Hibernian boss Neil Lennon struck by coin during Hearts derby clash and wants to meet the person who threw it

31 Oct

Hibernian boss Neil Lennon and Hearts goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal were both floored by foreign objects during a chaotic and goalless Edinburgh derby.

Zlamal was able to continue after the latest in a series of flashpoints moments after Florian Kamberi received a second yellow card in the 65th minute following a mass bust-up that saw angry scenes in the technical area as well as on the Tynecastle pitch.

The coin (circled) appeared to bounce off the right side of Lennon’s face
Lennon recoils after being struck by the coin

Hearts were celebrating in stoppage-time when Clevid Dikamona headed home but the goal was disallowed for offside and seconds later Lennon appeared to be struck by a coin in the face.

Lennon – who was attacked by a fan on the touchline at Tynecastle while Celtic manager – fell to the deck but was soon back on his feet after treatment.

“I’m all right,’ he said after the match. “They must have a few quid up here because it was a pound coin. But it’s no laughing matter, I hope somebody deals with it and I’d like to meet the guy face to face.”
He added: “It’s all disgraceful. The players are doing their job and trying to entertain people, I don’t understand the mentality of any supporter who wants to throw things at people. I have seen plenty of it at the weekend as well and it’s very unsavoury and needs to be stopped.
“If a Hibs fan has thrown anything at the goalkeeper, then he should be punished and banned. We don’t condone any of that behaviour at all, it’s disgraceful.”
“Hopefully there will be punishment for both supporters if the authorities can pick them out, and like I said, I would like to meet that person, in person.”

Both teams were missing players due to an array of injuries, but Hearts started the game on the front foot with Olly Lee forcing a save from distance and Dikamona coming close from an ambitious overhead kick.

But Darren McGregor missed a better chance at the other end when he could not turn a free header on target from a deep corner.

Stevie Mallan then took centre stage with a series of wonderful long-range efforts. The Hibs midfielder hit the bar from 30 yards, shaved the top of the goal from a free-kick and then forced Zlamal to scramble the ball wide after aiming a free-kick from near the touchline inside the near post while everyone else anticipated a cross.

 

Hearts also enjoyed the better of the opening stages of the second half but Mallan forced the first save after running on to Martin Boyle’s square ball.

The game exploded into action after the hour-mark. Martin Boyle escaped with a yellow card after pushing Michael Smith three times following an off-the-ball clash which also saw the Hearts full-back booked.

A more widespread melee soon followed after Kamberi was penalised for an aerial challenge on Oliver Bozanic. Ben Garuccio reacted particularly angrily and both he and the Swiss striker were booked – the latter paying a heftier price after being yellow-carded for what looked an innocuous aerial challenge in the first half.
Moments later, after tackles flew in from both sides, Zlamal was floored by what appeared to be an away fan attempting to make contact with the goalkeeper as he fetched the ball from behind the goal.

Hearts struggled to press home their numerical advantage but Dikamona hit the edge of the bar in the last minute following a corner before guiding a backwards header into the net after Adam Bogdan had got caught in no-man’s land following another corner.
But with the keeper well off his line, Dikamona was ruled to be offside, sparking the latest attack on Lennon at Tynecastle.

Carabao Cup quarter-final draw: Arsenal and Tottenham to meet, Chelsea drawn against Bournemouth

31 Oct

Asenal and Tottenham have been drawn against each other in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.

The north London rivals were paired in Wednesday night’s draw following their respective fourth-round wins over Blackpool and West Ham.

Fans will be treated to two north London derbies in December

They will meet at the Emirates in the week commencing December 17, just over two weeks after their Premier League battle at the same venue.

It will be a tie that both sides might have been keen to avoid as they both aim to get their hands on silverware.

Unai Emery is looking to get his Gunners tenure off to the best possible start while Mauricio Pochettino is still waiting for his first trophy at Spurs.

The two rivals last met in this competition in 2015, when Arsenal ran out 2-1 winners.

Chelsea’s reward for seeing off Derby, managed by one of their most decorated players Frank Lampard, is a home tie with Bournemouth.


Carabao Cup round-up: Son-inspired Spurs see off West Ham, Lampard loses on Chelsea return

Middlesbrough beat Crystal Palace on Wednesday and were handed a home game with League One Burton and a significant chance of progressing to the semi-final.

Reigning champions Manchester City play Fulham on Thursday and the winner will face either Leicester or Southampton.

That game was due to be played on Tuesday, but was postponed following the tragic death of Foxes owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha on Saturday.

Carabao Cup quarter-final draw

Arsenal v Tottenham

Leicester/Southampton v Manchester City/Fulham

Middlesbrough v Burton

Chelsea v Bournemouth

Viviani torn between Giro d’Italia and Tour de France sprints in 2019

31 Oct

Elia Viviani left the 2019 Giro d’Italia route presentation torn between the desire to ride his home Grand Tour in the Italian national champion’s tricolore jersey and reach his home town of Verona on the final stage, or accept the challenge of being Quick-Step Floors' number one sprinter and so target the sprints at the Tour de France.

Viviani ended his contract with Team Sky a year early to transfer to Quick-Step Floors in 2018. He was hired as an alternative to Fernando Gaviria, but as the season unfolded he outshone his younger rival, winning 18 races, including four stages at the Giro d’Italia and three at the Vuelta a Espana. Viviani ended the season as the most victorious rider of 2018, acting as a cornerstone for Quick-Step Floors' new record of 73 season victories.

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Gaviria has recently ended his contract with Quick-Step Floors for a better-paid, three-year contract with UAE Team Emirates, making Viviani the Belgian team’s best sprint option for 2019, with Alvaro Hodeg and Fabio Jakobsen his understudies.

Success and responsibility will force Viviani and Quick-Step Floors to choose between the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France.

“With Gaviria moving on, for sure there’s the space to think about the Tour de France, but with me racing in the Italian champion’s tricolore jersey, and with Verona hosting the final stage of the Giro d’Italia, it makes for a tough decision,” Viviani admitted after a quick look at the route map during the presentation.

“We’ll balance all the pros and cons with the team and then decide. I’m going home with lots of weights in favour of the Giro d’Italia; there are six sprint stages and that Verona finish. However, the Tour de France begins with a sprint finish in Brussels and we’re a Belgian team, so that makes the Tour de France tempting too.

“I’m not scared of doing two Grand Tours in a season. I did it this year, riding the Giro d’Italia and then the Vuelta a Espana and I won the Hamburg Classic in between as well.”

With the sprint opportunities all coming in the first half of the 2019 Giro d’Italia, Viviani and other big-name sprinters may be tempted to ride until stage 12 to Pinerolo and then bail out before the long series of mountain stages. Only stage 18 ends on the flat roads, but the sprinters and their teams will have to control all the breakaway attempts. The final time trial stage around Verona means there is no parade stage and no final sprint at the 2019 Giro d’Italia.

“All the sprints are also in the first half of the race when the sprinters are at their best, so we should see some great sprinting,” Viviani suggested.

“There are perhaps six opportunities for sprint finishes, and we might even have other chances on the hillier stages. Of course after the halfway point there are a lot of climbs to get over for whoever wants to reach Verona. I’d love to do that, but I’ve got to be realistic too.

“First of all, I’ll try to copy my season next year even if I know it might be impossible to do better, because it was amazing. For now, I know that the first part of my season should be similar to this year [starting with the Tour Down Under] and then we’ll decide on my biggest goal of the season.”

 

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Carabao Cup review: Frank Lampard beaten on Chelsea return, Heung Min Son secures London bragging rights and Arsenal progress

31 Oct

Frank Lampard was defeated on his return to Stamford Bridge as his Derby side went down 3-2 in a thrilling Carabao Cup fourth-round tie at Chelsea.

Chelsea’s record goalscorer Lampard, who now manages Rams, was given a wonderful ovation before and during the game –  but another returning Blue made a poor start as the hosts took an early lead.

Lampard was given a rousing reception by the Chelsea fans

Fikayo Tomori, who is on loan from Chelsea, turned into his own net when he shanked a clearance after five minutes. Jack Marriott, who scored against Manchester United in the last round, responded with a quickfire equaliser but Chelsea reclaimed the lead with another own goal, this time from Richard Keogh.

Martyn Waghorn made up for an earlier miss by levelling for a second time but Cesc Fabregas swept Chelsea back ahead before the break. Derby rallied in the second half, and hit the post through David Nugent late on, but Chelsea held on.

Son Heung-min scored his first goals of the season to ensure Tottenham joined them in the last eight with a 3-1 win over West Ham at the London Stadium.

Son struck in the 16th and 54th minutes to put Spurs on course for victory. Lucas Perez pulled one back with a header from a corner but a fine volley from Fernando Llorente made victory certain for Spurs.

Son was the star man for the visitors

Arsenal overcame Sky Bet League One club Blackpool 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium in a match that saw both sides finish with 10 men.

The Gunners were rewarded for their first-half dominance when Stephan Lichtsteiner opened the scoring after 34 minutes and youngster Emile Smith Rowe added a second soon after the break.

Arsenal’s Matteo Guendouzi was dismissed for a second bookable offence and Blackpool responded through Paudie O’Connor, but he was then sent off and the hosts completed the job.

A thunderous strike from Lewis Wing on the stroke of half-time proved enough as Championship Middlesbrough beat Premier League Crystal Palace 1-0 at the Riverside Stadium.

Palace applied pressure in the latter stages, and had a penalty appeal for handball turned down, but Boro, managed by former Eagles boss Tony Pulis, held on.

Ventura approves bid to host Tour of California women’s race overall start

31 Oct

The Ventura City Council voted on Monday to approve sending a letter to the Amgen Tour of California asking to be considered for hosting the start of the 2019 women's race on May 16, according to a report on VCStar.com.

The council also approved setting aside $177,000 for the 2019 event, up from $77,000 in 2018 when the city hosted the start for stage 2 of the men's race that finished on Gibraltar Road. The website also reported that the city hopes to host the finish of the men's fifth stage - which would leave from Pismo Beach - on the same day as the women's overall start in Ventura.

Before the vote, councillors sought information from the Ventura Visitors and Convention Bureau about what kind of return the city was getting on its investment, and another councillor asked city officials to try and negotiate a "better deal" with the race, according to the VCStar.com report.

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The advantages of hosting an overall start or overall finish, tourism bureau CEO Marlyss Auster told the council, is that the riders, support staff and the many other people involved with race arrive days early, adding up to more money spent in the local economy. Post-race festivities add to the economy when hosting a finish.

"It lingers," Auster told the council, according to VCStar.com. "There's a celebration that goes on afterwards."

Canyon-SRAM rider Alexis Ryan, a California native, was on hand for the meeting, telling councillors the race provides a "fantastic opportunity to expose Ventura to the world." Ventura is on the Pacific coast about 70 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Carabao Cup: Frank Lampard loses on return to Chelsea with Derby, Tottenham ease past West Ham, Arsenal advance

31 Oct

It was an eventful night in the Carabao Cup.

Here’s what happened in the last 16 matches that took place on Wednesday night…

Frank Lampard was given a hero’s welcome by the Chelsea fans

Frank Lampard was beaten on his return to Stamford Bridge as his Derby side went down 3-2 in a thrilling Carabao Cup fourth-round tie against Chelsea.

Chelsea’s record goalscorer Lampard, who is now the Rams manager, was given a good ovation before kick-off but another returning Blue made a poor start as the hosts took an early lead.

Fikayo Tomori, who is on loan from Chelsea, turned into his own net when he mishit a clearance after five minutes.

Jack Marriott, who scored against Manchester United in the last round, responded with a quickfire equaliser but Chelsea reclaimed the lead with another own goal, this time from Richard Keogh.

Martyn Waghorn made up for an earlier miss by levelling for a second time but Cesc Fabregas swept Chelsea back ahead before the break.

Derby rallied in the second half, and hit the post through David Nugent late on, but Chelsea held on.

Cesc Fabregas proved the match-winner for Chelsea

Heung Min-Son scored his first goals of the season in a 3-1 victory for Tottenham at London rivals West Ham.

The South Korean forward marked his 150th appearance for Spurs with the opening two goals to fire Spurs into the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.

The Hammers came from 2-0 down to knock Tottenham out at the same stage last season but there was to be no repeat of those Wembley heroics in east London.

Lucas Perez did briefly halve the deficit but Fernando Llorente, handed a rare run-out with Harry Kane rested, wrapped up victory for Spurs.

Son was the star man for the visitors

Arsenal overcame Sky Bet League One club Blackpool 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium in a match that saw both sides finish with 10 men.

The Gunners were rewarded for their first-half dominance when Stephan Lichtsteiner opened the scoring after 34 minutes and youngster Emile Smith Rowe added a second soon after the break.

Arsenal’s Matteo Guendouzi was dismissed for a second bookable offence and Blackpool responded through Paudie O’Connor, but he was then sent off and the hosts completed the job.

A thunderous strike from Lewis Wing on the stroke of half-time proved enough as Championship Middlesbrough beat Premier League Crystal Palace 1-0 at the Riverside Stadium.

Palace applied pressure in the latter stages, and had a penalty appeal for handball turned down, but Boro, managed by former Eagles boss Tony Pulis, held on.

Carabao Cup quarter-final draw

Arsenal v Tottenham

Leicester/Southampton v Manchester City/Fulham

Middlesbrough v Burton

Chelsea v Bournemouth

WIN! Quarter Final Carabao Cup Tickets, Thanks to Carabao Energy Drink!

31 Oct

To honour the 2018/19 Carabao Cup Season, Carabao have been busy giving away over 2,000 tickets! All you need to do is Show Us Your Colours, and follow  @CarabaoUK on Twitter to stay in the loop with how you can win home tickets to every single Carabao Cup tie.

 

The competition is really heating up now, and to celebrate  talkSPORT and Carabao are giving you the chance of winning home-end tickets to a quarter final match of your choice.

 

Test your football knowledge and answer the question below in order to enter the draw to win this fantastic prize.

 

 

 

 

 

THE CARABAO ENERGY DRINKS ‘SHOW US YOUR COLOURS’ CARABAO CUP TICKET GIVEAWAY (THE “PROMOTION”) ONLINE RULES:

 

By entering the Promotion, you agree to be bound by these terms and conditions (these “Terms and Conditions”).  Phoning, texting or emailing to enter the Promotion or completing and submitting an entry form will also be deemed acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.  Promotional materials relating to the Promotion, including all information on how to enter the Promotion published by the Promoter (including on social media if applicable) or on the Promoter’s websites, also apply to the Promotion.  In the event of any conflict between any terms referred to in such promotional materials and these Terms and Conditions, these Terms and Conditions take precedence.

Participation in the Promotion

  1. Residents of the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland aged 18 or over only, except employees and agents of the Promoter or Wireless Group Limited and anyone otherwise connected with the operation or fulfilment of the Promotion (including third party sponsors or promotional partners) and their respective associated, affiliated or subsidiary companies, and the immediate families and household members of all such employees and agents.
  2. The Promotion starts at 22.15 (UK time) on Wednesday 31st October (the “Promotion Period”). Any entries received outside of the Promotion Period will be void.
  3. Participants may make a maximum of 1 entry per person during the Promotion Period.
  4. To enter you must complete and submit the entry form available at https://talksport.com/competitions/435124/win-quarter-final-carabao-cup-tickets-thanks-to-carabao-energy-drink/ during the Promotion Period only.
  5. Entries received which are not submitted via the official entry method will not be accepted. Use of script, macro or any automated system to enter the Promotion is prohibited and entries made (or which appear to have been made) using any such system may be treated as void. Any illegible, incomplete or fraudulent entries will be rejected.
  6. Participants should be aware that they may be subject to data charges depending on their own individual arrangements for internet access if they enter the Promotion online or by email.

Winners and Prizes

  1. There will be 4 winners. One prize per winner.
  2. The winners will be selected at random from all valid entries for this Promotion received during the Promotion Period. There will be no prizes for any other participants.

9. The prize is a pair of general admission home tickets for each winners’ chosen tie from the Carabao Cup quarter finals, taking place on the 31st October 2018. Winner and guest are responsible for travel to and from match at their own expense. Promoter reserves the right to substitute tickets for a different match and date without notice if ticket(s) to the advertised match become unavailable for any reason and/or at its sole discretion. Winner and/or his or her guest must not be excluded or banned from travelling to or from or attending any matches by any relevant official authority anywhere or under suspicion or investigation of the same. If the winner and/or guest is banned or under suspicion the Promoter reserves right to re-select another winner without notice. This Promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with any athletes, the teams and/or EFL. The tickets are for home supporters only.

10. Prizes are as stated and are non-exchangeable and non-transferable. There is no cash or other alternative to the prize in whole or in part.

11. The winner is responsible for paying all associated costs that are not specifically stated in any Promotional materials or these Terms and Conditions, including (where applicable) transport, accommodation, meal costs, spending money, insurance and all other incidentals.  Winners are also personally responsible for any personal or incidental expenses and any VAT, national and/or local tax liabilities incurred in claiming or using the prize.  By participating in the Promotion, participants agree that the prize is awarded on an “as is” basis, and that neither the Promoter nor any of its subsidiary or affiliated companies, make any representations or warranties of any nature with respect to the prize.

  1. In the event that, for reasons beyond the Promoter’s reasonable control the Promoter is unable to award the prize as described in these Terms and Conditions, the Promoter reserves the right to award a prize of a similar nature and an equivalent value, or at its sole discretion, the cash value of the prize. The Promoter also reserves the right to award a prize of a similar nature and an equivalent value, or at its sole discretion, the cash value of the prize if in its reasonable discretion it is appropriate to do so.

Winner Announcement and claiming of prize

  1. Winners will be notified by phone or using the other contact details provided to the Promoter by 14th November 2018. All reasonable endeavours will be made to contact the winners during the specified time. If a winner cannot be contacted or is not available, the Promoter reserves the right to re-draw another winner from the valid/correct entries that were received during the Promotion Period. Winners may be required to submit valid identification before receiving their prize.
  2. Callers are not necessarily entitled to participate in on-air Promotions and will not necessarily appear on-air in the order in which they are called. The Promoter shall not be liable to reimburse callers for telephone charges when either on hold or on air. When the situation arises, only the person who is selected to come to air (if applicable) is eligible to win if they give the correct answer.
  3. Winners will be required to confirm acceptance of the applicable prize within 1 days of having been notified. If the winner has not claimed their prize by the date specified or the winner refuses or is unable to provide an eligible postal address for receipt of their prize, the Promoter reserves the right to award the prize to another participant.
  4. The prize is to be collected from the ticket office.
  5. For a list of winners (name and general location) please send a stamped self-addressed envelope by no later than 28 days after the end of the Promotion Period to the Promoter at: Promotions Department, talkSPORT, 1 London Bridge Street, London, England, SE1 9GF stating that you would like the winner details for the “The Carabao Energy Drink ‘Show Us Your Colours’ Carabao Cup Ticket Giveaway” Promotion.

Data Protection and Publicity

  1. The Promoter will collect and process participants’ personal information and it will be shared with the Promoter’s agents, affiliates and, if applicable, any third party prize provider (including those outside the European Economic Area). Information provided by participants will only be used for the purpose of conducting this Promotion (including for prizes to be delivered) and other purposes as may be specified at the time of entry or on promotional materials. Personal information will be used in accordance with the applicable privacy policy in place from time to time (see http://www.newsprivacy.co.uk/single/).
  2. Participants’ names and general locations will be published or made publicly available if they are a winner of the Promotion in accordance with the regulatory requirements. In such circumstances we may also make free use of this information and participant’s photographs for publicity purposes both during this and future promotions by the Promoter or any of its associated or subsidiary companies.

General

20.        The Promoter’s decision is final and binding on the participants. No correspondence will be entered into.

21.        If participants do not provide any of the mandatory information requested when participating in the Promotion, their entry will be void.

22.        The Promoter reserves the right to require the participants to prove that they are eligible. If a winner is found to be ineligible, the Promoter reserves the right to award their prize to another participant and to require the return of any prize already awarded.

  1. The provision of the prize does not imply endorsement by the Promoter of Carabao or other third parties concerned in any way with the Promotion. Any complaints or queries relating to the use of the prize should be directed to Carabao.
  2. Participants must not do anything illegal and/or dangerous and/or that would put themselves or others at any risk. Save where it has been negligent, the Promoter will not be responsible for any damage, loss or injury resulting from participants’ entry into the Promotion or their acceptance and/or use of the prize, or for technical, hardware or software failures, lost, faulty or unavailable network connections or difficulties of any kind that may limit or prohibit participant’s ability to participate in the Promotion.  The Promoter will not be responsible for any lost, damaged, delayed, defaced, incomplete, illegible or otherwise unreadable entries. Proof of making a phone call, sending an entry by post, email or text, is not proof of receipt by the Promoter of any entries.  Nothing in these Terms and Conditions shall in any way limit the Promoter’s liability for death or personal injury caused by its negligence or for any other matter where liability may not be limited as a matter of law.
  3. The Promoter reserves the right at any time to cancel, modify or supersede the Promotion (including altering prizes) if, in its sole discretion, the Promotion is not capable of being conducted as specified. In the event of a printing or other error resulting in there being more winners than prizes for the Promotion, the Promoter reserves the right to (a) declare as void any claims or entries resulting from such printing or other error; and/or (b) allocate the available prize(s) through a further draw or to divide the prize(s) or the value of the prize(s) between the winners of the Promotion.
  4. Any participant who enters or attempts to enter the Promotion in a manner, which in the Promoter’s reasonable opinion is contrary to these Terms and Conditions or by its nature is unjust to other participants (including tampering with the operation of the Promotion, cheating, hacking, deception or any other unfair playing practices such as intending to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other participants or the Promoter and/or any of its agents or representatives) may be rejected from the Promotion at the Promoter’s sole discretion. Furthermore, where such actions have significantly impaired the Promotion, the Promoter may, at its sole discretion, add further stages to the Promotion as it deems reasonably necessary in order to resolve any problems arising from such actions.
  5. The Promoter reserves the right to amend these Terms and Conditions. Any amendments will be published on the Promoter’s website (the “Website”).
  6. If you are resident of the United Kingdom then these Terms and Conditions are governed by English law and the courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear any dispute or claim arising in association with the Promotion or these Terms and Conditions (except if you are resident of Northern Ireland you may also bring proceedings in Northern Ireland), and if you are a resident of Scotland, you may also bring proceedings in Scotland). If you are a resident of the Republic of Ireland then these Terms and Conditions are governed by Irish law and the courts of the Republic of Ireland shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear any dispute or claim arising in association with the Promotion or these Terms and Conditions.
  7. The promoter of this Promotion is talkSPORT Limited (operator of talkSPORT) of 1 London Bridge Street, London, England, SE1 9GF (the “Promoter”).
  8. We reserve the right to withhold tickets if we discover the person is an away fan.

Tottenham Hotspur player ratings: Mauricio Pochettino’s men rated and slated after Carabao Cup win over West Ham United at London Stadium

31 Oct

Tottenham Hotpsur ensured safe passage to the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup thanks to a comfortable London derby win over West Ham United.

The Halloween horror show at the London Stadium was provided courtesy of some woeful Hammers defending, with their visitors all too happy to accept the treats.

Heung Min Son tore the West Ham defence to shreds, proving too quick and clinical for Angelo Ogbonna and Arthur Masuaku as he consistently cut inside from the right hand side.

His finish in the first hand may have arrived by chance, but the finish itself was glorious.

The second half brought more possession for the hosts, but it was Mauricio Pochettino’s men who doubled their lead, Son taking advantage of another shoddy clearance from the Hammers backline to round skipper Adrian.

Lucas Perez may have scored his first Hammers goal, but Fernando Llorente poked home at close range from a corner to ensure north London would be celebrating tonight.

But how did the Spurs players rank on the night? Scroll down for the Tottenham player ratings.

Paulo Gazzaniga – 7

Was alert to deny Javier Hernandez at his feet in the second half. Did the basics really well, good save from Ogbonna as the hosts piled on pressure.

Serge Aurier – 4

Skinned alive by youngster Grady Diangana on multiple occasions in the first half. A defensive liability for Poch to worry about.

Juan Foyth – 9

Made several incredible last-ditch tackles to deny what seemed certain goals. Showed no signs of physical intimidation under challenges from Michail Antonio and MArko Arnautovic later on. Really assured, impressive display.

Davinson Sanchez – 7

Helped neutralise Arnautovic alongside his younger colleague. Had an absolute field day against the ineffective Chicharito.

Kyle Walker-Peters – 6

Lucky not to get booked early on. Dealt with the threat of Diangana well after struggled to match the muscle of Antonio.

Victor Wanyama – 6

Having been linked with the Hammers in the past week, the Kenya international did little to suggest he wants a move to the London Satdium judging by this performance. Then again, why would he?

Harry Winks – 8

Gets on the ball and dictates so well. Made a great tackle on Hernandez in the first half as well. Developing into one heck of a player.

Christian Eriksen – 7

The Spurs captain for the evening pinged passes around the pitch for fun, without presenting much of a goal threat himself. Seemed five yards ahead of the nearest West Ham player – a credit to his movement and football brain.

Dele Alli – 7

If Eriksen is effective without providing a goal threat, Alli is the complete opposite. Appears to be drifting towards the periphery of the game, then pops up with two crucial assists. Priceless attribute to have.

Hueng Min Son 9 (Star Man)

Had the West Ham defence on toast all evening, burned past Masuaku and Ogbonna for fun on several occasions and took his goals like a veteran striker.

Fernando Llorente – 6

Far too slow and ineffective for Spurs’ style of play, lacks the dynamism to ever fit in, let alone replace Harry Kane. Nice finish though.

User Fees Won’t Save Public Lands

31 Oct

Trails in Wyoming are sorely in need of maintenance, so the state is considering a first-of-its-kind $10 annual fee for hiking on both state and federal land within its borders. Sounds reasonable and prudent, right? Well, by the state government’s own admission, it won’t work. That’s because, despite their good intentions, user fees don’t have the scale to adequately fund our public lands.

User Fees Are Regressive and Discourage Use

I love hiking, and you love hiking, so you and I wouldn’t have a problem paying $10 to go hiking. But aren’t you and I always trying to encourage other people to go hiking too? Fees, even relatively small ones, will discourage those potential hikers.

While an annual $10 fee may sound like a super-reasonable amount of money to pay for maintenance of local trails that you regularly use, imagine the potential impact on two subsets of users: the first-timer and the visitor.

Back in Los Angeles, I helped out at a local group home for underprivileged 17-to-21-year-olds by providing an outdoor mentorship program. The easiest, most regular thing I could do for those kids was take them hiking on our local trails. These kids often had zero experience in the outdoors, which made even a simple hour-long hike both challenging and intimidating. But you know what? After being forced along on a couple of my death marches, about half the kids started hiking on their own. That $10 fee would have limited my ability to run my little self-funded charitable endeavor (doing activities in multiples of 12 to 24 adds up quickly), and it likely would have stopped those kids from being able to take up the activity on their own.

I’ll give you another personal anecdote. My elderly parents just visited. They’re starting to suffer significant physical limitations, but I insisted that they had to come see the mountains near my new home in Montana. The one-mile hike took us well over an hour. Would I have paid $20 so they could complain a lot while walking a mile? Yes, but I also know plenty of people who would have balked at that price tag.

My point is that a fee that may sound reasonable to some will inevitably be burdensome to others. These are public lands we’re talking about, so by applying a financial burden of entry to them, we’re discouraging use of a resource purportedly owned by all of us. By limiting access to public lands, we’d also be limiting the number of people who care about those lands. By applying a user fee, we’d be decreasing the number of people wiling to vote to protect them.

User Fees Are Often Illegal

Faced with budget shortfalls and maintenance backlogs, national forests in Southern California began charging a $30 annual user fee in 2005. The Adventure Pass immediately ran into legal challenges and today exists as a quasi-voluntary system understood by no one.

You see, federal law dictates exactly what the government can charge for on federal lands. The short version of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act is that neither the Forest Service nor the Bureau of Land Management are permitted to charge for access on the lands they manage, nor are they able to charge for parking or access to unimproved features like scenic views. Crucially, they are also specifically barred from charging people to hike through those lands. What they can charge for is use of developed facilities, like picnic areas with tables, trash cans, toilets, and security patrols (under the REA, facilities must have all those features to merit a use fee), or camping at permanent campgrounds that have all those features.

It turns out the Adventure Pass couldn’t be required for parking at trailheads, using those trails, or stopping at an unimproved scenic overlook for a picnic. Due to the legal challenges, the Forest Service was also forced to remove much of its signage informing visitors that they were entering areas where the pass was required. And the penalty for failing to display the pass in a parked car became simply the $5 cost of a daily pass, and even paying that became optional.

Relevant to this discussion, the REA also governs what state governments can charge for on federal lands. Wyoming says it wants to apply its user fee to trails on both federal and state lands, so the state is going to run into the same legal issues that the Adventure Pass faced in California, at least on federal lands. States are free to charge for access to lands they manage, which is one of the reasons you don’t want states managing public lands.

User Fees Don’t Raise Sufficient Funds

By proposing such a low price—$10—Wyoming is tacitly acknowledging the regressive nature of user fees and trying to reduce their negative impacts (dissuading users) as much as possible. Of course, that also limits the fee’s potential revenue. State officials say they hope to raise up to $1 million annually through the fee. What will that achieve in terms of trail improvements? Not much.

Wyoming Pathways, a trail-access nonprofit, told Backpacker that it cost $250,000 to repair just six miles of trail this year. The state has about 10,000 miles of trails. At that rate, it’d take more than $416 million to repair all of the state’s trails. That $1 million will pay for 24 miles of maintenance annually—if all of the money raised from those fees goes directly to repairs.

We see this same problem elsewhere. Earlier this year, when the Department of the Interior proposed raising entry fees to $70 per vehicle at some parks, it calculated that the change would add $70 million to the National Park Service’s bottom line. Currently, the NPS’s $11.6 billion maintenance backlog is growing at a rate of $275 million a year.

Tax Extraction, Not Users

How do we adequately fund public lands in this age of massive budget deficits? The Outdoor Industry Association asked exactly that question and commissioned Headwaters Economics, an independent public lands research group, to answer it. They looked at state-level funding programs across the country and came away with an assessment of what works.

Its conclusion? Tax-based voter initiatives that draw funding from stable sources and that enjoy broad bipartisan support. Those taxes cast a much wider net than user fees, while enjoying the support of the public.

How do you apply a new tax to benefit public lands without making it regressive or unpopular? Tax resource extraction on public lands. “The benefit of such revenue is that it does not directly increase the burden to taxpayers,” concludes Headwaters Economics, which also goes on to recommend other proven sources of additional tax income.

Wyoming is a state rich in federal land and the energy and minerals contained in it. Currently, the state government receives $1.39 billion annually from its slice of the federal government’s revenue on lands within the state. Those funds are spent on a number of worthy programs, like public schools and rural road maintenance, but the fact that not enough of that money goes back into fostering public access to public lands is a violation of the multiple-use principal upon which public lands are based. The U.S. Code says multiple use “means the management of the public lands and their various resource values so that they are utilized in the combination that will best meet the present and future needs of the American people.” Extraction is supposed to pay for public access—and it has the scale to do so, in a way that $10 user fees never will.

Congress just failed to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a tool that directed tax proceeds from offshore drilling directly to public lands access projects like trail maintenance. That cost the American public about $490 million in annual funding for stuff like Wyoming’s trails.

The problem isn’t inadequate sources of funding to pay for public land access; it’s the lack of political will to dedicate extraction income to its rightful use. Remember that when you’re voting next week.

Vegni expects Nibali, Aru and possibly Sagan to ride 2019 Giro d’Italia

31 Oct

Giro d'Italia director Mauro Vegni knows that he faces an uphill task to convince Chris Froome to return in 2019, but he is confident Team Sky will send one of their Grand Tour leaders to the Corsa Rosa and hinted to Cyclingnews that Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates) will both be on the start line in Bologna on Saturday, May 11.

Vegni came under fire after reports suggested that Froome was paid close to €2 million to ride the 2018 Giro d'Italia despite his then on-going salbutamol case. Vegni denied doing a deal with Froome, insisting he only deals with teams, not their star riders.

"I don't think riders like Froome, Alberto Contador or Peter Sagan are driven by money. They already earn a lot. Whatever I can offer doesn't change their lives. Chris came to this year's Giro d'Italia for sporting reasons, not financial reasons," Vegni told Cyclingnews after the 2019 route presentation in Milan.

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Vegni appears to again have some kind of financial deal in place with Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford. Froome refused to confirm or deny that he will be back at the Giro d'Italia and courteously attended the presentation. Geraint Thomas has hinted he has unfinished business at the Giro d'Italia and so may favour racing the Corsa Rosa before helping Froome target a fifth Tour de France victory. If neither Froome nor Thomas line up in Bologna, then Egan Bernal is expected to lead Team Sky at the Giro d'Italia, with Gianni Moscon as key support.

"Team Sky have not confirmed any team leader but have also not excluded anyone," Vegni pointed out.

"Chris confirmed that they'll have one team leader for each Grand Tour, and they have the riders to do that. Any final decision will be made based on the race routes, but I'm confident that one of Team Sky's captains will be at the Giro d'Italia."

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com