Cyclingnews Films presents: RUNNING WITH WOLVES – Excerpt

31 Jul

Cyclingnews Films is proud to present RUNNING WITH WOLVES, a documentary that goes behind the scenes at the biggest bike race in the world, the 2018 Tour de France, with the most successful team this year, Quick-Step Floors.

The film follows the success of Cyclingnews’ debut film, THE HOLY WEEK, which captured the emotions of the Cobbled Classics, and their second production, CRESCENDO, which highlighted the final week of the Giro d'Italia.

For their third production, Cyclingnews Films were granted access to Quick-Step Floors, a team that call themselves 'The Wolfpack', to follow riders and staff throughout the three weeks of the Tour, with interviews and behind the scenes footage as the team battled it out in the biggest and toughest sporting event on the planet.

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We follow as sprint ace Fernando Gaviria makes his Tour debut with double stage wins and as veteran riders Niki Terpstra and Philippe Gilbert switch between their duties to support the team as well as hunt stages.

There's also GC hopeful Bob Jungels and his quest to break into the top 10, and, of course, French superstar Julian Alaphilippe, whose swashbuckling style and desire to animate the race proved to be one of the standout stories of this compelling Tour de France, as he secured two stage wins and the coveted polka-dot jersey as the race's best mountain climber.

RUNNING WITH WOLVES trailer - from Cyclingnews Films - is now available to watch on Vimeo. Stay tuned for the full film, which is coming soon.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Former track and road star Andreas Kappes dies of heart failure

31 Jul

Retired pro cyclist Andreas Kappes, a former Giro d'Italia stage winner and Six Day star, died on Tuesday at the age of 52. The German suffered heart failure after having an allergic reaction to an insect bite, according to the German Cycling Federation.

Kappes got his start on the track like many Germans, becoming a junior world champion in 1983 in the points race. He took to the Six Day circuit, chalking up 24 victories throughout his career, but had equal success on the road.

The Bremen-born rider won the Omloop Het Volk in 1991, a stage of the Giro in 1988, and stages of Paris-Nice and the Tour de Suisse among others.

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His contemporary Johan Bruyneel remembered Kappes on Twitter, writing: "I'm shocked and saddened reading the tragic news that Andreas Kappes has passed away. Only 52 years old, always a classy guy. I've known Andreas since the amateur ranks when we were 18-19 years old. He was a tough rival on the six days velodrome circuit. R.I.P. brother."

Rolf Aldag called Kappes "tactically one of Germany's best racers", saying "To beat Andi you not only had to be better, you had to be lucky, too. He always worked hard and had morale, which made him a racer. As an athlete, he was very, very ambitious."

Kappes was not immune to the doping culture of his time, and served a six-month ban for nandrolone in 1997. He tested positive again in 2000, but was cleared after successfully arguing a contaminated food supplement caused his positive.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Horner set for Vuelta a Colombia with Team Illuminate

31 Jul

The seemingly ageless Chris Horner will continue his 'comeback' to racing at the upcoming Vuelta a Colombia, where the 46-year-old former winner of the Vuelta a Espana will compete with Illuminate, a US-registered Continental team.

Horner, who quit racing following the 2016 season and then sat out all of 2017 while trying to diagnose a lingering bronchial infection, returned to racing in June at the US Pro championships, where he ended up abandoning along with most of the peloton.

Following the US Pro race, Horner joined Illuminate at Romania's 2.1 Sibiu Cycling Tour in July, finishing 25th overall.

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Horner scored the biggest win of his career at the 2013 Vuelta a Espana, where the then-41-year-old took two stages and the overall victory ahead of Vincenzo Nibali and Alejandro Valverde. Horner moved from RadioShack to Lampre the following season but was kept out of the Vuelta by his team because of low cortisol levels.

In 2015 he signed with Illuminate precursor Airgas-Safeway and raced on the US domestic circuit, but the bronchial infection he picked up in the 2014 Tour de France continued to hamper his performances. Horner signed with Lupus Racing in 2016 and raced one season for the US Continental team before it folded at the end of the season.

Throughout 2017, Horner worked with multiple doctors to diagnose his bronchial problems, eventually concluding it was the byproduct of acid reflux that allowed fluids to flow into his lungs and cause the infection.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Swansea boss Graham Potter says bouncing straight back to the Premier League will not be straightforward

31 Jul

Swansea boss Graham Potter insists bringing the club straight back to the Premier League in his first season will not be easy.

The Swans were relegated to the Championship last season and appointed Potter as part of a bold restructure of the club.

Potter, 43, managed Swedish club Ostersund for eight years, winning three promotions and the Svenska Cupen while playing an attractive brand of football.

Potter is not getting ahead of himself at Swansea

However, the Englishman knows immediate success with his new club will be difficult.

“It’s not so straightforward. We’ve got to go through a transition, a restructure,” he told talkSPORT.

“For us, it’s not about worrying what’s going to happen in May.

“It’s about trying to focus on the next match which is Sheffield United away. That’s a difficult game and we’ll just concentrate on that.

“We know the Championship is very competitive, it’s a hugely challenging competition but that was the appeal of the job. The club had an identity, they lost it over a number of years, so the challenge now is to re-build that.”

Swansea announced the signings of Barrie McKay and Bersant Celina on Tuesday but look set to lose centre-back Alfie Mawson, who is negotiating personal terms with Fulham.

Potter was very successful in Sweden

Potter admits the club has made mistakes with transfers over the past few seasons, making it crucial they get it right this time round.

He added: “We’ve been working really, really hard to get the right players in. The recruitment and the playing style hasn’t necessarily been aligned over the last couple of years.

“A few mistakes have been made there which the club has admitted to.

“We need to try and bring the right players in and ones that are proud to play for Swansea City.”

American Cyclists Killed by ISIS In Tajikistan

31 Jul

“We wanted more peaceful pedaling through gorgeous landscapes, more sleeping in open fields under clear skies, more quiet sunsets, and more friendly people….” Those words introduce Simply Cycling, a blog written by Lauren Munoz and Jay Austin, the two American cyclists who were tragically attacked and killed on Sunday while riding through Danghara, a mountainous district in Tajikistan, 60 miles northeast of the capital city of Dushanbe. They were with five other cyclists they had met on their journey along the Pamir Highway, a bucket-list bike touring road that threads through the Pamir mountains of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.        

In a blurry and graphic video, a Daewoo sedan swerved from the opposite side of the road to hit the cyclists, one of whom is seen being catapulted off the road by the force of the impact. Witnesses say the assailants then jumped out of the car and stabbed the two Americans, as well as Markus Hummel, a cyclist from Switzerland, and Rene Wokke, a cyclist from the Netherlands, with knives. The three other cyclists survived the attack, at least one with injuries. The U.S. embassy reported that the ministry of internal affairs has detained one suspect and killed at least three others.

According to NPR, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack. On Monday, the Islamic State issued a bulletin through its news agency describing the attackers as “soldiers of the Islamic State.” According to the BBC, it also released a video with Tajik and Arabic subtitles of five young militant men, purportedly the attackers, sitting under a tree, pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Nothing was said in the video, however, of the specific attack on the cyclists.  

Austin was featured in a 2015 Washington Post article for his innovative problem-solving approach as the chief idea administrator at the Office of Strategic Management and Planning at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He left his the sustainable tiny house he built in Washington, D.C., and quit his job to pursue his round-the-world cycling dream.

According to her blog bio, Munoz grew up in California “occasionally cycling around the Rose Bowl” with her family, but didn’t become a serious cyclist until she moved to D.C. and became an avid bike commuter, “falling in love with the efficiency, accessibility, wellness, open air, vulnerability, community, intimacy, and joy of bicycle riding.”

Munoz and Austin started their journey in South Africa in July 2017, winding their way up to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, then flying to Morocco to pedal through eastern Europe before cycling through Central Asia. They planned to dip down to Australia and fly to South America where they would cycle back toward the United States.

Most of the couple’s blog posts express the joys of living simply from the seat of a bike. The final post, however, written by Austin from Kyrgyzstan on July 11, reads ominously:

“We don’t make it very far. A gold sedan skirts by us once more. It parks up ahead. This time, two men exit the vehicle. They stand in the middle of the road blocking our path. Pozhaluysta! the first man says, and I can't tell if it’s an earnest plea or a cruel sneer. In Russian, a lot of things can sound like a cruel sneer.

Nyet! we shout. Leave us alone!

Lauren’s in front and she threads her way in between the two men. She keeps going. I make to follow. I gnash on my pedals, lean to the left, and get in between them.

And then the man on the right pushes me off my bike.”  

2019 Cadillac Escalade

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Mazda finally gets on board with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto in U.S.

31 Jul
Mazda Apple CarPlay connectivityAnd then there were three—or maybe four. With Mazda's announcement Tuesday that its 2018 Mazda 6 mid-size sedan will soon be Apple CarPlay- and Android Auto-compatible (and retrofittable), just a handful of major new car brands lack support for iOS and one more isn't on board with Google. The holdouts? Jaguar, Land Rover, and Infiniti. Add...

Swansea sign Kosovo midfielder Bersant Celina from Manchester City

31 Jul

Swansea have completed the signing of Kosovo international midfielder Bersant Celina from Manchester City.

The Sky Bet Championship club confirmed the deal on Tuesday afternoon, with the 21-year-old agreeing a four-year deal at the Liberty Stadium.

Celina has left City

Celina started his career at Norwegian outfit Stromsgodset before joining City’s academy.

He made four first-team appearances during the 2015/16 campaign, including once in the Premier League.

A loan spell at FC Twente followed before Celina spent last year at Ipswich, scoring eight goals in 38 appearances for the Tractor Boys.

“When I heard that Swansea wanted me, I knew straight away it would be the best move for me because I know the manager wants to play good football,” Celina told the club’s website.

“There was never any doubt for me. I knew about the club’s philosophy before anybody told me about it.”

Celina’s arrival came on the same day Swansea signed Barrie McKay from Nottingham Forest for an undisclosed fee.

The 23-year-old, who can play in a number of attacking positions but is happiest out wide on the left, put pen to paper on a three-year deal.

He trained with Graham Potter’s squad for the first time on Tuesday morning and, like Celina, is in contention to make his debut when the Swans begin their Championship campaign at Sheffield United this weekend.

Lappartient keen to curb Team Sky’s Tour de France dominance

31 Jul

UCI president David Lappartient has revived the idea that professional cycling needs some form of financial fair play rules and perhaps a reduction of team sizes down to just six riders, to give other teams a chance against Team Sky in the Tour de France.

Certain teams, such as, Molteni, Gitane and Mapei, have dominated the sport over the years but Team Sky’s run of six Tour de France victories in the last seven years, fuelled by a reportedly much higher budget than its rivals, have left some cycling fans, especially in France, bored with the way the racing is controlled and often less entertaining. Television viewing figures have generally fallen in key countries in recent years and France has not won its home race for 33 years.

On Monday, an unnamed French directeur sportif outlined to Libération how a salary cap would mean a team like Sky would no longer be able to support its leaders with some of the strongest climbers in the peloton, and thus – at least in theory – help to create more open racing.

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"The problem in cycling isn't doping anymore," he said. "It's money."

Lappartient seems to agree. "Something needs to change. We will create a working group to look at the attractiveness of professional races," Lappartient told radio station France Info, giving further details in a longer interview with French newspaper Le Temps.

"The goal is to have the best riders in different teams and so limiting the overall budget would mean better riders and a more attractive race," he suggested.

The public want a show

No race radio, no power meters

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Badly behaved managers will receive yellow and red cards next season, FA announce

31 Jul

Managers who behave badly on the touchline during games next season will be shown yellow and red cards, just like the players, the Football Association has announced.

The pilot project, which builds on a review of the FA’s existing ‘technical area code of conduct’, will apply to the Premier League, English Football League and National League, as well as from the first round of the FA Cup, the Carabao Cup and Checkatrade Trophy.

Referees can brandish cards to badly behaved managers

These ‘stage one warnings’ will also accumulate, as they do for players, and any manager who receives four warnings will receive an automatic one-game touchline ban.

In the Premier League, however, managers will not be shown cards and their warnings will only be verbal.

But unlike accumulated cautions for players, there will be no automatic reset after a certain number of games. Eight warnings will result in a two-match ban, 12 warnings will bring a three-match ban and 16 will lead to a misconduct charge with a sanction to be determined by a disciplinary panel.

The exception to the no-reset rule will be play-off matches in the EFL and National League and the FA Cup Final.

In a statement, the FA explained that the warnings will be issued for inappropriate language or gestures “which are an obvious show of dissent or an attempt to influence the decisions of the match officials”, kicking or throwing water bottles or clothing, sarcastic clapping, waving imaginary cards and so on.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey said rules for behaviour in the dugout or technical area are not new but the idea is to make the disciplinary procedure clearer to fans.

It is hoped the measure will prevent managers from approaching referees

Harvey said if the bad behaviour on the sidelines is more general, a referee can caution the entire coaching staff. If it continues, the referee will then caution the manager and they will have to leave the technical area. And if that does not work, the referee will send the manager to the stands with a red card.

“We thought it should add to the clarity and hopefully better behaviour in the technical areas,” said Harvey.

“This is not about creating a drama. It is about making sure behaviour doesn’t decline further.”

As well as cards for managers, the FA has also announced the introduction of competition-specific suspensions for accumulated cards in the Premier League, EFL, National League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup and FA Trophy – the Checkatrade Cup did this last season.

Players who receive five yellow cards in the first 19 games in the Premier League and EFL, or 23 games in the National League, will get an automatic one-game ban. If they get 10 cautions in the first 32 Premier League games or 37 EFL and National League games they will also receive a one-ban game, and any player in any league who is cautioned 15 times in a season will also get a one-game ban.

Again, these automatic sanctions do not apply to play-off games and there will be no cut-off dates in the Women’s Super League. They will receive automatic suspensions for accumulating cautions in multiples of five.