Tour de France: Audacious breakaways or power meters?

The pack rides during the tenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 217 kilometres (135 miles) with start in Saint-Flour and finish in Albi, France, Monday, July 15, 2019 | AP / Christophe Ena

BY SAMUEL PETREQUIN, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

ALBI, France (July 16)  — With all the technology stacked against them, the six breakaway riders at the Tour de France had no hope of making it to the finish without being caught.

Race directors were watching their every move on TV screens set up in their cars, and rival competitors riding behind were informed in instant time of the gap through earpieces. It was a day for a bunch sprint, and it could not be any different. Continue reading

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Under the knife: Exposing the US’s youth basketball crisis

Basketball Canada, Raptors TV and the sports media promote the US as the “Go to” country for Canadian youth to develop their skills and make it as professionals. All six Canadians in the recent 2019 NBA draft, a record, went to US private basketball schools – in high school. Yet this occurs when the frenzied regimen of the US program is causing untold damage to American youth; players too often exhausted by marathon schedules, without proper training and with promising careers cut short because of it | Part II of a two-part series by BAXTER HOLMES, EPSN Senior Writer

(July 12) – A 3-YEAR-OLD BALL of energy named Noah bounds around a former live music venue one block from the beach in Santa Barbara. He’s surrounded by about a dozen top prep prospects from around the U.S., all here at P3 Applied Sports Science, a performance lab that has assessed the biomechanics of hundreds of the world’s best athletes, including about 350 NBA players over the past 11 years. Continue reading

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‘These kids are ticking time bombs’: The threat of youth basketball US-style

Basketball Canada, Raptors TV and the sports media promote the US as the “Go to” country for Canadian youth to develop their skills and make it as professionals. All six Canadians in the recent 2019 NBA draft, a record, went to US private basketball schools – in high school. Yet this occurs when the frenzied regimen of the US program is causing untold damage to American youth; players too often exhausted by marathon schedules, without proper training and with promising careers cut short because of it | Part I of a two-part series by BAXTER HOLMES, EPSN Senior Writer

(July 11) – STAPLES CENTER FALLS graveyard silent and still, a sellout crowd staring at the rookie beneath the basket, surrounded by medical personnel. His eyes are wet with tears. His head coach tells him to stay strong. It’s Oct. 28, 2014, the Lakers’ regular-season opener and the NBA debut for Julius Randle, a 6-foot-9 forward and the Lakers’ first first-round pick in seven years, a foundation of their post-Kobe Bryant future. Continue reading

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How mafia and corruption scandals rocked Italian football

High-profile cases of corruption, ticket touting and match fixing have led Italians to lose faith in the beautiful game, writes criminologist Anna Sergi.

Juventus has been struck by scandals | Andrea di Marco/EPA.

Football could be considered Italy’s most popular sport, with world-class teams worth billions attracting a dedicated following across the country. But more than that, football shapes the nation’s collective identity, bringing people from the smallest village to the biggest city together in their love for “the beautiful game”.

But over the past decade, media investigations and research have uncovered an unseemly lack of virtue within the industry. Mafia infiltration and corruption have come to characterise Italian football to the point that malpractice, deviance and criminal behaviour might seem to be the norm. Continue reading

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Cricket World Cup 2019: Facts and a very un-English history

BY TONY SEED*

The Cricket World Cup 2019 commenced on May 30 with England and South Africa playing the first match of the international event.

The 12th edition of the World Cup is being held in England and Wales from May 30 to July 14 with 10 national teams. Continue reading

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Marta extends her legend

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Montreal’s new tourism minister wants to spend $250m on a new Olympic Stadium roof, just like old tourism minister

What do you get for a stadium that’s already had one retractable roof replaced by a non-retractable roof when the original retractable roof failed to retract? How about a new (possibly retractable) roof!

“It’s time we gave prestige and standing back to the Olympic Park and the Olympic Stadium,” [Québec Tourism Minister Caroline] Proulx told reporters at a news conference. “For too long it has been not loved or under-loved by Quebecers.”…

“We will be working on replacing the roof, it is mandatory to change the roof,” Proulx said. “We will change the roof. The business plan will be tabled in the next few months.”

This is not the first we’ve heard of Montreal’s Olympic Stadium getting a new roof — a year and a half ago, the previous tourism minister floated spending about $250 million on one, which at the time I called “just madness.” There are certainly times when stadiums need repairs — for Olympic Stadium, this has historically been “pretty much always” — but spending $250 million on a new roof, retractable or otherwise, is a hella expensive way to provide “standing and prestige,” especially when past roofs have only resulted in scandal and ridicule. MORE

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