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jethro's picture

Evans takes the Yellow Jersey in a tough race

The Maillot Jeune has gone to Australian Cadel Evans by 1 second over Frank Schleck in an extremely gruelling ride up the two massive unclassified climbs today.

evans Todays race from Pau to Hautacam included the highest pass for this years race in the Pyrenees, the pass over the Col du Tourmalet. Early attacks saw the leader Di Gregorio take a 6 minute lead into the race down hill between the two climbs. However the major action was in 2 places. The last 6 or 7 kms of the Col Du Tourmalet climb were the first breaking point as CSC rider Jens Voight pumped up the pace forcing Kirchen and may other favourites to be dropped. The race down into the valley offered little respite for these riders as they attempted to get back with the favourites, Evans, Sastre, Vandevelde, Menchov and Ricco.

jethro's picture

Riccardo Ricco is the cobra

Wow! what a rider. This guy Ricco showed his explosive uphill acceleration on the Super Besse a few days ago. Today he has showed it again with a long 4-5 kilometre sprint up a 8-10% gradient slope. I am extremely impressed with the speed at which he accelerated, and then the apparent ease with which he just kept going.  He reeled in all the people above him and then bolted for the summit of the Col d'Aspin.

imagesIt has been a magic few days watching the Tour De France and the big climbs have now started in the Pyrenees. I am watching Ricco now descending at a very rapid pace and holding my breath as he comes very close to the edge of the road on some corners at around 80-90 km / hour.

Tomorrow there is a massive climb over the Col du Tourmalet at over 2000 metres.

jethro's picture

Wimbledon 2008 Final

The rain has stopped, the sun is shining and it is Nadal, 2 sets to none and 4 games to 5, Nadal to serve. Roger needs to capitalise on Rafael's second serves. More importantly he needs to break his serve - and soon. Nadal double faults to give Roger deuce from a 40-0 start. Nadal plays wide and Roger misses down the line for Nadal's advantage. However a quick return of serve sets up a short ball that Roger puts away to bring back deuce. An ace brings up advantage for Nadal again, and then a forced error from Roger gives the game to Nadal. 5-5.

Photo Titled Nadal netplayRoger makes another unforced error to make it 15-15 and then double faults. However a successful challenge gives him another chance to bring up 40-15 with a nice overhead smash. He follows up with an Ace to bring up 6-5.

Nadal needs to win this service game to force a tie breaker, Roger needs to win to get the set. Faultless play from Nadal brings up 6-6 with a love game. Time for a tiebreaker.

jethro's picture

Sports fest

I have been absolutely spoilt for sport on TV this weekend.

Last night, Venus beat Serena in the Wimbledon ladies final and the Tour de France got away in 2008 for the first stage, a non prologue stage for the first time since 1967. A fascinating race as the breakaway group was reeled back in and the race won by Valverde in an almighty sprint.

b_06_fedNadal_01_reuters_t_melville Tonight I had a massive problem. 3 different channels broadcasting major sports events simultaneously. The Silverstone British Grand Prix, a very eventful race in the on and off again rain. Lewis Hamilton drove a very safe race to come out eventual winner. His tyre choice could have been questioned but proved the right combination in the end.

The second stage of the 2008 Tour de France was as interesting as yesterdays first stage and saw Thor Hushovd win in a close sprint.

Finally the men's Tennis. I didn't watch most of the first set, only switching over occasionally, but Roger Federer lost the first set to Nadal. The unthinkable continued with a second set taken by Rafael.

Roger came out firing in the third set knowing he needed an early break and to win 3 sets in a row. The last time Roger dropped the first two sets at Wimbledon was in 2002.