The Story Behind The UCI ‘Cross Championship

first_imgBy Myles McCorry of BikePure: It’s not the Champs Elysee on the last Sunday in June. It’s not the last ‘k’ of the Poggio on the run in to San Remo, or even the coffee pot at Mellow Johnnies on a Friday night. The centre of world cycling is not the velodrome at the UCI HQ in Switzerland, the Eddy Merckx trophy wall, Coppi’s headstone or even my friend’s toilet with every pee splash cycling magazine published in the last 24 months.The world centre of cycling is Belgium. All of it. From the coal heaps of Liege to the sand pits in the classrooms of the Flanderian school children. Belgium is cycle sport’s heart. Sure, France has biking as the national sport and the Italian’s break out their 10speeds and ride for an espresso every May, the same way I only play tennis when the centre court at Wimbledon is taking a hammering. But it is not ‘blood’ cycling. For the Belgium people it is life. They eat it up, from road to Roubaix, 9 to 90: biking is life. Live or live happier- live with Lycra, sweat and passion.Cycling, the way most nations do it, is not a spectator sport. In Ireland everyone that turns up to a road race is riding, related or looking bored in a 40-year-old ambulance, hoping for a touch of wheels to use their night school skills. Cycling isn’t in the blood of the Irish (Guinness) nor the English (Soccer), the Italians (mirror) or the general American public (Mc Donald’s). You reading this, you are in the minority. Chain oil and chamois cream will be found in your DNA but not your brothers’. Ask your neighbour who Tom Boonan is, the guess reply is ‘Senator’ rather than superstar. Ask an old man in a bar in Brussels, who hasn’t been on a bike in 50 years; and he will slowly produce an eared picture from his wallet of Tom winning Roubaix. It’s in the blood.The weekend criterium results are on the front page rather than the back. Kids get a bike from Santa like everywhere else in the broadband world, but in Antwerp it has SRAM red.On Sunday past, Niels Albert, in front of a scarfed, Shimano loving crowd, won the world cyclo cross championships. He had led from start to finish and made the icy, rough ground look like track boards. The 50,000 of his countrymen, who crossed over into Holland to watch him, roared and slapped the advertising hoardings with euphoria at his every rev. Flags from the supporters clubs were stiff in the freezing wind. The black, red and yellow national colours were on faces, coats and the very air, as he passed on each of the masterful laps. Beer vanished and frits disappeared; fuelling the charge and excitement. This was cycling’s superbowl, world cup and Olympics. The refrigerated air and the snow could do nothing to put out the fire raging in the veins of the Belgium people.As the last accredited photographer to arrive at the finish, I was on the edge of the fifty strong scrum, vying for the best shot of the young Belgium crossing the line. Elbows were tensed and tempers sharpened. The zoom lenses pointed parallel on the finishing straight. There is one chance to capture the money shot of the day. Camera settings are re-checked and focus switched to manual and test fired at the line judge. Nerves are sharpened as the crowds cheer, giving notice of the rider before he is seen. Neils rounds the last bend… wait for it…wait…. then Albert crossed the line and I missed it. Completely. Every other bibbed photographer got the shot and were looking at the back of their camera to see what would be on the cover of tomorrow’s dailies or next month’s cycling glossies. I had nothing.My position was on the edge of the press line that bordered the family enclosure. Ten meters from the line as Niels raised his hands aloft, my finger poised over the shutter button: a woman let out a scream beside me. It was expelled with such emotion; I turned expecting to see a body. I took my eye off the race and the job. The noise came with the passion that only the proudest mother- of the biggest name- in the most passionate cycling country- could muster. ‘Mummy’ Albert fell silent with clasped hands. And I looked up to see her fast son directed towards dope control- it was too late. Missed it, yet the smile on my face gave nothing away.Niels who was in hospital six weeks ago getting his spleen removed, was now on the top of the world. This mother who had visited a dangerously ill son in intensive care, now looked at her boy- the champion del mondo. Cyclists in Belgium are worshipped, not an annoyance on the road – we are heroes. Travelling there is like going home.The centre of world cycling is, without doubt Belgium. The centre of cycling in Belgium last Sunday was in the proud tears of mummy Albert. She was lost and invisible in the mass of photographers; with their lens pointing the wrong way, for the best shot of the day.Editor’s note: To see more pics from the event, check out our previous post.  Big thanks to Myles McCorry for the story and pics.last_img read more

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Linde provides CO2 solution in Sweden

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

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HEA Members Asked To Consider Deregulation Vote

first_imgFacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Homer Electric Association members are receiving notices of an election, asking if HEA should remove itself from the oversight of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska. HEA administrators say it costs over $500,000 to file a rate case with the RCA each time they set electricity rates for members. Administrators say the co-operative will still be governed by elected Directors and civil complaints can still be filed in court. Carey says that means a lot of red tape and rules that don’t necessarily make sense for the Kenai Peninsula. Ballots will be mailed out with HEA bills in October and must be returned to the RCA within 30 days. Carey: “Wherever we can cut down costs, and we’ve laid of some 30-something people in the last 2 1/2 years at Homer Electric, we have reduced our costs as much as we can, so that our line extension rate does not have to be that high, our cost of power adjustment doesn’t have to be as high.”center_img A public meeting will be held in Homer 6pm September 28 at the Islands and Oceans Visitor Center and in Kenai at 6pm September 29 at the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center. Carey: “The public utility commission does not work to serve its members. Instead, it seems to work for itself. Five Board Members and 50 staff members are the public utility commission (RCA).” HEA Board Member Dave Carey says it’s about increasing ‘local control’…last_img read more

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Beard Construction awarded contract for new training centre

first_imgThe appointment follows a comprehensive tender process and represents a significant milestone in the delivery of the multi-million pound project.Bristol-based Beard Construction has a strong reputation in the West Country, having successfully delivered projects including Dings’ Shaftesbury Park and the Being Brunel SS Great Britain museum.Works have commenced on Monday, July 1st on the site, with expected completion date in May 2020.Chief-Executive Mark Tainton said: “We’re confident that Beard Construction – a local business with strong roots in the city – will do a great job in delivering what will be the best professional rugby training facility in the UK and a state-of-the-art environment for Bristol Bears. “We’re confident that Beard Construction – a local business with strong roots in the city – will do a great job in delivering what will be the best professional rugby training facility in the UK and a state-of-the-art environment for Bristol Bears.” Mark Tainton, CEO “The site will include pitches, an indoor 4G barn, administration offices, medical facilities, a world class gymnasium and meeting rooms. It’s a massive project and a huge amount of preparation and detail has gone into the process so far.“It’s exciting to see the wheels in motion now and we plan to move into the new facility ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.””We are delighted to be involved in delivering this first-class facility for such a historic and successful Bristol Club and look forward to seeing the amenities enjoyed for many years to come,” says Mike Hedges, Beard Director.last_img read more

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2016 Olympic race reaches climax

first_imgThe hosts of the 2016 Olympics will be decided in Copenhagen on Friday, with Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo bidding for the Games.The presentation ceremony began at 0730 BST with Chicago’s pitch, with the winning bid announced at around 1800.Chicago are rated as slight favourites, but many commentators are describing the outcome as too close to call.“Any one of these four cities could deliver a great Olympics,” said London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe.“This is probably the highest quality contest there has been. It is very close competition and it could all be decided by the final presentations.”The city receiving the fewest votes will be eliminated round-by-round until one candidate secures a majority. International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge told the BBC: “I believe it’s going to be very close – this is a trend we have seen in the last five to six years.“Security – not only physical but also in terms of the organisation – is very important. We need a very good Olympic Village, state-of-the art venues, a good transportation system.“If beyond that we can have a very good home team and a very warm public, the game is almost over.”A large factor behind Chicago’s potential success could lie in the presence of US President Barack Obama, a former Illinois senator and Chicago resident.Obama arrived onboard Air Force One in the Danish capital on Friday at 0650, but his wife Michelle has been there since Wednesday, lobbying IOC members. In the past, the impact of star personalities on Olympic bids has been key, demonstrated when lobbying by former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair helped London win the 2012 Games and Russian President Vladimir Putin led Sochi’s bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics.However, Chicago’s rival bidders will also be boasting big names, with King of Spain Juan Carlos, the President of Brazil Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Japan’s new prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, all coming to Denmark to lobby for their respective cities.A number of factors are considered by the IOC’s voting members in determining an Olympic host city; political and social support, general infrastructure, sports venues, Olympic Village, environment, security, transport, accommodation, past experience, finance, and legacy.However, alongside these more fundamental considerations, other factors such as emotion, sentiment, geography, politics, self-interest and other factors also play a role – often making predicting a winner near impossible.The key to victory is picking up votes from the eliminated cities. The voting starts with all four cities in the hat and the candidate city with the least amount of votes is eliminated at the end of the first round. The IOC members from country of the rejected city then join the voting and a new vote is cast between the three remaining cities. This process is repeated until a majority is found, expected to be in the third round.Still, one major consideration is believed to mark Chicago and Rio de Janeiro as favourites.Although there is no official IOC continental rotation policy, it is believed the Americas may have an edge as previous Summer Games will have been held in Europe, Asia, Europe again and Australasia (although it is worth noting the 2010 Winter Games are in North America).And Rio will be hoping the opportunity to award South America the Olympics for the first time could prove decisive.Long-time IOC member Dick Pound noted recently: “Policy wise, the IOC has to decide if we’re ready to go to a new continent (South America). Is the time right?” Factors against Rio include concerns about crime and security in the area, an issue representatives from Madrid and Tokyo have drawn attention to in recent speeches and press releases.Some extra spice has been added to the process with a row breaking out after Spain’s Olympic vice-president Jose Maria Odriozola labelled Rio as “the worst of the four candidates”, breaking IOC rules about criticism of rival bids.Madrid officials swiftly apologised for the comments, but Rio have made an official complaint to the IOC over the incident.Madrid, loser to London in the 2005 bidding process for the 2012 Games, boasts a sound plan, having already built most of its venues. It also has the behind-the-scenes support of former IOC president and current honorary president Juan Antonio Samaranch and credit in the bank from previous bids.Tokyo also makes a compelling case on paper: a compact Games with superb green and redevelopment credentials. “They (Tokyo Games) have been designed by athletes for athletes,” said Mikako Kotani, a 1988 Seoul Games bronze medallist in synchronised swimming and head of the bid’s athletes commission.“Ninety-seven percent of venues are within an 8km radius of the stadium and the athletes village. Seventy percent of athletes are less than 10 minutes from their venues.”However, a win for Madrid would make it three European-based Olympics in a row (London 2012 and Sochi 2014 precede it), while Tokyo’s bid could suffer from being too like and too close to Beijing, last year’s hosts.The latest indictor of where the IOC’s vote may be headed – their final evaluation report published at the beginning on September – only served to further blur the situation, with no rankings offered and all cities praised.British IOC member Craig Reedie said that the vote would be a “very, very close race between four outstanding bids”. He said: “Because the bids are so good and because it is so close the last few hours are going to be even more exciting than usual.”Source: BBClast_img read more

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