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Chris Froome to make return from horror crash at UAE Tour next month
Posted on Wednesday January 22, 2020

• Cyclist suffered multiple broken bones last summer
• Froome targeting record-equalling fifth Tour de France

Chris Froome will make his return to racing at the UAE Tour next month as he continues his recovery from career-threatening injuries suffered last June. Froome, 34, suffered multiple broken bones including a fractured right femur, a broken hip and fractured ribs when he crashed into a wall at high speed during a recon ride at the Critérium du Dauphiné last summer.

The seven-time Grand Tour winner has set himself the goal of being on the start line for the Tour de France in June, determined to pursue a record-equalling fifth Tour title. His long-awaited return to racing will come when he starts the week-long UAE Tour, which starts on 23 February.

Related: 'We want to start with a bang': Mitchelton-Scott shooting for the stars in 2020 | Kieran Pender

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Buy a classic sport photograph: penny farthing racing
Posted on Tuesday January 21, 2020

The latest in a Guardian Print Shop series featuring classic sports images from the likes of Gerry Cranham, Mark Leech and Tom Jenkins – yours to own for just £55 including free delivery

Imagine the perils of riding a penny farthing at high speed while wearing only a crude helmet. Suffice it to say, they were known as “boneshakers” for good reason. With front wheels which measured up to two metres in diameter, skilled riders could reach speeds up to 20mph if they pedalled furiously, but they risked “taking a header” or “coming a cropper” – being thrown unceremoniously over the moustache handlebars. Penny farthings were most popular in the late 19th century, prior to the advent of bicycles with link chains, and were ridden during many of the early one-hour distance records. This amusing image from London’s Herne Hill cycling track was actually shot by Gerry Cranham in 1963, as riders recreated the thrills of yesteryear.

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Amanda Spratt pipped by fast-finishing American in Women’s Tour Down Under
Posted on Monday January 20, 2020

  • US road race champion Winder wins overall honours
  • Spratt, third, dethroned after hat-trick of titles

Australian cycling queen Amanda Spratt’s reign in the Women’s Tour Down Under is over after American Ruth Winder took out overall honours. Simona Frapporti (Bepink) upstaged the big guns to win Sunday evening’s final stage around a tight Adelaide street circuit, with Lauren Stephens (Tibco-SVB) and Rushlee Buchanan (New Zealand) filling out the podium.

But US road race champion Winder did just enough to preserve her overall lead and become the first international rider to win the general classification in the five-year history of the women’s event.

Related: 'We want to start with a bang': Mitchelton-Scott shooting for the stars in 2020 | Kieran Pender

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'We want to start with a bang': Mitchelton-Scott shooting for the stars in 2020 | Kieran Pender
Posted on Thursday January 16, 2020

Ten years since their creation, the Australian cycling team is intent on becoming a World Tour force

As origin stories go, it is elegant for its simplicity. In July 2010, Gerry Ryan was at the Tour de France. A cycling fan since childhood, the wealthy businessman had a long history of supporting the sport – at the time he sponsored Australia’s Olympic cyclists. But as Ryan watched team cars pass him bearing flags from around the world, he had a realisation: his own nation’s symbol was absent. “We had 12 Australians riding the Tour that year,” Ryan says. “I thought, surely we should be able to put our own team together.”

He did. In the subsequent decade, Ryan, general manager Shayne Bannan and chief sports director Matt White would build one of the best cycling teams in the world. From an Australian-dominated starting point when Mitchelton-Scott debuted in Geelong in January 2012, the team has globalised, adding international riders, staff and wins. But the Australian flag remains etched on team cars. “We are a global team, with Australian DNA,” is a common Mitchelton-Scott mantra.

Related: Australian sensation Sarah Gigante primed for first year as pro cyclist | Simone Giuliani

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Australian sensation Sarah Gigante primed for first year as pro cyclist | Simone Giuliani
Posted on Thursday January 09, 2020

The 19-year-old has already added another title in Ballarat but bigger challenges await

Little more than a year ago, Sarah Gigante stunned the cycling world – and perhaps even herself – by riding across the line ahead of a peloton stacked with seasoned professionals to take out both the Under-23 and elite women’s title at the Australian Road National Championships. Now comes the small matter of defending those titles, but at least this time she’ll be carrying the confidence and expectation that stems from having race No 1 pinned to the back of your jersey.

Even attempting to secure last year’s Under-23 women’s national road race crown was an ambitious target for Gigante, given it was her first year out of the junior ranks. Overall victory in the combined Under-23 and elite race was completely unthinkable. More so because of the year she’d just had. On top of determinedly studying and pulling off a perfect year 12 score, she also battled her way back from a broken elbow, shoulder and wrist.

Related: Cycling in Australia at risk of fracturing amid claims of ‘open and robust dialogue’ | Kieran Pender

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Twenty athletes set to light up the Tokyo 2020 Olympics
Posted on Wednesday January 01, 2020

Our writers choose the Olympians likely to make the headlines at the most anticipated sporting event of the year

Seb Coe, who knows a thing or two about winning Olympic titles, believes Asher-Smith will be Team GB’s “poster girl” in Tokyo. Given her seamless upward trajectory and personality it would take a brave person to argue with his lordship. Last autumn the 24-year-old won three world championship medals, including the 200m title, making her the greatest British female sprinter in history. Next year she will have live chances of Olympic gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay – although Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Shaunae Miller-Uibo and the USA 4x100m team will have a thing or two (or three) to say about that. Sean Ingle

Related: Sports predictions for 2020: From Team GB’s medal haul to England’s Euro hopes | Sean Ingle

Related: Sport in 2020 calendar: your month-by-month guide to the year ahead

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20 for 2020: the unmissable sporting events over the next 12 months
Posted on Tuesday December 31, 2019

The Tokyo Olympics is the main event but with England in the Euros and Tiger Roll attempting an unprecedented third straight Grand National fans are spoilt for choice in 2020

An ever-fascinating tournament takes on an extra edge given it represents a post-World Cup reboot for the teams involved. Will England bear any scars from their defeat to South Africa in Yokohama? Will Wales – holders and grand-slam winners in 2019 – hit the ground running without Warren Gatland at the helm? Ireland likewise without Joe Schmidt? It all gets going in a matter of weeks, with England’s trip to Paris the standout match of the opening round.

Related: Football quiz: 12 months of goal celebrations from 2019

Related: Sports predictions for 2020: From Team GB’s medal haul to England’s Euro hopes | Sean Ingle

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Olympics, World Cups and more: Tom Jenkins' pictures of the decade
Posted on Monday December 30, 2019

The Guardian and Observer sport photographer picks his favourite images from the thousands he shot during the past 10 years

This is a collection of images I have shot during the last decade. I wasn’t selecting them because they were necessarily the biggest moments or the greatest stars – it was purely because I liked them as pictures and some had nice stories attached. What jumped out at me when choosing them is there should be far more sportswomen featured. The amount of women’s sport I cover has gradually increased but if I get to do a decade round-up in 2029, I want there to be a far more even balance between the sexes.

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World's richest cycling race puts keirin in spotlight before Olympics | Justin McCurry
Posted on Friday December 27, 2019

The winner of this weekend’s Keirin Grand Prix in Japan will take home nearly $1m but why has international success been elusive for the 2020 Olympic hosts in the event it invented?

Thousands of people armed with betting slips will pack into an ageing velodrome on the outskirts of Tokyo this weekend to watch nine cyclists compete for the title of Japan’s keirin champion.

Related: Katarina Johnson-Thompson: ‘I didn’t want to be at the Rio Olympics but I’m ready for Tokyo’

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Geraint Thomas worries Egan Bernal’s Tour victory could limit his ambitions
Posted on Wednesday December 18, 2019

• Welshman may have to play supporting role to fellow Ineos rider
• ‘He could have 10 or 12 years of being super-competitive’

Geraint Thomas has admitted his frustration that he may have to sacrifice his future personal ambitions for Egan Bernal, his Ineos teammate from Colombia who beat him in the 2019 Tour de France.

Speaking to the Guardian in advance of a BBC documentary covering his defence of his 2018 Tour de France title, the 33-year-old Welshman was asked if he found Bernal’s emergence as a Tour winner frustrating after he had already spent several years in the service of the prolific Grand Tour winner Chris Froome.

Related: Freeman tribunal adjourned and may not finish until October next year

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Cycling in Australia at risk of fracturing amid claims of ‘open and robust dialogue’ | Kieran Pender
Posted on Tuesday December 17, 2019

With the Olympics on the horizon, a landmark reform has turned ugly with a vote hanging in the balance

AusCycling was intended to bring together the fragmented sport. Instead, it has led to name-calling, social media spats and boardroom stoushes and, as the Olympics approach, the ongoing governance of cycling in Australia hangs in the balance. There is a real risk that, far from bringing together Australian cycling, AusCycling could tear it apart.

The initiative, led by Cycling Australia, Mountain Bike Australia and BMX Australia, proposed merging the three national sporting organisations (NSOs) and their state/territory constituents into a unified body. The proposal, its supporters argued, would lead to better outcomes for members, millions of dollars in annual savings for reinvestment and a brighter future for the sport across all disciplines. With the support of federal agency Sport Australia, and the promise of a $2.5m cash injection, the three NSOs put the vote to their members.

Related: Annette Edmondson crash can't stop Australia's cycling gold medal rush

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Jess Varnish wins right to appeal against verdict in British Cycling case
Posted on Tuesday December 17, 2019

  • First employment tribunal ruled Varnish was not an employee
  • Varnish: ‘I believe we’re doing the right thing by not giving up’

Jess Varnish has won the right to an appeal in her employment case against British Cycling and said: “I believe we’re doing the right thing by not giving up.”

Lawyers representing the former Olympic cyclist attended the Employment Appeals Tribunal in London on Tuesday and Justice Jennifer Eady ruled that Varnish did have the right to a full appeal on the question of her employment status with British Cycling, after an employment tribunal ruled against her in January of this year.

Related: Freeman tribunal adjourned and may not finish until October next year

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Freeman tribunal adjourned and may not finish until October next year
Posted on Monday December 16, 2019

• Case against former Team Sky doctor pushed back
• Richard Freeman’s health prevents testimony

The occasionally dramatic if sprawling medical tribunal of the former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman, which was due to be done and dusted last March, may not finish now until October 2020 after being adjourned yet again.

Dr Freeman, who faces being struck off after accepting 18 of 22 charges against him, including ordering 30 sachets of banned testosterone and lying about it to UK Anti-Doping, had been due to testify this week but had to pull out on Monday on grounds of ill health.

Related: Freeman legal team claim Sutton’s walkout cost chance to verify Cooke’s evidence

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'In third place, somebody's dog': canine chaos at Belgian cycling event – video
Posted on Monday December 16, 2019

A dog chased competitors at the Druivencross cyclocross race in Belgium on Sunday. The animal appeared to have escaped from its owners as its lead trailed behind. Several of the elite men's field were forced to take evasive action or stop completely when the boisterous canine continued the chase after the finish line as riders started another lap.

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Annette Edmondson crash can't stop Australia's cycling gold medal rush
Posted on Sunday December 15, 2019

  • Edmondson was on track for third gold before falling in Omnium
  • Crash left her with broken collarbone, surgery may be required

A crash that cruelly denied Annette Edmondson the chance of another medal, and left her with a broken collarbone, could not stop Australia winning the Brisbane World Cup track cycling round on Sunday.

Edmondson, 27, looked on track to add to her two gold tally at the three-day meet on the final night in Sunday’s Omnium before she fell heavily sitting in second spot midway through the four-event finale, the 20km points race.

Related: Cyclist Matt Glaetzer wins silver in last meet before cancer treatment

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Cyclist Matt Glaetzer wins silver in last meet before cancer treatment
Posted on Sunday December 15, 2019

  • Glaetzer podiums in Keirin at World Cup round in Brisbane
  • Tokyo Olympics still a target despite thyroid cancer diagnosis

Gold may have evaded Australia’s Matt Glaetzer but he still won more admirers by claiming a gutsy silver at the Track Cycling World Cup round in Brisbane, his final meet before receiving cancer treatment.

While Australia celebrated women’s Madison gold at Anna Meares Velodrome, Glaetzer also inspired after being pipped at the finish in the Keirin medal race on Saturday night. Glaetzer dominated to win his two heats but had to settle for silver after being reeled in by fast-finishing Colombian Kevin Santiago Quintero Chavarro, with Czech Tomas Babek third.

Related: Shake-up bears fruit as Australia’s cyclists get back on track | Kieran Pender

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Tribunal refuses to throw out charges against ex-British Cycling doctor
Posted on Friday December 13, 2019

  • Dr Freeman’s QC argued there was insufficient evidence
  • But panel chair said there was a ‘case to answer’ on four charges

A bid to have the remaining charges against former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman thrown out was dismissed by a tribunal on Friday.

Dr Freeman’s lawyer Mary O’Rourke had argued there was insufficient evidence to proceed with charges brought by the General Medical Council that Dr Freeman ordered testosterone gel to British Cycling headquarters in 2011 knowing or believing it was to be given to an athlete for doping purposes.

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Freeman’s lawyer claims British Cycling coach covered up Sutton doping offence
Posted on Thursday December 12, 2019

• Freeman’s barrister makes explosive allegations at tribunal
• Shane Sutton says he never tested positive in career

Richard Freeman’s barrister has claimed a current British Cycling coach used a Coke can containing urine to try to help Shane Sutton cover up a doping offence during his riding career.

The allegation was among several against Sutton raised by the former British Cycling doctor’s barrister, Mary O’Rourke QC, during Dr Freeman’s medical tribuna lon Tuesday.

Related: Blow for Richard Freeman case after Sutton evidence ruled admissible

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Shake-up bears fruit as Australia’s cyclists get back on track | Kieran Pender
Posted on Thursday December 12, 2019

Rio dejection has given way to Tokyo hope with Australia tipped for success at this weekend’s Track Cycling World Cup in Brisbane

Australia’s track cyclists travelled to Rio de Janeiro in August 2016 with high hopes. The Australian Olympic Committee had predicted that the team would return from the Olympics with three gold medals. They had collected two gold, two silvers and a bronze medal just months earlier at the UCI Track World Championships. With the AOC and Australian Institute of Sport desperate to halt the nation’s slide down the Olympic medal tally, track cycling was seen as a safe bet.

They returned dejected. Two medals – one silver and one bronze – were all that Australia’s track cyclists had to show for millions of dollars of funding and thousands of hours of exertion at Cycling Australia’s high performance headquarters in Adelaide. “We did not have a great performance in Rio,” admits Steph Morton, who finished fourth in the team sprint. “It was hard to handle coming home,” says Annette Edmondson, part of the team pursuit squad that had their medal hopes dashed when they crashed in training.

Related: Rohan Dennis to make debut in Australia after signing for Team Ineos

Related: Hannah Dines on going public with her labia surgery: ‘It started a big conversation’

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Hannah Dines on going public with her labia surgery: ‘It started a big conversation’
Posted on Wednesday December 11, 2019

The Paralympic cyclist wrote about the damage the sport had caused her. The article caused an outcry, others with similar experiences contacted her – and manufacturers finally began designing saddles for women

The day after I wrote in the Guardian about how my life as a female cyclist, and Paralympian, led to me having reconstructive surgery of my vulva – all because saddles are not designed for women – a book arrived in the post. It was The Vagina Bible by Dr Jen Gunter. It was a gift from my mum, who had read the searing details about my labial surgery. She has always had a good sense of humour.

The response from other people was overwhelming. That is the thing when you share – people share back. When the first professional cyclist contacted me to tell me she had gone through the same thing, the relief was so profound that I cried. I can now say with certainty that there are other people like me who, due to the wrong kind of pressure, experienced a cycle of chronic inflammation and swelling. These are people for whom cycling is as necessary to life as breathing and they face an impossible dilemma.

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