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Matthew Glaetzer: ‘I'm treating this like a little injury. Cancer won’t hold me back’ | Kieran Pender
Posted on Monday November 18, 2019

Just weeks after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer, Australia’s Olympic medal hopeful is focused on upcoming Track World Cups

“It definitely rocks you.” Australian track cycling star Matthew Glaetzer is reflecting on a “whirlwind” month that has seen his preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics derailed by a cancer diagnosis. “When you hear the ‘C’ word – you always think it won’t happen to you, but suddenly you have to deal with it yourself,” he tells Guardian Australia.

Glaetzer is Australia’s best male track sprinter at the moment, with two world championship titles and three Commonwealth Games gold medals to his name. But Olympic success has eluded him. Once at London 2012 and twice at Rio 2016, Glaetzer finished fourth – a bronze medal agonisingly out of reach. “I was feeling confident I could get the job done in Tokyo,” he says. “I believed I could finally clinch a medal at the Olympics.”

Related: Shane Sutton ‘constantly’ on Richard Freeman’s case, tribunal hears

Related: Matthew Glaetzer keeps focus on Tokyo Olympics despite cancer surgery

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Freeman case is great theatre but is it a couple of bad apples – or a barrel? | Sean Ingle
Posted on Monday November 18, 2019

Neither Shane Sutton nor Dr Richard Freeman comes out well from the GMC tribunal but it invites wider questions about the whole culture of British Cycling and UK Sport

Everyone who has met Shane Sutton has a story. Here’s one of mine. During a UK Sport planning meeting for the 2016 Olympics, discussions turned to whether British Cycling could win medals in every event in Rio. “We’ve got more chance of the queen farting than us giving you 18 medals,” Sutton replied. Unsurprisingly Sutton also later told me that “all the performance directors were sitting round the table thinking: ‘Shit, he’s a bit blunt.’”

You don’t say. So the Australian’s performance at Dr Richard Freeman’s medical tribunal last week – sample line: “You are telling the press I can’t get a hard-on, my wife wants to testify that you are a bloody liar” – before storming out wasn’t exactly a shock, even if it made for jaw-dropping theatre.

Related: Shane Sutton ‘constantly’ on Richard Freeman’s case, tribunal hears

One wonders what Jess Varnish makes of it all, given she paid a heavy price for calling out Sutton in 2016?

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In brief: The Greatest: The Times and Life of Beryl Burton; Homeland; Beautiful Place – review
Posted on Sunday November 17, 2019

William Fotheringham hails a trailblazing cyclist, Walter Kempowski explores the eastern European psyche, and Amanthi Harris explores notions of home and identity

William Fotheringham
YouCaxton, £20, pp314

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Shane Sutton ‘constantly’ on Richard Freeman’s case, tribunal hears
Posted on Friday November 15, 2019

• Former colleague details ‘monumental fallout’ between pair
• Sutton accused Freeman of being a whistleblower, witness says

The former British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton was “constantly” on Dr Richard Freeman’s case and accused him of being a whistleblower to UK Sport over claims that Jess Varnish was bullied, a medical tribunal has heard.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester was also told about the funding of a physiotherapy course for a British Cycling carer with whom Sutton was allegedly having a relationship.

Related: British Cycling and Team Sky kept Viagra for riders’ ‘nerve issues’

Related: Q&A: What is at stake at Richard Freeman’s medical tribunal?

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British Cycling and Team Sky kept Viagra for riders’ ‘nerve issues’
Posted on Thursday November 14, 2019

• Dr Steve Peters gave evidence at Dr Richard Freeman’s tribunal
• Claims both organisations put success over riders’ welfare

British Cycling and Team Sky kept a stock of Viagra for riders in a cabinet because riding for so long gave them “nerve issues”, Dr Richard Freeman’s medical tribunal was told on Thursday.

On another day of revelations at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester it was also claimed both organisations put glory before athlete welfare and employed two senior staff members who could not be trusted.

Related: Shane Sutton will not return to Richard Freeman tribunal after walkout

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Raymond Poulidor obituary
Posted on Wednesday November 13, 2019

French cyclist who achieved a record eight podium finishes in the Tour de France but never wore the leader’s yellow jersey

Raymond Poulidor, who has died aged 83, became France’s most popular cycle racer – and arguably its most best-loved sportsman – through his valiant, near-perennial failure to win the country’s national Tour over 15 years between 1962 and 1976, and in spite of the fact that he never wore the race leader’s yellow jersey.

As late as summer 2019, he was still travelling on the Tour, more warmly applauded than any of the current stars, and for the French at least, Poulidor became synonymous even outside cycling with any brave yet unrewarded effort to reach the highest honour.

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Shane Sutton will not return to Richard Freeman tribunal after walkout
Posted on Wednesday November 13, 2019

• GMC will call Dr Steve Peters to appear as second witness
• Former British Cycling coach took exception to QC’s questioning

Shane Sutton, the former head coach of British Cycling and Team Sky, has refused to return to Dr Richard Freeman’s medical tribunal despite efforts to persuade him to change his mind after he stormed out on Tuesday.

Sutton was the General Medical Council’s star witness in its case against Freeman, who faces charges that he ordered the banned substance Testogel in order to dope an unnamed cyclist.

Related: Shane Sutton storms out of medical tribunal after denying doping and lying

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Kieran Modra, five-time Paralympic champion, killed while riding bike in Adelaide
Posted on Wednesday November 13, 2019

The visually-impaired 47-year-old was hit by a car near Gawler and died at the scene

The Australian five-time Paralympic gold medallist Kieran Modra has been killed while riding his bike north of Adelaide.

The visually-impaired 47-year-old was hit by a car near Gawler about 7am on Wednesday and died at the scene, while the driver was not injured but taken to hospital as a precaution.

Related: Yuendumu police shooting: ‘justice for Walker' rallies widen to Canberra and Darwin

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Shane Sutton storms out of medical tribunal after denying doping and lying
Posted on Tuesday November 12, 2019

  • Sutton denied bullying Dr Freeman into ordering Testogel
  • ‘I have never ordered any Testogel, I swear’
  • Ex-Team Sky head coach said he passed 100 drugs tests

After multiple bombshells during two hours of dramatic testimony Shane Sutton, the Australian former head coach of British Cycling and Team Sky, stormed out of a medical tribunal on Tuesday having denied he was a serial liar, a bully and a doper.

Earlier Sutton had accused his former colleague Dr Richard Freeman, who is the defendant in a fit-to-practise case, of being spineless and a drunk whom others in British Cycling wanted dismissed.

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Shane Sutton testimony at Freeman tribunal delayed by legal arguments
Posted on Monday November 11, 2019

• Sutton expected to give evidence on Tuesday
• Tribunal assessing Freeman’s suitability to practise medicine

Shane Sutton’s eagerly awaited testimony at the Dr Richard Freeman medical tribunal was delayed by hours of legal argument behind closed doors on Monday.

Sutton, who was formerly the head coach at British Cycling and Team Sky, is expected to give evidence on Tuesday to the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester, which is assessing Freeman’s suitability to continue to practise medicine.

Related: Dr Richard Freeman’s lawyer demands newspaper hands over Sutton affidavit

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Matthew Glaetzer keeps focus on Tokyo Olympics despite cancer surgery
Posted on Sunday November 10, 2019

  • Australian diagnosed with thyroid cancer last month
  • Religion helping track cyclist deal with diagnosis

Australian track cycling star Matthew Glaetzer is targeting two World Cup rounds next month, despite his ongoing cancer treatment, and the the two-time world champion remains focused on next year’s Tokyo Olympics after having surgery last week for thyroid cancer.

British cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy has joined Australian teammates in posting messages of support on social media for Glaetzer in the wake of the weekend’s news. Glaetzer was diagnosed late last month after neck soreness, which the London and Rio Olympian put down at first to strength training. But when the problem did not improve, tests showed the seriousness of the problem.

Related: ‘Do or die’: Australian cycling in limbo amid landmark governance reform | Kieran Pender

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Dr Richard Freeman’s lawyer demands newspaper hands over Sutton affidavit
Posted on Friday November 08, 2019

• British Cycling’s former head lodged file in Daily Mail safe
• It contains a number of lies, alleges Mary Rourke QC

Dr Richard Freeman’s medical tribunal took an extraordinary twist on Friday when his lawyer made a legal request to the Daily Mail to hand over a secret affidavit from Shane Sutton, the former head coach of British Cycling and Team Sky, that she claimed was “totally inconsistent” with evidence Sutton had given to a parliamentary inquiry into doping in sport.

Mary O’Rourke, the QC acting for Freeman, said the affidavit was held in the managing editor of the newspaper’s safe as “an insurance policy against any potential claims for defamation by Sir Bradley Wiggins, Freeman or Sir Dave Brailsford” and that it contained “a number of lies”. Sutton had also been Wiggins’ personal coach, a key cog in his Tour de France victory in 2012, before the two men fell out.

Related: Former Team Sky doctor’s QC to question credibility of head coach

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Former Team Sky doctor’s QC to question credibility of head coach
Posted on Thursday November 07, 2019

• O’Rourke will question the credibility of Shane Sutton
• Former British Cycling head of medicine may be called

The integrity and credibility of Shane Sutton, the former British Cycling and Team Sky head coach, has been called into question on the second day of Richard Freeman’s medical tribunal.

Mary O’Rourke QC, representing Freeman, said she had been approached this week by individuals with information against Sutton, one of the key witnesses against Freeman, and that she would be going into Sutton’s “integrity, credibility and various other issues” during the hearing at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester.

Related: Former Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman to admit he told ‘a lot of lies’

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Rugby, races and the rumble in the jungle: the best books on the biggest days in sport
Posted on Saturday November 02, 2019

Ahead of the rugby world cup final, Nicholas Wroe celebrates sporting landmarks in literature

The presence of South Africa in today’s rugby world cup final against England is undoubtedly a source of great pride for the team and their supporters. But no matter how thrilling the match, or whatever the result, the occasion will never match the drama, emotion, cultural symbolism and political impact of their appearance in the 1995 final. They played at Ellis Park, Johannesburg, the spiritual home of Afrikaner rugby and, by implication, white supremacy, South Africa beat New Zealand that day. More importantly Nelson Mandela, president for just over a year, chose to greet the teams and present the trophy wearing the green-and-gold jersey of the once-hated Springboks, and in so doing established a key staging post on the journey to a post-apartheid society. John Carlin’s gripping account of the event, Playing the Enemy, later made into the film Invictus, skilfully probes the politics and personalities behind that day to show how it became one of the most potent political moments of the century.

Cup finals in fiction are comparatively rare – and what novelist would dare concoct such pitch-perfect choreography and moral courage as Mandela’s intervention – but JL Carr’s How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won the FA Cup is a minor classic. On the surface a daft tale about how a village team beat the big boys and made it all the way to Wembley, it is also a sly state of the nation novel that, with eerie prescience, challenges media and metropolitan pretensions from the viewpoint of the neglected and patronised rural edges of England.

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Former Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman to admit he told ‘a lot of lies’
Posted on Tuesday October 29, 2019

• Freeman accused of purchasing testosterone for unnamed rider
• Former British Cycling employee could lose his doctor’s licence

Richard Freeman, the former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor, will admit to telling “a lot of lies” and supplying banned testosterone to a senior figure in both organisations, an independent medical tribunal heard on Tuesday.

During preliminary discussions held before the case is due to formally open next week, Freeman’s lawyer, Mary O’Rourke QC, confirmed for the first time that her client would acknowledge he ordered 30 sachets of Testogel, a product banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, to be sent to the Manchester velodrome used by both teams in May 2011.

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Mark Cavendish’s sunset years deserve to be champagne supernovas | Richard Williams
Posted on Monday October 28, 2019

Three-year illness and injury nightmare looks to be over as 34‑year‑old cyclist gets back on the podium and is reunited with a former mentor in a team part owned by F1’s McLaren

Amid the lights and noise – loud music, louder cheering – of the Six Days of London meeting, Mark Cavendish rediscovered what winning feels like. This was not the sunlit splendour of the Champs Élysées, where he triumphed in the climactic stage of the Tour de France four years in a row with the eyes of the world on him. It was the very different environment of the Lee Valley VeloPark velodrome, where the crowd’s hot breath is on a rider’s neck as he circles an infernal oval for lap after lap, calculating strategies while trying to retain enough energy for a final lung-scorching sprint.

By the time the event wound up on Sunday night, Cavendish and his riding partner, the Welshman Owain Doull, were not on the top step of the podium. They had been pipped for victory in the general classification by Elia Viviani and Simone Consonni. But earlier in the week’s points-gathering programme they had won the 40-lap Derny races on Tuesday and Thursday nights, the Madisons on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, the team elimination races on Thursday and Saturday and the 60-lap Derny final on Sunday, in which Cavendish swept past Viviani and the Australian sprint ace Caleb Ewan in the final 50 metres to take the win.

Related: ‘Do or die’: Australian cycling in limbo amid landmark governance reform | Kieran Pender

In his mid-thirties, Cavendish is unlikely to be the rider he was but Ellingworth knows which buttons to press

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‘Do or die’: Australian cycling in limbo amid landmark governance reform | Kieran Pender
Posted on Monday October 21, 2019

Opposition to governance unification, along with the high voting thresholds, risks derailing nation-wide changes

Cycling in Australia faces unprecedented upheaval, with voting underway to unify the 19 separate entities responsible for the sport across the country. While the proposed restructuring is intended to facilitate better outcomes for elite and recreational cyclists, create “one voice” for advocacy and improve the sport’s financial position, resistance to the reform risks leaving cycling in disarray.

“This is a real opportunity to create significant change for the better,” says Scott McGrory OAM, an Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist who now works as a race director. “Doing nothing is, quite simply, stupid. This is a ‘do or die’ moment for Australian cycling.”

Related: Downpours, forensic analysis and lots of pasta: on the team bus at the cycling worlds | Kieran Pender

Related: World time trial champion Rohan Dennis has contract terminated

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Well-dressed dogs and a Thai procession: Monday's best photos
Posted on Monday October 21, 2019

The Guardian’s picture editors select photo highlights from around the world

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Golden aura around marginal gains is beginning to look a little tarnished | Tim Lewis
Posted on Sunday October 20, 2019

Comfy mattresses and the proper washing of hands prove no match for extra-special shoes

I don’t remember much about reading Bradley Wiggins’s last autobiography, his 16th I believe, but one detail has stayed with me. It was an incident from around 2011 or 2012 when, having shed six kilos, “Twiggo” started to be considered a serious contender for the Tour de France. When he left home to compete in the race, his preparations were so forensic that it was decided he should not lift his cases into the car taking him to the airport. Why risk an injury now after months of brutal training and near-starvation? Cath, the long‑suffering Mrs Wiggins, did the honours.

Looking back, this was perhaps the period when we fell hard for marginal gains. The theory was developed by Dave Brailsford, the wonkish head of British cycling on the track and Team Sky on the road. The core principle was that if you made 1% improvements in multiple areas, you could reap significant rewards overall.

Related: Eliud Kipchoge makes history by running sub two-hour marathon

Related: I can go quicker, says Brigid Kosgei after smashing Paula Radcliffe’s world record

Related: Armchair viewers get a glimpse of the future and it looks to be laser-guided | Richard Williams

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Tour de France 2020 hogs the south and favours day-to-day climbers | William Fotheringham
Posted on Tuesday October 15, 2019

Route described as ‘the toughest’ by Chris Froome as race organisers plan to use all the mountain ranges and include only one time trial

The Tour de France’s search for novelty and excitement in recent years has taken it in one direction: hillier, shorter, more intense, with occasional ventures off the Tarmac. The 2020 route heads down that road at breakneck speed, with only one time trial – and that up a severe climb – only one stage over 200 kilometres, and so many climbs that they risk becoming interchangeable, a blur of constant action.

“The toughest Tour I’ve ever seen,” said Chris Froome, who hopes to return from a severe crash to try for his fifth title, as long as his teammate Egan Bernal does not snatch the leadership of Ineos from him. The toughness comes not so much in the actual volume of climbing – there are relatively few classic set-piece ascents in the Alps and Pyrenees, no Mont Ventoux, no Alpe d’Huez – but in the constant day-to-day intensity that will make it virtually impossible for the race to settle down. “It’s more a mid-mountain all‑rounder route. I don’t think that makes it more difficult to control,” said Froome’s boss, Dave Brailsford.

Related: Downpours, forensic analysis and lots of pasta: on the team bus at the cycling worlds | Kieran Pender

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