Category Archives: Racing

Fast learner Quintana makes immediate Tour impact

Fast learner Quintana makes immediate Tour impact

PARIS (Reuters) – Watch and learn – that was the directive Nairo Quintana received when he was included in his Movistar team’sTour de France roster.

The diminutive, swarthy-faced Colombian climber did more than just that on his Tour debut, surpassing expectations with a brilliant three-week display to secure second place overall.

Quintana, 23, reached the Champs Elysees in Paris having won a stage and claimed both white and polka-dot jerseys for the best young rider and the best climber.

On Saturday, he won the 20th stage at the top of Semnoz after a final 11-km ascent – nothing intimidating for a rider who would descend 16 kilometers every day to go to school on a 20-kilo mountain bike.

“And I had to come back every evening,” he says with a smile.

 He caught the eye of Movistar manager Eusebio Unzue when, aged 20, he won the Tour de l’Avenir – the most prestigious young riders’ race.

Unzue was looking for Colombian riders for his Spain-based team.

“Finding a Colombian rider who climbs well is easy,” said Unzue, referring to the ‘Beetles’, the Colombian climbers of the 1980s.

“But finding one who climbs well and who is also a good time-trialist is more rare.”

Quintana, however, is not just a physically talented rider. He is also a clever one.

“The other thing that struck me is his character,” said Unzue.

“He’s got a lot of self-confidence and he analyses a race very well. When you listen to him debrief his day, you understand right away that he is not just a fast rider.”

Quintana showed during the Tour that he is a fast learner.

 Starting the race with the task of helping team leader Alejandro Valverde secure a podium finish, the Colombian found himself thrust into the role of leader after the Spaniard lost considerable time on a flat stage following a mechanical problem.

“Everybody in the team believed in me. Everyone helped me, especially psychologically, to achieve this. At 23, I was not prepared for that,” he said on Saturday, sobbing between sentences.

“When they asked me if I was up for it (after Valverde’s hopes were dashed), I said ‘yes, sure, I’m ready to be team leader but I hope you will forgive me if my legs don’t respond at some point’.”

 His legs responded well as Quintana finished second behind Tour champion Chris Froome of Britain in the stage finishing up the iconic Mont Ventoux, although he briefly lost consciousness after crossing the line.

That day, he probably attacked too early. On Saturday, he showed that he had learned his lesson, waiting for Froome to attack on the slopes of the Semnoz before countering him in the final kilometer to take the stage.

The win capped years of hard work, Quintana said, still shaking his head in disbelief.

“I worked very hard and I had the support of my parents, my team. A year ago, when I turned professional, it was difficult to imagine that I would be here today,” he said.

“As a kid I didn’t dream this could happen to me. I was taking things on a daily basis.”

Quintana has emulated compatriot Luis Herrera, who won the King of the Mountains title in 1985 and 1987, but he is setting his sights higher than the polka dot jersey.

“These performances give me a lot of confidence for the following years. In 2015 I could be gunning for yellow. I will continue to work every day to achieve that,” he said.

As crashes mount, Hamlin should consider backing off

As crashes mount, Hamlin should consider backing off

LOUDON, N.H. — Denny Hamlin’s Sprint Cup season has been an unwanted procession of alarming impacts that have forced a decision potentially as jarring as a 200-mph collision with a concrete wall.

It’s time for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver to weigh whether it’s worth continuing to race in NASCAR’s premier series this year.

The insurmountable reality of mediocre results and increasingly cringe-worthy crashes are screaming that it isn’t.

Hamlin has reached a self-proclaimed threshold where season-ending back surgery would make more sense than finishing out the string of a campaign tainted by portentous wrecks. The growing piles of mangled sheet metal carry a message that seems unmistakable: Sorry kid, this isn’t your year.

Since returning from the wreck at Fontana, Calif., that fractured his back and sidelined him for four races, Hamlin’s miracle bid for making the Chase for the Sprint Cup has dimmed at an accelerated rate. After courageously returning with consecutive top-five finishes at Darlington Raceway and Charlotte Motor Speedway, Hamlin started on the pole position June 2 at Dover International Speedway. A blown tire sent his No. 11 Toyota rocketing into the wall and triggered a significant downturn in his fortunes.

He has crashed the past three weekends — in practice at Sonoma Raceway and in races at Kentucky Speedway and Daytona International Speedway.

As physically taxing as the year has been, there are signs it has been as mentally draining, too.

According to David Smith’s MotorsportsAnalytics.com (a site that offers NASCAR analysis via sabermetrics-style advanced statistics), Hamlin’s terminal crash frequency (measuring the rate at which he is being eliminated from races by wrecks) is a series-high 0.31 this year. In the last seven years, the highest mark posted during a season is 0.25 (Ward Burton in 2007).

It’s worth pondering whether Hamlin, who was so focused and steady last season despite stumbles by his team, is pressing too hard to earn the victories needed for the Chase. A breather might help as much in clearing his mind as fully healing his body.

With each sickening thud, it’s more agonizing watching Hamlin walk gingerly from his battered Camry to a waiting ambulance, particularly when there seems little left at stake.

Antonelli Killed in Accident at Supersport

Antonelli Killed in Accident at Supersport

Antonelli Tewas dalam Kecelakaan di Supersport  

Moscow – Grief enveloped Italian racing world. Foreign riders who participated in the Pizza World Supersport event, Andrea Antonelli, died after suffering a severe accident at the race in Moscwa Raceway, Sunday, July 21, 2013.
Kecalakan that struck Antonelli happened in the last corner on the first lap. In the slippery track conditions due to heavy rain, Antonelli lost control of his motorcycle to fall. After that, his head hit the motor co sekompatriotnya, Lorenzo Zanetti. “Three riders were injured and one of them from Italy died of injuries suffered,” said local police spokesman told reporters.
Antonelli was immediately taken to the medical center that is in the circuit. The medical team did not want to bring Antonelli to a nearby hospital by helicopter because it does not want to take the risk. Because the injury is severe enough Antonelli. Goeleven Kawasaki rider was dead at 2 pm local time.
FIM, Dorna, and YMS Promotion and decided to stop all activities scheduled on that day. »All the people involved in this championship deepest condolences to the Antonelli family, friends, team, and the Italian Federation over this tragic incident,” the official statement FIM.
Antonelli became the second driver from Italy who died in the World Supersport Championship. Previously, Marco Simoncelli died when following the race at the Malaysian GP in October two years ago. Lives of the Gresini Honda team rider drifted after his head hit the motor and close friend Colin Edwards, Valentino Rossi.

Rossi Ask Marquez Disqualified

Rossi Ask Marquez Disqualified

Rossi Minta Marquez Didiskualifikasi

Yamaha rider, Valentino Rossi, did not accept the action of overtaking Marc Marquez, the Repsol Honda rider, who assessed harm him at the U.S. MotoGP at Laguna Seca Circuit, on Sunday. Passports Italian rider was also asked Marquez for disqualification.
“I want to talk about the maneuver especially with Livio Suppo,” he said, Tuesday, July 23, 2013. “So, you and Stoner hit me for two or three years of maneuvering for cutting in corners. Then what you say today, Marquez should be disqualified?” Suppo is intended Rossi Honda team manager.
Suppo was responding to comments by Rossi with ease. “Thank you for the question and thanks to Marquez .. Because, after a few years later, we were finally able to reply to your maneuver,” said Suppo. Rossi then reply to Suppo laughing, “Ah, okay, okay.”
Marquez with a daring overtaking Rossi in the corner of the legendary ‘S’ for the second. Even coming off the track, Marquez still can precede Rossi. After shifting Rossi, Stefan Marquez overtaking Brad and continues to be in pole position to finish the race.
Marquez said he was imitating the action of Rossi on the 2008 racing season ago when overtaking pembala Ducatti, Casey Stoner. “When I saw the video in 2008, I think it’s impossible,” said Marquez. “But while there, I took off the brake a little because there was no room and I passed the same place.”

O’Grady asked to quit Olympic role after EPO admission

O’Grady asked to quit Olympic role after EPO admission

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – The Australian Olympic Committee(AOC) has called on cyclist Stuart O’Grady to step down from its Athletes’ Commission after he admitted using performance-enhancing drugs at the 1998 Tour de France.

 O’Grady, who announced his retirement this week, told a newspaper on Wednesday that he had used the banned blood-booster erythropoietin (EPO) before the notorious 1998 Tour, where he became only the second Australian to wear the yellow jersey.

 AOC secretary-general Craig Phillips contacted O’Grady by e-mail asking for his immediate resignation from the 10-member advisory body, the AOC said on Thursday.

 “Members of our London Olympic team, who elected Stuart to theAthletes’ Commission, are entitled to be angry knowing they had supported an athlete who had cheated,” AOC president John Coates said in a statement.

“Athletes’ Commission members are chosen for their qualities of integrity and leadership and by his admission Stuart does not deserve to be a member of that group.”

 A report by a French Senate inquiry released on Wednesday found the top three finishers at the 1998 tour – Italian Marco Pantani, Germany’s Jan Ullrich and American Bobby Julich – were among 18 riders who had tested positive for EPO.

The 1998 race was overshadowed by the scandal involving the Festina team, who were kicked off the race after a medical team member was arrested at the French border and customs officers seized banned substances.

O’Grady was listed by the French Senate report among 12 riders whose tests were said to be “suspicious” but he confirmed using EPO to the Adelaide Advertiser, insisting he had acted alone in sourcing it.

O’Grady announced his retirement after helping his GreenEdge team to a team time trial victory in this year’s Tour, saying he wanted to go out on a high despite being expected to race on until 2014.

The Australian team said it supported O’Grady “as a person and an advocate for a clean sport”.

“Like the majority of the riders in his generation, he was also exposed to the issues and wrongdoings of the sport and made some wrong choices in that environment,” the team said in a statement on its website (www.greenedgecycling.com).

“We would like to underline that in all of our interactions with Stuart, he has always been extremely clear about the right path for the sport and we believe that certain mistakes in the past shouldn’t be allowed to tarnish his entire career and his integrity as a person.”

Cycling Australia also declined to condemn O’Grady, blaming the era and the European “environment”.

“The late 1990’s was clearly a dark period in cycling’s international history,” the governing body said in a statement.

“(Australian) Athletes transitioning from the strict anti-doping regimes enforced under the domestic … programs were faced with a very different environment when they landed in Europe.”

Coates, though, said the “everybody else was doing it” line was no defense for using banned substances.

 “This was a shameful period for the sport of cycling which has been well documented, that is no excuse for the decision taken by Stuart O’Grady,” he added.

Sean Should Satisfied Finish 15th at Norisring Germany

Sean Should Satisfied Finish 15th at Norisring Germany

Sean Harus Puas Finish ke-15 di Norisring Jerman

Although they had to settle for finishing in 15th position, the young Indonesian driver, Sean Gelael successfully demonstrated one of his best performances as a rookie on a street circuit, Norisring – Germany. Sean is now 16 years-old, and is the youngest driver in the FIA ​​Formula 3 European, managed to achieve the best results, ie the position 15 of the 28 riders in the third race.
In the second race, Sean finished in the top 20, while in the first race, Sean had an accident and was not able to finish the race.
At the time of the qualifying session race 1, Sean managed to record real time odds just 0.678 seconds ahead of the first order that Felix Rosenqvist. When racing himself, Sean competing with the Australian, Mitchell Gilbert, and drivers from New Zealand, Nick Cassidy.

Naas happens when Sean Mitchel collided with Gilbert. ?? I try to avoid Mitchel who was in front of me, I braked, but the wheels locked vehicle, and the vehicle can not be controlled, so I can not avoid Mitchel,?? Sean bright.
But the accident, Sean did not affect performance in the second race. ?? Consequences of a collision in the first race, the race 10-15 in the second round, I was very careful. As a result, of the 23 positions at the start, I was passed by a few riders behind me. After that, I returned to find my own rhythm, and managed to pass a few riders in front of me?? Sean said.

?? Race at Norisring circuit is quite remarkable. Each rider must always drove like crazy at every opportunity. We must put the vehicle as close as possible to the wall to be able to increase the speed, and it is actually very difficult, especially for the novice driver like me,?? he said again.
In the third race, Sean drove smoothly, even able to avoid some of the accidents that occurred in front of him, so managed to finish in 15th position. Starting from position 22, Sean managed to start well. But in the first corner, where there is often an accident, Sean chose to play it safe by taking the middle path. Nevertheless, the Swiss rider, Sandro Zeller had crashed into the rear tire Sean vehicle, which resulted in the distance with the vehicle in front of Sean being widened.

?? Due to the wide range, I think I should try harder to follow the drivers in front of me. At first I tried to increase the speed as much as possible during the first two rounds, but in the end I realized I’d better finish consistently to achieve, and maintain my position,?? she said.
After Norisring, Sean will continue the race in Spa Francorchamps circuit, Belgium, which is the second round of the British Formula 3 Championship. In the first round of the British Formula 3, Sean appeared incredible, successfully climbed the podium twice at Silverstone UK. Racing in Belgium will take place June 25 through July 27, 2013.

?? Momentum of the last few games will be my lunch in Spa Belgium. From the results I got, I believe that I was able to begin to catch up and compete in the top middle of the race. And I am also glad, that races later in the year, will be carried out in the circuits that I know enough, like Hockenheim and Zandvoort. It will be very helpful to me,?? he hoped.

Ben Spies Pessimistic Can Go Faster

Ben Spies Pessimistic Can Go Faster

Ben Spies. (Foto: Daylife)

BOLOGNA – Ben Spies said that he would come back down to race with Pramac Ducati at Indianapolis MotoGP series on 16-18 August, Spies admitted that his condition was in good condition.

Spies has indeed been absent long enough after a severe shoulder injury since the accident at the Malaysian MotoGP series 2012. Spies who had been absent for seven series this season admitted injury had recovered.

“For the first time in months, I felt very happy because my shoulder in a very good condition. Decision is best right back in the moment. Doctors say that my recovery goes according to plan, so I wanted to get back at Indy with conditions 100 percent, “he said.

Spies who resigned from the Yamaha Factory Racing at the end of last year, not sure I can achieve good results in his debut later. The reason, he has gone through a lot of races this season.

“I missed so many races, and I do not ever be 100 percent. Now I am more confident about my recovery. However I am not sure I can directly go fast, since I had not been driving,” he said as reported by MCN.

About his future, Spies admits she still has a contract until 2014 with the Ducati satellite team. He also just want to focus and not think about the race will move to gossip today.

“There are so many rumors about what I would do in the future, but I just laugh to read it all on the internet. Obviously, I was ready to back away,” he concluded.

Second place finish, Bradl Keep Satisfied

Second place finish, Bradl Keep Satisfied

MotoGP Laguna Seca finishing result, the United States, Sunday (21/7) seems to make Stefan Bradl happy smile. After the success of his first pole position in MotoGP, he managed to finish second and won his first podium.
German rider who defend the LCR Honda started racing in MotoGP since last year, and before the race this time, the result is the best finish a fourth place finish.
“For us, this result is very good. We do a good job over the weekend. Of course, expectations soared after I took pole. I know my speed is quite good and can go fast from the start. I have to try hard to do it since the start, “said Bradl.
Even so, in 2011 the Moto2 world champion admitted the race was quite difficult, especially after he was overtaken by Marc Marquez and must keep a distance of Valentino Rossi.
“I’m a bit of trouble. Full gas tank makes my front tire problem. When Marc overtook, I saw that he had a better grip and to expand its range. I also tried to keep a distance from Vale, and it is not easy. This race was very long and heavy, “he concluded.
Bradl has now climbed to sixth in the rider standings with 84 points, three ahead of occupants in seventh, Andrea Dovizioso of Ducati.

Out of Africa to Tour champion, Froome completes journey

Out of Africa to Tour champion, Froome completes journey

 PARIS (Reuters) – As softly-spoken off the bike as he is brutal on his machine, Chris Froome completed a long journey out of Africato claim his maiden Tour de France on the Champs-Elysees on Sunday.

 As much as kids from Kilburn, London, are not supposed to win the Tour, as 2012 champion Bradley Wiggins would say, kids from Kenya are not supposed to prevail on the French roads either.

 “I’d like my performances here to help inspire a lot of youngsters, especially young Africans. They have to believe they can get out of Africa to make it to European teams,” the 28-year-old Froome said.

This is exactly what Froome, born in Kenya of British descent and schooled in South Africa, did.

 He started riding at 17 with local cycling coach David Kinjah in the highlands of Nairobi and in 2006, took part in the Under-23 world championships representing Kenya.

It was hardly an auspicious beginning – crashing into a policeman on the first bend of the time trial event.

Froome joined the Barloworld team in 2008 and rode his first Tour de France, finishing 84th and with little hope of one day winning the world’s greatest cycling race.

 “The first time that I thought that ‘ok, realistically I could become a GC (general classification) rider to contend in grand Tours was during the 2011 Vuelta,” said Froome, who joined the well-oiledTeam Sky in 2010.

“Up until then I was finding it difficult to keep my performances high for three weeks. The Vuelta 2011 gave me the confidence that I do belong to the group of riders who belong in front of the general classification.”

Froome, first described by Sky principal Dave Brailsford as “a rough diamond, in need of shaping and polishing”, worked for team leader Wiggins at the Vuelta in 2011 and still managed to finish ahead of him.

“When I very first joined Team Sky they asked me what my aspirations were,” said Froome.

“I set goals. Short, long-term goals. Being able to target the Tour was one of the long-term goals.

“I work pretty well within Team Sky’s system. I’m independent but I also enjoy structure, routine, that’s what team Sky is about. They offer a structure for the riders. They have everything planned.”

 Froome, the first man since Eddy Merckx in 1970 to win at top of the iconic Mont Ventoux with the yellow jersey on his shoulders, was made to wait as he matured as a rider in the shadow of Wiggins, who last year became the first Briton to win the Tour de France.

Behind him was Froome, who expressed frustration in the mountains, where he seemed able to beat his leader. But team orders are team orders, and Froome reluctantly obeyed.

With no Wiggins this year, the Briton absent as he recovers from illness and injury, Froome quickly set about making his mark.

SUMMIT VICTORY

On the first summit finish at Ax-3-Domaines in the Pyrenees, Froome soloed to victory in awe-inspiring fashion and never surrendered the yellow jersey, despite suffering in the queen stage to l’Alpe d’Huez.

“The worst moment was on l’Alpe d’Huez when I could feel I was completely flat on energy and it’s a horrible feeling,” he said.

“When you have no more fuel left in your body and you see the sign 5 kilometers to go and you know it’s uphill, it’s something tough to get through mentally but thankfully I had (team mate) Richie Porte with me.”

Froome is eager for more glory.

“Personally I think the Tour de France has to be the pinnacle of our cycling calendar, it’s the most sought-after victory,” he said.

“Having said that the decision would be very much based on the parcours, on how suited it is to me, to my other team mates. But I’d love to come back targeting the tour every year.”

A fantastic climber and an excellent time trialist, Froome will most likely be pleased with the route of the 2014 Tour, which will start from Leeds.

“It has been a fast progression for me. I’ve learnt so much but I still have improvements to make in my climbing, my time trialing, my descending,” he said.

“But I can’t tell you what the future holds. I have been a pro for five years only.”