching the Australian Open final before winning his first major title for three years at the French Open, and last month regaining the number one ranking.

He now has the chance to add a third US Open victory to those of 2010 and 2013, on the hard courts which he has found so punishing on his knees throughout his career.

“For me, what is more important than winning Slams is to be happy,” said Nadal.

“I am happy if I am healthy and happy if I feel competitive in most of the weeks that I am playing, and that’s what happened this year.

“Of course winning or losing that final is a big change, but I am very happy about all the things that happen to me and I am going to fight to win another title here.

“But it’s still been a great season for me.”

Nadal was in magnificent form in his semi-final win over Juan Martin del Potro, winning the battle of the forehands with 25 winners off his favourite side.

At 6ft 8in tall, Anderson’s serve is his major weapon – he leads the tournament with 114 aces – and the South African has been more aggressive with his ground game in New York.

He has hit 250 winners off his forehand to Nadal’s 201 after six matches.

“I am playing well almost the whole season,” said Nadal.

“I was playing so-so at the beginning of the tournament, and I have been playing better and better every day.

“Now remains the last match against a very tough opponent, and I need to be ready for it.

“He’s a huge player with an unbelievable serve and he plays so well on these kinds of surfaces.

“It’s probably the most important match for me that remains of this year, so I’m going to try to play my best.”

‘I knew in my mind there was opportunity’

Anderson took advantage of a rare moment in the bottom half of the draw, with no Grand Slam finalists left after Marin Cilic was beaten in round three.

Second seed Andy Murray withdrew on the eve of the tournament through injury, before the likes of Cilic, fourth seed Alexander Zverev and seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov lost early.

Kevin Anderson

“I knew in my mind there was opportunity there, but I must be honest, I didn’t focus really too much on that,” said Anderson.

“We are sort of accustomed to the few guys doing well, exceptional consistency.

“It’s tough beating those guys because they have had so much experience at this level.

“Even with them out, there have still been a lot of challenges I’ve had to face throughout this week. I have faced some of the best tennis players in the world.”

Anderson, 31, has struggled with injuries throughout his career, a hip problem putting him out of the Australian Open and leg and elbow issues forcing withdrawals since then.

A photo of a young Nadal and Anderson

“I feel like in the last while, definitely things have turned around,” he said.

“I think it started on the clay courts, getting more matches under my belt. I just feel like I have been constantly taking steps in the right direction.”

The ecstatic South African climbed into the stands to celebrate with his team after his semi-final win over Pablo Carreno Busta, but knows he will need to play the match of his life if he is to repeat that journey.

“Nadal is one of the greatest competitors in sports, period,” said Anderson.

“He’s an amazing fighter. He really controls the court well, the few times I have played him.

“I really need to be dominant and control proceedings as much as possible, because if you let him do it, it’s very difficult.”

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'That's insane' – six-week journey from world number 957 to US Open champion

Sloane Stephens

Sloane Stephens was planning to spend Saturday night in New York celebrating with Madison Keys, hours after beating her friend to a first Grand Slam title.

The 24-year-old American, ranked 83rd until Monday, thrashed 15th seed Keys 6-3 6-0 in just 61 minutes to complete a scarcely believable return from injury.

Asked if she would be buying the drinks, Stephens confirmed: “Yes, a lot of them apparently. We are having a little celebration and she is coming.”

Just 69 days after returning from an 11-month injury lay-off, and six weeks since her ranking dropped to 957, Stephens became only the fifth unseeded woman to win a Grand Slam singles title in the Open era.

And she later revealed it was boredom as much as nerves that threatened to upset her equilibrium during the 48 hours between semi-final and final at Flushing Meadows.

“I was literally in my room twiddling my thumbs,’ she said. “I was looking at car reviews last night on Auto Trader, like literally. That’s how bored I was. I didn’t have anything to do.”

Stephens admitted that the nerves finally took hold as she stepped out onto Arthur Ashe Stadium – but a little over an hour later her eyes were bulging as a cheque for $3.7m (£2.8m) was handed to her and she was announced as a Grand Slam champion.

She said: “There are no words to describe how I got here, because if you told someone this story they’d be, like, ‘that’s insane’.”

‘There is no positive to not being able to walk’

Sloane Stephens quote

It is four years since Stephens first grabbed worldwide headlines when she beat compatriot Serena Williams in the Australian Open quarter-finals.

The likes of NBA stars Shaquille O’Neal and Dirk Nowitzki, and singer John Legend, congratulated her on social media, and a star had seemingly been born.

In the event, progress was harder going until 2016 when she won three titles, cementing her place in the top 30 and apparently on the up.

A right foot stress fracture halted that momentum, forcing her to withdraw from the US Open last August, and she would not return until Wimbledon.

Surgery followed in January and for the next 16 weeks Stephens was on crutches and unable to put any pressure on her foot.

Just a month before Wimbledon, she was still wearing a protective boot.

“There is no positive to not being able to walk and being on one leg,” said Stephens. “That’s not fun for anyone.”

Finally, Stephens stepped back on court in July – and first-round defeats at Wimbledon and in Washington were entirely predictable. Her ranking plummeted to 957.

What followed was, in her own words on Saturday night, “insane”.

The victory over Keys was her 15th in 17 matches, the kind of form shown by someone vying to be number one rather than avoid slipping outside the top 1,000.

“When I had surgery, I was not thinking that I would be anywhere near a US Open title,” she said.

“Nor did I think I was going to be anywhere near the top 100.”

‘Sloane’s been amazing with adversity’

Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens

Sybil Smith made her tournament debut in the player box for the final as her daughter made history.

“It was nice that we got it right for the two weeks, and I came out with the title,” said Stephens.

It is eight years since Stephens attended her father’s funeral on the eve of the US Open, after he died in a car accident in Louisiana.

Estranged from the family, John Stephens had been a running back in the NFL for the New England Patriots, the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs.

But it was her mother, Sybil, an all-American swimmer, who brought up Stephens, and that included introducing the nine-year-old to tennis.

“Obviously my whole life my mum has been very supportive,” said Stephens. “She’s been in my corner the whole time.

“I have had a lot of ups and a lot of downs – and some really low downs – and throughout that, my mum has been there 100% with me.”

It was at a tennis academy in her native Florida that Stephens learned the game, and also where she met Laura Robson as an 11-year-old.

The British number four, 23, was clearly moved on Saturday night by seeing two of her friends and contemporaries on the US Open presentation stage, posting on social media: “Who’s cutting onions?”

Robson might use both women as inspiration for her own struggle back up the rankings following injury.

Stephens has spent as much time in 2017 as a TV presenter on a US tennis channel – what Keys described as “her second job” – as she has on court, helping fill her time during the 11-month injury lay-off.

Describing herself as in “a sad place”, the television work proved to be a boost to morale.

Paul Annacone, ex-coach of Pete Sampras, worked with Stephens for eight months in 2014, and again on her TV work this year. He believes the extended break from tennis had some benefit.

“I think it has helped Sloane become more focused and realise that the window is closing, ever so slightly,” he told BBC Radio 5 live.

“That’s allowed her to go on court with a much more relentless ability to compete and deal with adversity.

“I think historically she has got a little bit nervous in stages, and then when adversity has set in she’s struggled a little bit to compete through it.

“This summer, Sloane’s been amazing with adversity.”

The semi-final victory over fellow American Venus Williams in New York took her record in three-set matches this summer to 8-0.

Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys

‘He should have got a hat-trick’

Stephens will not be short of family and friends, including Keys, to celebrate with in New York.

Her coach, Kamau Murray, and team have exuded calm, happily posing with fans in the public plaza at Flushing Meadows earlier in the week.

It is unlikely Serena Williams joined the party eight days after giving birth to her first child, but the 23-time Grand Slam champion posted her support on social media before the final.

“There are NO words to describe how proud and how happy I am,” Williams said on Twitter.

One person absent from the player box on Arthur Ashe Stadium was Stephens’ boyfriend, Jozy Altidore, a former forward for Sunderland in the Premier League, now leading the line for Toronto FC.

Otherwise engaged in MLS action against San Jose, he revealed that he found out the result of the final from his mother in the stands at half-time.

Altidore then scored twice in the second half of a 4-0 win.

“That’s really good,” said Stephens, before adding: “He should have got a hat-trick. It would have been such a good day. Goodness.”

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