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Floyd from Hero to Zero

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Tour de France winner Floyd Landis
tests positive in drug check

The jury is out and if Floyd is guilty, who was the doctor who administered this mixture that could cost him the Title of 2006 Tour de France winner.

Let me hear your views on this one

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New England Soccer Manager

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O’Neill or McClaren?
by Henry Winter Telegraph Sport

It was little surprise to learn yesterday that Martin O'Neill had given an impressive second interview to the FA, although the charismatic former manager of Leicester City and Celtic has been overtaken by Middlesbrough's Steve McClaren as the bookmakers' favourite to succeed Sven-Goran Eriksson as England manager.

A swift canvassing of people in the game yesterday produced a general consensus that it should be O'Neill but may well be McClaren, who two months ago was a rank outsider following a poor run of results and performances by Boro. McClaren, popular and clearly promising, may be coming up fast on the rails, but O'Neill remains the thoroughbred option.
Having grilled both candidates this week, along with the outsiders Alan Curbishley, Sam Allardyce and Phil Scolari, the FA must now ask themselves a question: if England trail 1-0 at half-time in the final of Euro 2008, who would they rather deliver the rallying cry, O'Neill or McClaren?

McClaren earned deserved kudos last week by stirring up his Middlesbrough players to fight back admirably against Basle in the Uefa Cup. Trailing 3-0 on aggregate, they scored four times to reach the semi-finals. In the debit column, McClaren was also in the dressing-room assisting Eriksson when England surrendered meekly to Brazil at the 2002 World Cup.
The famous comment from one senior player present, that England needed Winston Churchill to lift them with some inspiring oratory but got only Iain Duncan Smith, was designed to denigrate Eriksson's motivational powers, but it also tarnished McClaren by association.
If there is one quality everyone relates to O'Neill, it is his ability to galvanise players in the teeth of adversity. Testimony to O'Neill's rousing personality came from one of his former charges, Celtic's Neil Lennon, yesterday. "He's the best man-manager out there," said Lennon, who also worked under O'Neill at Leicester. "One word from him is worth 10 from another person. That's the aura he's got."

A shrewd individual, O'Neill knows how to direct his innate passion to best effect. An experienced manager, who has played in major World Cup ties and European Cup finals, O'Neill would seem ideal for the post. The FA's chief executive, Brian Barwick, who is leading the interviewing process, is certainly known to be supportive of O'Neill's claims. But doubts persist in certain quarters.

Ever since it was confirmed Eriksson would be leaving after this summer's World Cup, two heavyweight potential successors presented themselves: O'Neill and Guus Hiddink, the widely-respected coach of PSV Eindhoven and Australia. The Dutchman, rather preciously, reacted badly to the FA's lengthy head-hunting process, arguing that he did not do auditions, so he disappeared to become coach of Russia.

Hiddink, privately, was also put off by the prospect of the intense media intrusion that comes with the England job and his sense that the FA would not go foreign again after the Eriksson era. With Hiddink exiting stage left, the field appeared left open for O'Neill.
Scarred by Eriksson, the FA are loathe to go foreign again, which excludes Scolari for all his good work with Brazil and Portugal and the backing of David Dein, the Arsenal vice-chairman who is assisting Barwick. Most Soho Square power-brokers are aware of the fans' disquiet at the thought of England appointing another foreigner.

The candidatures of two Englishmen, Allardyce and Curbishley, have been eloquently articulated in certain quarters. Good, honest Premiership managers, neither hints at having the stature to deal with a dressing-room as strong as England's.
Allardyce's contretemps with the radio commentator, Alan Green, was deemed a black mark against him; England managers get their teams called far worse than "ugly". Curbishley's complaints over newspaper pictures of his meeting with Barwick did not indicate someone ready for the rollercoaster media ride that every England manager must endure.
Which leads us to McClaren, O'Neill's main rival. The FA must ask themselves three questions about the Boro manager. Firstly, will the players simply view Eriksson's assistant as a promoted No 2? McClaren has been the players' friend, consoling those who failed to make the line-up, but the good cop must now become the bad cop, dropping players, deciding tactics. No one in O'Neill's dressing-rooms ever questioned his authority.

Secondly, would McClaren be perceived as a lame-duck appointment if England faltered badly at this summer's World Cup? Probably. Looking on the bright side of Three Lions life, the genial Yorkshireman could also be feted as having helped England to their greatest moment in 40 years, and he would be welcomed into the England job with garlands, as well as copious eulogies to Barwick for promoting continuity.

And thirdly, how will McClaren fare when the full, blemish-seeking, headline-chasing spotlight of the news-hounds is turned on him? No one is suggesting that the likeable McClaren has any skeletons in his cupboard, but the FA are so sensitive post-Sven that even a stray funny bone in the cupboard would worry them. The FA, very sensibly, are drinking deeply from the pool of reflection before making such a vital appointment.
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Rugby Union Positions

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A Rugby Union team is made up of 15 players: eight forwards, numbered from 1 to 8; and seven backs, numbered from 9 to 15. Depending upon the competition, there may be up to seven replacements. Each player has a fixed role and each team will therefore play in the same formation, with only slight variations in use. Rugby union is different from other sports such as soccer with its endless number of 'formations' (4-3-3, 3-5-2 etc.) or cricket, where a player may be moved to a completely different position on the field (e.g. from silly mid-on to deep cover point) .

Individual players' tasks are made clear by the number they wear, as this indicates their position (unless they are a substitute or have switched position during the match). This means a player does not get a personal squad number for his entire career, as you tend to see in most American sports, or in soccer. The IRB has laid down a numbering scheme for international matches, which is commonly adopted by other teams as well.
The main role of the forwards is to gain and retain possession of the ball. They take part in set pieces of the scrum and the line-out. Generally, forwards are larger than the backs, and are often stronger but slower. Forwards also have a role in ball carrying, but generally do so by driving into the opposing forwards. The Laws of the Game define the terms prop and hooker and clearly state that a 3-2-3 formation must be used at scrums.
The role of the backs is to move the game forward by running or kicking the ball. The fly-half controls how to do this. The backs tend to score more tries than the forwards. They are usually more agile and faster than forwards, but not as strong. This is changing, though, as the backs are more physical than they used to be, making the game a lot more interesting.
The following diagram locates the various positions in the 15-man team. All members of the starting 15 wear shirts numbered from 1 to 15 and keyed to their positions (though alternatives exist); these numbers appear on the diagram below. The first eight players, known as forwards or the pack, play in the scrum. The remaining seven players play as the backs.

Alternate names for positions
PropProp forwardLockSecond row or lock forwardFlankerWing forward or breakaway or flank or flank forwardNumber 8Eightman or eighthman or lock forwardScrum halfInside half, half-back or scrummieFly halfOutside half, out half, stand-off, first five-eighth, first five, or pivotInside centreSecond five-eighth or second five or centre Outside centreCentre or Centre ThreequarterWingWinger or Wingman or Wing Threequarter

Collective terms for positions
Front rowThe props and hookerTight forwards or Tight 5 or Front fiveThe combined front row and second rowLoose forwards or Back row or LoosiesThe flankers and the number 8Half backsScrum half and flyhalfMidfieldCentresInside backsThe inside centre, flyhalf and scrumhalfThree-quartersWingers and centres Back threeThe fullback and the wingersOutside backsThe outside centre, wings and full back
The fly-half is alternatively called the "stand-off half", since they are the half-back that stands off from the scrum rather than close to it.
There is a lot of variation in the names of the positions. The IRB has standardised the names, yet the alternative names are still as commonly used. A problem with standardised names is that the positions themselves are not as "standard" as they might seem. For example, there is a slight difference between left and right centre on the one hand and inside and outside centre on the other. Wingers can be played on the open side and the blind side (also known as strong side and weak or closed side) rather than left and right and there are also left and right flankers.

New Zealand Terms
In New Zealand the fly half is referred to as the 1st 5/8, implying a slightly deeper position than halfback (the term halfback can cause confusion since some countries use it to refer solely to the scrum half, while other countries apply it to both the scrum half and the fly half) and the inside centre as the 2nd 5/8 implying a more forward position than a 3/4 back. Flankers may also, though this is more historic usage, be referred to as "wing-forwards" (it's also an archaic term for an obsolete position associated with the old 2-3-2 scrum, popular in New Zealand in the 1920s), or together with the No 8 as "loose-forwards", since they can quickly detach from
Australian Terms
In Australia, the second row of the scrum are often referred to as "second row", the position behind them as "lock", the forwards on either side of the lock as "breakaways" (some apply the term to the number eight as well as the flankers), and the fly-half as "five-eighth".


15. Full back
The full back stands back to cover defensive options as a 'sweeper' behind the main line of defence removed from the other backs. As the last line of defence, they require good tackling skills. Modern full backs have to have excellent attacking skills, demonstrating great pace and open field running prowess; consequently, they are often equally comfortable as wingers.
They have to catch the high kicks referred to as "up and unders" or "bombs". Having taken a catch, the full back may counter-attack or punt forwards, so speed and good kicking skills are required. Full backs sometimes act as main goalkickers.
In attack, the full back is often positioned behind the back line and runs into the back line at pace and may act as either a decoy runner or an extra man creating an overlap.
Notable fullbacks include Jason Robinson (England and Lions), Don Clarke (New Zealand), Christian Cullen (New Zealand), George Nepia (New Zealand), Bob Scott (New Zealand), JPR Williams (Wales and Lions), Gavin Hastings (Scotland and Lions), Serge Blanco (France), Percy Montgomery (South Africa) and Matt Burke (Australia), Josh Lewsey (England and Lions) Geordan Murphy ( Ireland and Lions).
See also: Fullback

14. and 11. Wing

(Young Ireland and Ulster winger Andrew Trimble)
The wings act as "finishers" on movements by scoring tries. The idea is that space should be created by the forwards and backs inside the wingers so, once they receive the ball, they have a clear run to use their speed and agility to score tries. They are often the quickest members of the team and need to be able to juke and side step to finish off scoring situations.
They must also be good tacklers, if the other team get past them a big gain or a try is on the cards. They also often act as additional full backs on opposition kicks.
A modern use of the wing is as a link player. They retain all the traditional skills of a wing, but are able to combine these with skills more traditionally associated with half backs. As the play goes through multiple phases the scrum half or fly half may be taken out play, if this occurs the blind side wing can step in to perform a creative role. Good examples of this role include Austin Healey, Breyton Paulse and Shane Williams.
Notable wings include Jonah Lomu (New Zealand), Joe Rokocoko (New Zealand), Jeff Wilson (New Zealand), Doug Howlett (New Zealand), John Kirwan (New Zealand), David Campese (Australia), Gerald Davies (Wales and Lions), Joe Roff (Australia ), Bryan Habana (South Africa) and Rupeni Caucaunibuca (Fiji).
See also: Winger (sport)
13. Outside centre & 12. Inside centre
Centres need to have a strong all-round game: they need to be able to break through opposition lines and pass the ball accurately. When attack turns into defence they need to be strong in the tackle. Usually the two centres are divided into outside centre and inside centre, though sometimes teams play with left and right centres.
The outside is typically the lighter, more agile of the two centres. They are the "rapiers" that are given the ball, normally via the fly half, to make breaks through the opposition backs before offloading to the wingers after drawing the last line of defence. An outside centre should be very strong, fast and able to pass with pinpoint accuracy under pressure.
The inside centre tends to be the larger of the two centres. In defence or attack, the inside centre is always in the thick of the action, drawing the opposition's defence, making the breaks to make the space for the outside centre and dishing out the tackles in defence along with the forwards. Some of the skills of the fly-half, such as distribution and kicking, can be advantageous to inside centres, as they may be expected to act as fly-halves if the normal fly-half is involved in a ruck or maul.
Notable outside centres include Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland and Lions), Danie Gerber (South Africa), Tana Umaga (New Zealand), Frank Bunce (New Zealand), Jeremy Guscott (England and Lions). Notable inside centres include Mike Gibson (Ireland and Lions), Scott Gibbs (Wales and Lions), Tim Horan (Australia), Philippe Sella Yannick Jauzion and Didier Codorniou (France), and Jean de Villiers (South Africa).

10. Fly-half
Fly half is short for flying half back because they take the ball on the run. They are probably the most influential players on the pitch. The fly half is the person who makes key decisions during a game such as whether to kick for space, move the ball wide or run with the ball themselves. They should be very fast, able to kick with both feet, have brilliant handling skills, and operate well under pressure.
Games are rarely won on tries alone, which makes the fly-half the most important player in the side as they are usually the side's kicker, and therefore main points-scorer.
Notable fly-halves include Neil Jenkins (Wales and Lions), Joel Stransky (South Africa), Jonny Wilkinson (England and Lions), Carlos Spencer (New Zealand), Grant Fox (New Zealand), Phil Bennett (Wales and Lions), Rob Andrew (England), Andrew Mehrtens (New Zealand), Gregor Townsend (Scotland and Lions), Barry John (Wales and Lions), Mark Ella (Australia), Stephen Larkham (Australia), Daniel Carter (New Zealand), Hugo Porta (Argentina) and Diego Dominguez (Argentina, Italy) and Stephen Jones (Wales and Lions), Charlie Hodgson (England) and Lions)and Ronan O'Gara (Ireland and Lions)

9. Scrum-half
Scrum halves form the all-important link between the forwards and the backs. They normally act as the 'General' for the forwards and are always at the centre of the action. A scrum half is normally relatively small but with a high degree of vision, the ability to react to situations very quickly, and good handling skills.
They are often the first tackler in defence and are behind every scrum, maul or ruck to get the ball out and maintain movement. They put the ball into the scrum and collect it afterwards; they also are allowed to stand further forward than other backs at a line-out to try to catch knock downs from the jumper.
It is also not unusual to have talkative scrum-halves in competitive situations. Though technically illegal, most scrum-halves will subtly alert the referee to fouls and infringments committed by the opposing team.
Notable scrum-halves include Liam Hewison (Lions), Nick Farr-Jones (Australia), Gary Armstrong (Scotland and Lions), Justin Marshall (New Zealand), Sid Going (New Zealand), Gareth Edwards (Wales and Lions), Rob Howley (Wales and Lions), George Gregan (Australia), Danie Craven (South Africa), Joost van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Dwayne Peel (Wales and Lions), Jacques Fouroux (France) and Jérôme Gallion (France), Matt Dawson(England and Lions), Austin Healey ("The Leicester Lip") (England and Lions who is particularly unusual in having played scrum half, stand off, wing and full-back for his country).

1. Loosehead prop & 3. Tighthead prop
The role of both the loose- and tighthead props is to support the hooker in the scrum and to provide effective, dynamic support for the jumpers in the line-out. Props provide the main power in the push forward in the scrum, and it is for this reason that they need to be exceptionally strong. Under modern rules non-specialists are not allowed to play as props as they make sure that the scrum does not collapse, a situation which can be very dangerous.
A tighthead prop is so called because they pack down on the right-hand side of the scrum and so their head fits between the opposing loosehead prop and hooker. In contrast, the loosehead prop packs down on the left-hand side where their head is outside that of the opposing tighthead prop. Although it may look to the neutral observer that the two positions are quite similar (and some players have the ability to play on both sides of the scrum), the technical challenges of each are quite different.
The laws of the game require the tighthead prop to bind with his right arm outside the left upper arm of his opposing loosehead prop and similarly they restrict what the loosehead prop can do with his left arm. Although the scrum half may put the ball in on either side of the scrum, he is unlikely to choose the tighthead side because otherwise the opposing hooker would be between him and his own hooker. Hence, the laws implicitly require the loosehead prop to be on the left side of the scrum.
Props are also in the position of being able to direct the movement of the scrum in moving side to side to prevent the other teams scrum from "wheeling" the set scrum and forcing another "put in" from the opposing side
Notable loosehead props include Jason Leonard (England and Lions), who is also one of a rare breed who can prop on either side, Tony Woodcock (New Zealand), Charlie Faulkner (Wales and Lions), Os du Randt (South Africa) and Andrew Sheridan (England and Lions).
Notable tighthead props include John Hayes (Ireland and Lions), Graham Price (Wales and Lions), Phil Vickery (England and Lions), Carl Hayman (New Zealand) and Olo Brown (New Zealand) and Peter Clohessy (Ireland).

2. Hooker
The hooker uses their feet to 'hook' the ball in the scrum, because of the pressure put on the body by the scrum it is considered to be one of the most dangerous positions to play. They also normally throw the ball in at line-outs, partly because they are normally the shortest of the forwards, but more usually because they are the most skillful of the forwards. When line-outs go wrong the hooker is often made a scapegoat even though the fault may actually lie with the jumpers. Hookers have more in common with back row forwards than props or locks as they have a roving role at line-outs and do not push as much in the scrum as other front row forwards.
Notable hookers include Brian Moore (England and Lions) , Sean Fitzpatrick (New Zealand),Graeme Dawe (England and Bath Rugby|) , Keven Mealamu (New Zealand), Steve Thompson (England and Lions), Keith Wood (Ireland and Lions), Raphael Ibanez and Philippe Dintrans (France), Bobby Windsor (Wales and Lions) and John Smit (South Africa)

4. & 5. Lock
Locks are almost always the tallest players on the team and so are the primary targets at line-outs. At line-outs, locks must jump aggressively to catch the ball and get it to the scrum half or at least get the first touch so that the ball comes down on their own side.
The two locks stick their heads between the two props and the hooker in the scrums. They are also responsible for keeping the scrum square and provide the power to shift it forward. (This position is referred to as the "engine room".)
Locks are very tall, athletic and have an excellent standing jump along with good strength. They also make good ball carriers, bashing holes in the defence around the ruck and maul.
Notable locks include Paul O'Connell (Ireland and Lions), John Eales (Australia), Colin Meads (New Zealand), Willie John McBride (Ireland and Lions), Malcolm O'Kelly (Ireland and Lions), Fabien Pelous (France), Donncha O'Callaghan (Ireland and Lions), Martin Johnson (England and Lions), Chris Jack (New Zealand) and Victor Matfield (South Africa).
6. Blindside flanker & 7. Openside flanker
The players with the fewest set responsibilities and therefore the position where the player should have all round attributes: speed, strength, fitness, and handling skills. Flankers are always involved in the game, as they are the real ball winners in broken play, especially the no. 7.
Flankers do less pushing in the scrum than the tight five, but need to be fast as their task is to break quickly and cover the opposing half-backs if the opponents win the scrum. At one time flankers were allowed to break away from the scrum with the ball.
Flankers can be broken down into opensides (occasionally known as strong side), who attach themselves to the scrum on whichever side is further from the touchline and blindsides (occasionally known as weak side or closed side), who attach themselves to the scrum on whichever side is closer to the touchline.
Since most of the back play is usually on the open side where there is more space it is usually the openside flanker's job to be the first to the breakdown of play and get their hands on any loose ball (or to cause a breakdown by tackling the ball carrier or otherwise harrying him into error). At a scrum where the ball has been won by the opposition they have the best view of when the ball is out. As soon as this happens they will generally break and quickly close them down, reducing the time they have to kick or pass. The openside is normally smaller, faster and more mobile as they start play nearer to the potential action and needs to be the first person to arrive at the breakdown.
The blindside flanker on the other hand must be able to stop a blindside move and if the play goes openside he must then get to the breakdown as quickly as possible where he may be needed to tidy up after the openside. While he must be fast he doesn't need to be as fast as the openside and his role is more of a stabilizer than havoc-wreaker. They are generally larger as they have a more physical role to play at the line-out and may well be used as a jumper.
Flankers are not always divided into opensides and blindsides: French teams tend not to make a distinction between the two roles, and usually play left and right rather than open and blind. Nor do shirt numbers necessarily denote which role a flanker plays. As an example, the outstanding flanker Serge Betsen (France) wears the number six (the blindside's number in the Home Nations, New Zealand and Australia), but packs down on both open and blind sides of the scrum during a game, and harasses the opposition fly-half in the manner of an openside. South African teams tend to play the faster, more agile 'fetcher' in the six shirt, while the larger flanker wears seven. Other international teams have also abandoned conventions from time to time; flankers Findlay Calder and John Jeffrey (Scotland) played left and right, rather than open and blind. More recently, Betsen and Olivier Magne have formed an outstanding left-right partnership for France.
Notable blindsides include Francois Pienaar (South Africa), John Jeffrey (Scotland and Lions), Jerry Collins (New Zealand) and Jean Prat (France).
Notable opensides include Lewis Moody (England and British and Irish Lions), Neil Back (England and Lions), Michael Jones (New Zealand), Fergus Slattery (Ireland and Lions), Finlay Calder (Scotland and Lions), Josh Kronfeld (New Zealand) and Richie McCaw (New Zealand), Jean-Pierre Rives (France), Graeme Mourie (New Zealand) .
George Smith (Australia) is a notable flanker who is often played on the blindside, but generally plays like a second openside in tandem with Phil Waugh. Richard Hill (England and Lions) is similarly versatile, as is the young South Africa star Schalk Burger.

8. Number eight
Number eight is the only position that does not have a specific name and is simply referred to as 'eight man' or 'number eight'. The modern number eight has the physical strength of a forward along with the speed and skill of a back. The number eight packs down at the rear of the scrum, controlling the movement and feeding the ball to the scrum-half. The number 8 is the position where the ball enters the backline from the scrum and hence both fly half and inside centre take their role from the number 8 who as the last player in the scrum can elect to pick and run with the ball like a back. No other forward player from a scrum can legally do this. As a result the number 8 has the opportunities as a back to run from set plays.
Normally tall and athletic and used as an option to win the ball from the back of the lineout. Like flankers they do less of the pushing than locks or props, but need to be quick to cover opposition half-backs. A number eight should be a key ball winner in broken play, and occasionally a 'battering ram' at the front of rucks.
Notable number eights include Zinzan Brooke (New Zealand), Wayne Shelford (New Zealand), Toutai Kefu (Australia), Gary Teichmann (South Africa), Lawrence Dallaglio (England and Lions), Dean Richards (England and Lions), Mervyn Davies (Wales and Lions), Scott Quinnell (Wales and Lions), Victor Costello (Ireland) and Imanol Harinordoquy (France).
Some back-row players are versatile enough to play either of the flanker positions or at number 8; one notable example is Joe van Niekerk (South Africa).
Even more versatile players in this vein are Michael Owen (Wales and Lions) and Martin Corry (England and Lions), who normally play number 8, but also frequently play at both flanker positions, and have even successfully played at lock.
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The Ironman Triathlon

The most famous ironman triathlon is the IRONMAN TRIATHLON® which is an annual event held in the US state of Hawaii and featuring three endurance events: swimming, biking, and running. It is based in Kailua Kona, Hawaii and involves a 2.4 mile (3.86 kilometer) swim (across Kailua Kona Bay), followed by a 112 mile (180.2 kilometer) bike ride (from Keauhou to Hawi and back), and a 26.2 mile (42.2 kilometer) marathon along the coast of the Big Island (from Keauhou to Keahole Point to Kailua Kona).
Additionally, there are many events around the world year round that serve as qualifying events for the world championship venue in Hawaii. They fill up fast these days, no matter where they are: Australia, Canada, the United States, Japan, Canary Islands, and Europe -- all official IRONMAN TRIATHLON® events.

Many people refer to all triathlons of this length as "Ironman" races, but this is technically incorrect. Race directors are careful to use generic terms, such as Iron Distance Triathlon, to describe races that are not affiliated with the World Triathlon Corporation. The World Triathlon Corporation enforces its trademarks vigorously, including monitoring their use in the media and on the Internet. "IRONMAN TRIATHLON®", "IRONMAN TRIATHLON WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP®", "MDOT" and "SWIM 2.4 MILES! BIKE 112 MILES! RUN 26.2 MILES! BRAG FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE®" are trademarks of the World Triathlon Corporation, registered in the United States and other countries.

The IRONMAN TRIATHLON® was the first major competition of its kind. The first IRONMAN TRIATHLON® was held in 1978 Honolulu, Hawaii until 1980. In 1981, the competition was moved to the less urbanized Big Island by Valerie Silk. The following year, Silk moved the race date from February to October. There were two IRONMAN TRIATHLON® events in 1982 as a result of the change.
The idea for the original IRONMAN TRIATHLON® arose during the awards ceremony for the 1977 Oahu Perimeter Relay (a running race for 5-person teams). Among the participants were numerous representatives of both the Mid-Pacific Road Runners and the Waikiki Swim Club, whose members had long been debating which athletes were more fit, runners or swimmers. On this occasion, U.S. Navy Commander John Collins pointed out that a recent article in Sports Illustrated magazine had declared that Eddy Merckx, the great Belgian cyclist, had the highest recorded "oxygen uptake" of any athlete ever measured, so perhaps cyclists were more fit than anyone. Cdr. Collins and his wife, Judy, had taken part in the triathlons staged in 1974 and 1975 by the San Diego Track Club in and around Mission Bay, California, as well as the Optimist Sports Fiesta Triathlon in Coronado, California, in 1975. A number of the other military athletes in attendance were also familiar with the San Diego races, so they understood the concept when Cdr. Collins suggested that the debate should be settled through a race combining the three existing long-distance competitions already on the island: the Waikiki Roughwater Swim (2.4 mi./3.85 km), the Around-Oahu Bike Race (115 miles; originally a two-day event) and the Honolulu Marathon (26.2 mi./42.195 km). It is worth noting that no one present had ever done the bike race; Cdr. Collins calculated that, by shaving 3 miles off the course and riding counter-clockwise around the island, the bike leg could start at the finish of the Waikiki Rough Water and end at the Aloha Tower, the traditional start of the Honolulu Marathon. Prior to racing, each athlete received three sheets of paper listing a few rules and a course description. Handwritten on the last page was this exhortation: ?SWIM 2.4 MILES! BIKE 112 MILES! RUN 26.2 MILES! BRAG FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE®! With a nod to a local runner who was notorious for his demanding workouts, Collins said, "Whoever finishes first, we'll call him the Iron Man." Of the fifteen men to start off the in early morning on February 18th, 1978, twelve completed the race and the world's first IRONMAN®, Gordon Haller, completed in 11 hours, 46 minutes, and 58 seconds.
With no further marketing efforts, the race gathered as many as 50 athletes the following year. The race, however, was postponed a day because of bad weather conditions and only fifteen competitors started off the race Sunday morning. San Diego's Tom Warren, age 35, won in 11 hours, 15 minutes, and 56 seconds. Lyn Lemaire, a championship cyclist from Boston, placed sixth overall and became the first "IRONWOMAN®."
Collins planned on changing the race into a relay event to draw more participants, but Sports Illustrated's journalist Barry McDermott, in the area to cover a golf tournament, discovered the race and wrote a ten page account of it. During the following year, hundreds of curious participants contacted Collins.
The IRONMAN TRIATHLON® inspired the addition of the triathlon sport (though over shorter distances) at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.

Qualifying events
By 2005 there were sixteen IRONMAN TRIATHLON® qualifying races throughout the world:*IRONMAN® Arizona in Tempe, Arizona; added in 2005*IRONMAN® Coeur d'Alene in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, USA; added in 2003 *IRONMAN® Florida in Panama City Beach, Florida; added in 1999*IRONMAN® Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin*IRONMAN® Australia in Port Macquarie, Australia*IRONMAN® Austria in Klagenfurt, Austria*IRONMAN® Canada in Penticton, Canada*IRONMAN® France in Nice, France*IRONMAN® Germany in Frankfurt, Germany*IRONMAN® Lanzarote in the Canary Islands*IRONMAN® New Zealand in Taupo, New Zealand *IRONMAN® UK in Sherborne, United Kingdom; added in 2005; transition is in the grounds of Sherborne CastleOther races using different names are held in Brazil, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, South Africa and the United States among others.
Another way of qualifying is the IRONMAN® lottery. 150 spots are reserved for athletes that enter the lottery, 50 of them being international spots, the other 100 being US spots. The lottery entries are then drawn out of a pool of about 3,000 entries.

The IRONMAN® format remains unchanged, and the Hawaiian IRONMAN® is still regarded as the most honored and prestigious triathlon event to win worldwide. For the 25th anniversary on October 18, 2003, nearly 1500 athletes were enlisted, most of which had to go through qualification competitions (although some were admitted through the lottery).
The IRONMAN TRIATHLON® is a grueling event that pushes its participants to the limits of endurance. Some, however, find the prescribed distances fall short of these limits. Hence, events such as the double iron triathlon have come about. More extreme formats have evolved; there are in fact triple, quadruple, quintuple, deca, and 15× events that are multiples of the original IRONMAN® distance triathlon. The world records in the quintuple and deca iron races are held by a woman, Astrid Benöhr.

Legendary IRONMAN® triathletes
* Paula Newby-Fraser** 8-time winner of the IRONMAN® Hawaii (overall record)** 6 consecutive victories in Hawaii (overall record)** 23 IRONMAN® victories overall (overall record)* Dave Scott** 6-time winner of the IRONMAN® Hawaii (men's record) ** Nickname is "The Man"* Mark Allen** 6-time winner of the IRONMAN® Hawaii (men's record)** 5 consecutive victories in Hawaii** Nickname is "The Grip"

*2005: Faris Al-Sultan, 8:14:17, GER*2004: Norman Stadler, 8:33:29, GER*2003: Peter Reid, 8:22:35, CAN*2002: Tim DeBoom, 8:29:56, USA*2001: Tim DeBoom, 8:31:18, USA*2000: Peter Reid, 8:21:01, CAN*1999: Luc Van Lierde, 8:17:17, BEL*1998: Peter Reid, 8:24:20, CAN*1997: Thomas Hellriegel, 8:33:01, GER*1996: Luc Van Lierde, 8:04:08, BEL; first European winner and current course record holder*1995: Mark Allen, 8:20:34, USA*1994: Greg Welch, 8:20:27, AUS*1993: Mark Allen, 8:07:45, USA*1992: Mark Allen, 8:09:08, USA*1991: Mark Allen, 8:18:32, USA*1990: Mark Allen, 8:28:17, USA*1989: Mark Allen, 8:09:15, USA*1988: Scott Molina, 8:31:00, USA*1987: Dave Scott, 8:34:13, USA*1986: Dave Scott, 8:28:37, USA*1985: Scott Tinley, 8:50:54, USA*1984: Dave Scott, 8:54:20, USA*1983: Dave Scott, 9:05:57, USA*1982 (Oct): Dave Scott, 9:08:23, USA*1982 (Feb): Scott Tinley, 9:19:41, USA*1981: John Howard (cyclist), 9:38:29*1980: Dave Scott, 9:24:33, USA*1979: Tom Warren, 11:15:56, USA*1978: Gordon Haller, 11:46:58, USA
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Ireland's Son

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Stephen Roche (born November 28, 1959 in Dundrum near Dublin, Ireland) is a retired professional cyclist. In a 13-year professional career, he peaked in 1987, becoming only the second cyclist in history to win the Triple Crown of overall victories in the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia stage races, plus victory in the World Cycling Championship. Roche's rise to prominence in the sport co-incided with that of his fellow Irishman and great friend Sean Kelly although the two were never teammates. In total, Roche's palmares included 58 professional wins.
Although generally acknowledged as one of the finest cyclists of his generation and admired by purists for his effortless pedalling style, he struggled with a series of chronic knee injuries and never meaningfully contended in the Grand Tours post-1987.

  1. 1 Amateur Career

  2. 2 Early Professional Career

  3. 3 Chronic Knee Injury

  4. 4 1987 Triple Crown

  5. 5 Post-1987 Career

  6. 6 Performance Enhancing Drugs

  7. 7 Family and post-Cycling Career

  8. 8 Teams

  9. 9 Quotes

  10. 10 External links

Amateur Career
On completion of his apprenticeship as a machinist in a Dublin dairy and following a successful amateur career in Ireland (including a win in the Rás Tailteann in 1979), Roche travelled to France and joined the vaunted Parisian ACBB Boulogne-Billancourt amateur team largely to aid his preparation for the 1980 Olympic games road race in Moscow. Soon after his arrival Roche won the amateur Paris-Roubaix, escaping with Belgium rider Dirk Demol and sprinting to vistory on the track at Roubaix. Famously, during the race Roche was told by his director sportif that if he did not win then "he would be sent home to Ireland that day".
Although he also finished on the podium at the early-season Paris-Eze, a knee injury caused by a bad shoe plate led to a poor ride in Moscow. On his return to France, an amazing spell from August to October saw Roche win 19 races and led to the offer of a professional contract with the Peugeot professional cycling team for the 1981 season.

Early Professional Career
Roche scored his first professional victory by beating Bernard Hinault in the Tour of Corcisa. Less than a month later he won the early season Paris-Nice stage race (despite illness caused by severe cold on the descent from Mont Ventoux) and finished his impressive debut season with further victories in the Tour de Corse, Circuit d'Indre-et-Loire and Etoile des Espoirs races and also recored an impressive second place behind Hinault again in the Grand Prix des Nations.
In a disappointing 1982 season his best performance was second in the Amstel Gold Race, but his rise to prominence continued in 1983 with victories in the Tour de Romandie, Grand Prix de Wallonnie, Etoile des Espoirs, Paris-Bourges. In the 1983 Tour de France, Roche finished 13th and he finished the 1983 season with a bronze medal in the World Cycling Championship at Alterheim in Zurich.
In 1984, now riding for the La Redoute team following contractual wrangles with his Peugeot bosses, he repeated his Tour de Romandie win, also won Nice-Alassio and Subida a Arrate and was second in Paris-Nice. He finished 25th in that years Tour de France.
In 1985, Roche won the Criterium International, the Tour Midi-Pyrénées and came second (again) in Paris-Nice and third in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. In the 1985 Tour de France Roche won stage 18 to the Aubisque winner and ultimately finished on the podium in 3rd position, 4 minutes and 29 seconds behind race winner Bernard Hinault.

Chronic Knee Injury
In 1986 while riding at a six days event with UK professional Tony Doyle at Paris-Bercy, Roche crashed and badly damaged his right knee. This injury destroyed his debut 1986 season with his new team Carrera, for example finishing the 1986 Tour de France in 48th place 1h 32' behind winner Greg LeMond.
The chronic injury, and associated back problems, would recur throughout his career and even surgical intervention under the esteemed Dr. Muller-Wohlfahrt in Munich did little good. It was also suggested that a changed from the old clips and straps to early generation clipless pedals in 1988 may have exacerbated the problem. By the end of his career Roche was said to be unable to properly address his pedal on any axis and in retirement described riding the 1993 Tour de France as "just for fun"

1987 Triple Crown
Then, in 1987, Roche had a tremendous Spring season, winning the Tour of Valencia, a third victory in the Tour de Romandie, fourth place plus a stage win in Paris-Nice. He also finished second in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the closest he ever got to winning a 'Monument' Classic, and blamed his failure to win on tactical naivete and "riding like an amateur".
In the Giro d'Italia, Roche took three stage wins (including a team win with Carrera in the team time trial) en route to overall victory and thus become the first Giro victor from outside mainland Europe. In the Giro he contended with the tifosi's unabiguous, vocal and sometimes interventional support for his Carrera team-mate and 1986 Giro winner Roberto Visentini. It was said that the only member of his team that Roche could rely on not to ride against him in the Giro was his longtime domestique Eddy Schepers although Roche recruited the support of the Panasonic riders and ACBB teammates of old Robert Millar and Australian Phil Anderson to encircle and protect him with Schepers on the Marmolada climb. Roche's stage wins that year in the Giro were stage 1b, the infamous 8 km time trial run downhill on the Poggio into San Remo and stage 22, a 32 km individual time trial into St. Vincent. Despite his stage wins, the race is best remembered for the gruelling stage from Lido di Jesola to Sappada, where Roche broke away alone early in the day and despite being caught late in the race, had the strength to go with the counterattack and take the pink jersey from Visentini.
Following Hinault's retirement, and with Greg LeMond out injured following a hunting accident, the 1987 Tour de France was one of the most open of recent years. It was also one of the most mountainous routes since the war with a record 25 stages. Roche raced hard, winning the 87.5km individual time trial stage 10 to Futuroscope and taking second on stage 19. On the next stage, a particularly gruelling Alpine stage crossing the Galibier and the Madeleine and finishing at La Plagne, Roche had to chase his nearest rival Pedro Delgado who attacked on the final climb. Roche collapsed and lost consciousness at the finish and was given oxygen but when asked when revived if he was okay, he famously replied "Oui, mais pas de femme toute suite".
The yellow jersey changed hands several times between Charly Mottet, Roche, Jean François Bernard and Delgado, before Roche used the final 35km time trial to overturn a half-minute gap and win the Tour by what was at the time the narrowest margin ever: 40 seconds (two years later, Greg LeMond beat Laurent Fignon by 8 seconds). Thus Roche became only the fifth cyclist in history to win the Tour de France and the Giro in the same year. He was also the first and only Irishman ever to win the Tour de France, a fact marked by then-Irish premier Charles Haughey joining Roche on the victors podium on the Champs Elysee.
Then, with victory at the World road race championship in Villach in Austria, Roche became only the second cyclist in history to have won the Triple Crown of Cycling. Roche had worked tirelessly during the race for his Irish teammate Sean Kelly and escaped in the race winning break only while covering for his countryman. Roche attacked within 500 metres of the finish and crossed the line victorious with just metres to spare from the descending pack.
And after such a year, victory in the season-long Super Prestige Pernod International competition was probably only to be expected.

Post-1987 Career
At the close of the 1987 season, Roche announced a change in team from Carrera to Fagor bringing with him an apparently hand-picked selection of team mates including the English riders Sean Yates, Malcolm Elliot, multiple Tour de France King of the Mountains winner Robert Miller and loyal domestique Eddy Schepers.
The 1988 season began badly however with a recurrence of the knee injury and Roche's career began a gradual decline. In 1989 he again took second places in the Paris-Nice stage race (making four second places in total) and the Semaine Catalane but with his Fagor team in disarray he changed team once again. In 1990, racing for new Histor Sigma team he won the Four Days of Dunkirk and 1991 riding for Roger De Vlaeminck's short-lived TonTon Tapis team brought victories in the Semaine Catalane and Critérium International.
In the Grand Tours, he was ninth in the 1989 Giro, and won a stage of the 1992 Tour de France into La Bourboule, (once again racing for the Carrera team but now in support of team leader Claudio Chiappucci) en route to a final ninth place. A year later, he was again ninth in the Giro and 13th in the Tour de France.
Roche retired from the professional peloton at the end of a 1993 season which yielded just a single win, in the post-Tour de France criterium at Chateau Chinon.

Performance Enhancing Drugs
In May 1990, Paul Kimmage a former professional cyclist, Fagor team mate of Roche and a fellow Dubliner published a powerful and frank account of life in the professional peloton. His book "Rough Ride" exposed the drug usage apparently endemic in the peloton but spoke in fawning terms about his boyhood idol and former Fagor team leader Roche. Publication of the book resulting in an aggressive and visceral reaction from Roche, including the threat of litigation, despite no direct suggestion of drug usage by Roche ever having been made by Kimmage.
In 2004 Roche was implicated in an Italian court case relating to claims that Dr Giovanni Grazzi, a doctor at Roche's Carrera team in 1993 and an associate of Dr Michele Ferrari, had administered EPO to a number of members of the team, including Roche. Although the use of codenames masked the actual recipients and Roche's strenuous denials of ever having taken performance enhancing drugs during his career, the judge in the Italian judicial inquiry, Franca Oliva, was quoted as saying "One cannot but arrive at the conclusion that Dr Grazzi was effectively involved in the direct dispensing of EPO..."
Franca Oliva also noted that "the court was faced with total omerta on the part of the athletes, even in the face of the most obvious and incontrovertible evidence". Although the Italian courts have proved single minded in their determination to pursue riders accused of doping, under the statute of limitations neither Roche, his Carrera team mates nor the team doctor can now be prosecuted under Italian law.

Family and post-Cycling Career
Roche lives in France and owns and operates a hotel, the Roche Marina Hotel, on the Cote d'Azur and has established bicycle training camps on the Spanish island of Majorca. He also works as a sometime commentator on cycling events for the Eurosport television channel and an ambassador at the Tour de France for Coeur de Lion cheese company.
Married to Lydia, he has two children one of whom, Nicholas Roche, is also now a professional cyclist with the French Cofidis road racing team.
His brother Lawrence Roche was also a professional cyclist and the pair raced together in the professional peloton for a number of years.

  1. 1981–1983: Peugeot

  2. 1984–1985: La Redoute

  3. 1986–1987: Carrera

  4. 1988–1989: Fagor

  5. 1990: Histor Sigma

  6. 1991: TonTon Tapis

  7. 1992–1993: Carrera

While it is a very hard and sometimes very cruel profession, my love for the bike remains as strong now as it was in the days when I first discovered it. I am convinced that long after I have stopped riding as a professional I will be riding my bicycle. I never want to abandon my bike. I see my grandfather, now in his seventies and riding around everywhere. To me that is beautiful. And the bike must always remain a part of my life.
Stephen Roche
I have never taken performance enhancing drugs whether banned or unbanned, on or off the list, at any time. In fact, I underwent hundreds of tests during my career and all were negative.
Stephen Roche
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Bass Fishing

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Bass Fishing is the pursuit of the North American fish known colloquially as Black Bass, this includes Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides (Lacepede), Smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieui), Kentucky Bass (Micropterus punctatus), and the many species and subspecies of the genus Micropterus.

Modern Bass Fishing has its roots in the Southern USA, originally for food. The sport has evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry. The sport has changed drastically since the 1950s from humble beginnings it has become the second most specifically sought after game fish in the USA. The sport has driven the development of all manner of fishing gear, from rods, reels, lines, lures, electronics to modern 'Bass Boats'.

Competitive bass fishing alone generates approximately two billion dollars annually. Overall the latest numbers place the value of the sport at over seven billion US dollars.
The majority of participants no longer views Bass as a food fish.The phrase "catch and release" was coined by one of the first NationalTournament circuits, Bass Anglers Sportsmen Society (BASS). Most fish are released as soon as caught. In competition anglers are penalized heavily for dead fish, in some cases dead fish are not weighed. Fish turned in for weighing are immediately released or placed in tanks and treated for stress and injury to their slime coats, then released back into the water.

Sports fishermen and governmental wildlife departments have introduced the Largemouth Bass across the world. Japan and South Africa have active programs of stocking. The subculture of competitive Bass Fishing has followed the fish across the globe. There have been a number of tournament events in the USA involving invited participants from Japan, South Africa and Australia. Australian tournaments are based on an Australian native freshwater fish called Australian bass that are not related to Largemouth Bass. Largemouth Bass are not found in Australia.

Largemouth Bass should not be confused with a multitude of unrelated fish species found around the world and called "Bass", such as the Australian bass.

Recommended site www.ask-the-fishing-coach.com
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Pro Golf Stats

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Men's professional golf

Major championships*6-9 April: The Masters *15-18 June: U.S. Open *20-23 July: The Open Championship *17-20 August: PGA Championship
World Golf Championships (individual events)*22-26 February: WGC-Accenture World Matchplay Championship - Australian World Number 53 Geoff Ogilvy defeated Davis Love III 3 and 2. *24-27 August: WGC-Bridgestone Invitational *28 September - 1 October: WGC-American Express Championship

Other leading PGA Tour events*23-26 March: The Players Championship*2-5 November: The Tour Championship

There is a complete list of PGA Tour results here.
Other leading European Tour events*25-28 May: BMW Championship *14-17 September: HSBC World Match Play Championship*26-29 October: Volvo Masters
There is a complete list of European Tour results here.
Tour money list / order of merit winners:*PGA Tour - Current money list*European Tour - Current order of merit*Japan Golf Tour - Current money list*Asian Tour - Current order of merit*PGA Tour of Australasia - Current order of merit*Sunshine Tour - Charl Schwartzel of South Africa topped the 2005-06 Order of Merit with earnings of 1,207,459.70 South African Rand. Current 2006-07 Order of Merit.
Team events*22-24 September: Ryder Cup *7-10 December: WGC-World Cup
Other happenings*January 11: The PGA Tour announces new six-year network deals with CBS and NBC, to commence in 2007, and a fifteen year deal with the Golf Channel. 1

Women's professional golf
LPGA majors*30 March - 2 April: Kraft Nabisco Championship *8-11 June: LPGA Championship *29 June - 2 July: U.S. Women's Open *3-6 August: Weetabix Women's British Open
Ladies European Tour major (in addition to the Women's British Open)*26-29 July: Evian Masters
Additional LPGA Tour events *6-9 July: HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship *16-19 November: LPGA Playoffs at The ADT
There is a complete list of LPGA Tour results here.
Money list winners*LPGA Tour - Current money list *Ladies European Tour - Click the link on the left on this page for the latest Order of Merit.
Team events*20-22 January: Women's World Cup of Golf - Sweden's Annika Sorenstam and Liselotte Neumann claimed the trophy in its second year.
Other happenings*21 February: the first official Women's World Golf Rankings are published.

Senior men's Professional Golf
Senior majors*25-28 May: Senior PGA Championship *6-9 July: U.S. Senior Open *13-16 July: Senior Players Championship *27-30 July: Senior British Open *24-27 August: The Tradition
For a full list of Champions Tour results click here
Money list winners*Champions Tour - current money list*European Seniors Tour - current Order of Merit

Amateur golf
*18-20 May: NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championships*19-24 June: The Amateur Championship*29-30 July: Curtis Cup*7-13 August: U.S. Women's Amateur Championship *23-27 August: U.S. Amateur Championship *18-21 October: Espirito Santo Trophy*26-29 October: Eisenhower Trophy

Tables of results
This table summarises all the results referred to above in date order.
DateTournamentStatus or tourWinner20 January-22 JanuaryWomen's World Cup of GolfProfessional world team championship Sweden22 February-26 FebruaryWGC-Accenture World Matchplay ChampionshipWorld Golf Championships Geoff Ogilvy23 March-26 MarchThe Players ChampionshipPGA Tour30 March - 2 AprilKraft Nabisco ChampionshipLPGA major6 April-9 AprilThe MastersMen's major championship25 May-28 MayBMW ChampionshipEuropean Tour25 May-28 MaySenior PGA ChampionshipSenior major1 June-4 JuneNCAA Division I Men's Golf ChampionshipsU.S. college championship8 June-11 JuneLPGA ChampionshipLPGA major15 June-18 JuneU.S. OpenMen's major championship19 June-24 JuneThe Amateur ChampionshipAmateur men's individual tournament29 June - 2 JulyU.S. Women's OpenLPGA major6 July-9 JulyHSBC Women's World Match Play ChampionshipLPGA Tour6 July-9 JulyU.S. Senior OpenSenior major13 July-16 JulySenior Players ChampionshipSenior major20 July-23 JulyThe Open ChampionshipMen's major championship26 July-29 JulyEvian MastersLadies European Tour major and LPGA Tour regular event27 July-30 JulySenior British OpenSenior major29 July-30 JulyCurtis CupGB & Ireland v United States - women's amateur 3 August-6 AugustWomen's British OpenLPGA and Ladies European Tour major7 August-13 AugustU.S. Women's Amateur ChampionshipAmateur women's individual tournament17 August-20 AugustPGA ChampionshipMen's major championship14 August-27 AugustWGC-Bridgestone InvitationalWorld Golf Championships23 August-27 AugustU.S. Amateur ChampionshipAmateur men's individual tournament24 August-27 AugustThe TraditionSenior major14 September-17 SeptemberHSBC World Match Play ChampionshipEuropean Tour22 September-24 SeptemberRyder CupEurope v United States - men's professional28 September - 1 OctoberWGC-American Express ChampionshipWorld Golf Championships18 October-21 OctoberEspirito Santo TrophyWomen's world amateur team championship26 October-29 OctoberEisenhower TrophyMen's world amateur team championship26 October-29 OctoberVolvo MastersEuropean Tour2 November-5 NovemberThe Tour ChampionshipPGA Tour7 December-10 DecemberWGC-World CupWorld Golf Championships
The following biennial events will next be played in 2007: Presidents Cup; Seve Trophy; Solheim Cup; Walker Cup

See also
*2005 in golf*2006 in sports
Men's tours' official sites.*PGA Tour, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour*European Tour, European Seniors Tour and Challenge Tour*Japan Golf Tour (English version)*Asian Tour*PGA Tour of Australasia*Sunshine Tour
Women's tours' official sites.*LPGA Tour and Futures Tour*Ladies European Tour
Rankings*Official World Golf Rankings - updated Monday lunchtime GMT*Women's World Rankings - updated each Tuesday
Golf news sites
Australia based:*iseekgolf.com
U.K. based:*BBC golf coverage*Golf365.com
U.S. based:*golf.com*The Golf Channel
Category:Years in golf

Recommended Site www.u-ask-us.com
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The 100 Greatest Sporting Moments

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The 100 Greatest Sporting Moments was a television programme in the 100 Greatest strand on Channel 4. It was broadcast in the United Kingdom in early 2002 and reviewed the top 100 sporting moments as voted for by viewers in the United Kingdom. The show was presented by Vinnie Jones and featured input and commentary from various sporting personalities and celebrities.

The List

* 1st - Steve Redgrave winning his 5th consecutive Olympic gold medal in the 2000 Summer Olympics.
* 2nd - England beating Germany 5-1 in a World Cup Qualifier in 2001.
* 3rd - England winning the 1966 World Cup.
* 4th - Man Utd's incredible comeback in the 1999 European Cup Final.
* 5th - Ian Botham turns around the Ashes for England in 1981.
* 6th - Diego Maradona's goals for Argentina against England in the 1986 World Cup.
* 7th - Muhammed Ali v George Foreman: The Rumble in the Jungle in 1974.
* 8th - Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean winning gold at the 1984 Winter Olympics.
* 9th - Dennis Taylor winning the 1985 World Snooker Championship.
* 10th - Bjorn Borg's and John McEnroe's tie break at Wimbledon in 1980.
* 11th - Jesse Owens winning four gold medals at the 1936 Summer Olympics.
* 12th - Eric Cantona's kung-fu kick at Selhurst Park in 1995.
* 13th - Roger Bannister running the mile in under four minutes in 1954.
* 14th - Michael Owen's goal for England against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup.
* 15th - Michael Thomas' winning goal for Arsenal against Liverpool in the 1989 Championship decider.
* 16th - Goran Ivanisevic winning Wimbledon in 2001.
* 17th - Kevin Keegan succumbs to Alex Ferguson's mind games live on Sky in 1996.
* 18th - David Beckham scoring from the halfway line for Man Utd against Wimbledon in 1996.
* 19th - Jonah Lomu scoring four tries against England in the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
* 20th - Gareth Edwards' try for the Barbarians against the All-Blacks in 1973.
* 21st - Marco van Basten's winning goal for Holland in Euro '88.
* 22nd - The Republic of Ireland reaching the quarter-finals of the 1990 World Cup.
* 23rd - Ryan Giggs' goal for Man Utd against Arsenal in the 1999 FA Cup Semi-Final.
* 24th - Red Rum's third Grand National win in 1977.
* 25th - England beating Holland 4-1 in Euro '96.
* 26th - George Best scoring six goals for Man Utd against Northampton in 1970.
* 27th - Frankie Dettori winning seven races in a day in 1996.
* 28th - Tiger Woods winning four consecutive major golfing tournaments in 2001.
* 29th - Man Utd winning the European Cup in 1968.
* 30th - Gary Sobers scores 6 sixes in one over in 1968.
* 31st - Celtic winning the European Cup in 1967.
* 32nd - Liverpool F.C. winning the UEFA Cup to complete the treble in 2001.
* 33rd - Muhammed Ali lighting the Olympic Flame at the 1996 Summer Olympics.
* 34th - Daley Thompson retaining the decathlon gold at the 1984 Summer Olympics.
* 35th - Paul Gascoigne's winning goal for England against Scotland in Euro '96.
* 36th - Carlos Alberto's fourth goal for Brazil in the 1970 World Cup Final.
* 37th - Linford Christie winning 100m gold in the 1992 Summer Olympics.
* 38th - Mark Spitz winning seven gold medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics.
* 39th - Barry McGuigan winning the World Featherweight title in 1983.
* 40th - Lance Armstrong winning the 1999 Tour de France.
* 41st - Gordon Banks' save against Pele at the 1970 World Cup.
* 42nd - Great Britain winning the 4x400m relay at the 1991 World Championship.
* 43rd - Ayrton Senna's first lap in the 1993 European Grand Prix.
* 44th - Ellen MacArthur finishes second in the 2001 Vendée Globe.
* 45th - Brian Lara scores 375 runs against England in 1994.
* 46th - Olga Korbut winning 3 gold medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics.
* 47th - Tanni Grey-Thompsonwinning 4 gold medals at the 2000 Summer Paralympics.
* 48th - Boris Becker winning Wimbledon aged 17 in 1985.
* 49th - Paul Gascoigne's tears during the 1990 World Cup Semi-Final.
* 50th - Mike Tyson biting Evander Holyfield during their rematch in 1997.
* 51st - Archie Gemmill's goal for Scotland against Holland in the 1978 World Cup.
* 52nd - Arsenal winning the 1979 FA Cup.
* 53rd - Carl Lewis winning four gold medals for the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay and long jump at the 1984 Summer Olympics.
* 54th - Nadia Comaneci's Perfect 10 at the 1976 Summer Olympics.
* 55th - Denis Law's backheel relegates Man Utd in 1974.
* 56th - Sebastian Coe v Steve Ovett at the 1980 Summer Olympics.
* 57th - Scotland beating England in the 1977 British Home Championship.
* 58th - Henry Cooper knocks down Cassius Clay at Wembley in 1963.
* 59th - Stuart Pearce's penalty for England against Spain in Euro '96.
* 60th - Liverpool winning the 1977 European Cup.
* 61st - Aldaniti and Bob Champion winning the 1981 Grand National.
* 62nd - Emil Zatopek winning three gold medals for the 5,000m, 10,000m and marathon at the 1952 Summer Olympics.
* 63rd - Tommie Smith's and John Carlos' Black Power salute at the 1968 Summer Olympics.
* 64th - Nigel Mansell's tyre-blowout in the 1986 Australian Grand Prix.
* 65th - Jean van de Velde's 18th hole at the 1999 British Open.
* 66th - Bob Beamon's long jump gold and world record at the 1968 Summer Olympics.
* 67th - Australia v South Africa in the 1999 Cricket World Cup Semi-Final.
* 68th - Eddie the Eagle competes at the 1988 Winter Olympics.
* 69th - Real Madrid winning 7-3 in the 1960 European Cup Final.
* 70th - Nelson Mandela at the 1995 Rugby Union World Cup.
* 71st - Gilles Villeneuve v Rene Arnoux at the 1979 French Grand Prix.
* 72nd - Jimmy Glass, the goalkeeper, scoring to keep Carlisle in the Football League in 1999.
* 73rd - John Curry winning figure-skating gold at the 1976 Winter Olympics.
* 74th - Jeremy Guscott's winning drop goal for the British Lions in 1997.
* 75th - John Barnes' goal for England against Brazil in 1984.
* 76th - Derek Redmond finishes the 400m helped by his father at the 1992 Summer Olympics.
* 77th - England beating Pakistan in near-darkness in the 3rd Test in 2000.
* 78th - Pat Cash winning Wimbledon in 1987.
* 79th - Cambridge sinking in the 1978 Boat Race.
* 80th - Ricky Villa's goal for Tottenham against Man City in the 1981 FA Cup Final.
* 81st - Cathy Freeman winning 400m gold at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
* 82nd - Virginia Wade winning Wimbledon in 1977.
* 83rd - Ben Johnson's drug-assisted 100m gold and world record at the 1988 Summer Olympics.
* 84th - Stanley Matthews and Blackpool winning the FA Cup in 1953.
* 85th - Mary Peters winning gold in the pentathlon at the 1972 Summer Olympics.
* 86th - Sunderland winning the FA Cup in 1973.
* 87th - Don Bradman's final Test Innings against England in 1948.
* 88th - Martina Navratilova wins her 9th Wimbledon title in 1990.
* 89th - Bert Trautmann plays on with a broken neck in the 1956 FA Cup Final.
* 90th - Denise Lewis winning gold in the heptathlon at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
* 91st - Devon Malcolm gets hit on the helmet and then takes 9-57 for England against South Africa in 1994.
* 92nd - Shane Warne's "Ball of the Century" first ball against England in the 1993 Ashes Series.
* 93rd - Zola Budd tripping Mary Decker during the 3,000m final at the 1984 Summer Olympics.
* 94th - Rene Higuita's scorpion kick against England in 1995.
* 95th - Arthur Ashe winning Wimbledon in 1975.
* 96th - Don Fox's missed kick in the 1968 Rugby League Challenge Cup Final.
* 97th - Ronnie Radford's goal for Hereford against Newcastle in the 1972 FA Cup Third Round.
* 98th - Flo-Jo winning 100m gold and setting a world record at the 1988 Summer Olympics.
* 99th - Duncan Goodhew winning 100m breaststroke gold at the 1980 Summer Olympics.* 100th - Naseem Hamed beating Kevin Kelley at Madison Square Garden in 1997.
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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

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Sporting Facts

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Sporting Facts
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Friday, March 03, 2006

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Scotland, Golf and History

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St. Andrews Old Golf Club in Scotland is universally recognised as the "Home of Golf" Historically every golf course in the world owes its practical existance to the Old Course at St. Andrews.

One hundred years before Christopher Columbus discovered America, and centuries before William Shakespeare wrote Macbeth and Hamlet. The game of golf was being played at St Andrews.
Now that is ancient.

Mid 1400's saw the game being questioned about its effect on the community as it was felt that young men were spending too much time on the golf course and not practising their archery skills. In 1457 King James II passed a decree ordering the game along with football be banned.

By the 1500s golf was no longer outlawed, the right to play at St. Andrews was allowed. A licence was issued in 1552. This allowed the public to play there. The St. Andrews golf course was so popular it was described as the "Metropolis of golfing.

The first official golf club was established in 1754 when 22 Gentlemen founded the St. Andrews Society of Golfers. In 1834 the society became known as St. Andrews Society and Ancient Golf Club, courtesy of King William IV.

Bobby Jones had a remakable relationship with the course. His first round on The Old Course in 1921 came to an end on the 11th green. Baffled and confused he tore up his score card and walked off.

After winning there in 1927, Jones was quoted as saying "The more I studied the course, the more I loved it, and the more I loved it the more I studied it, that I began to feel that it was for me the most favourable meeting ground for an important contest."

A worthy test for any golfer and the "Old Lady" knew how to pick her champions
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Thursday, March 02, 2006

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Triathlon, is it for Wimps?

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I am sure but I am open to educated attack.

Is this a sport for young dentists, doctors, lawyers and real estate wannabees, who think they can buy success. Victory at the drop of an American Express card.

The jury is out and I want proof..
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3.5 Million people in Ireland Cheered..!

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1987 saw a Hero rise from the suburbs of Dublin.

This is a story I want to cover Tomorrow, in detail,
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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

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Road Bike Set-Up

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As you travel the bike road racing circuit it pains the experienced eye to see the set up of many of the bikes and equipment that is used...

I have included a picture of a top of the range racing bike. (Colnago)
Built in Italy by the master frame builder Ernesto Colnago. What I want to do is to take you through its set up and point out the goods and the bads.
The first obvious error in the set up is the saddle position, if you click on this picture you will be able to enlarge it and see for yourself. Before we go to it lets ask ourselves avery important question, apart from your hands and feet, What other part of your anatomy is in constant contact with the bike, in this case the saddle?
  • CORRECT - Your butt. Following on from that, does it not make good sense to make sure your saddle is exactly correct in its position and shape to fit your anatomical make up?
  • So what are the Key Set up Tips,
  1. Make sure that your saddle is DEAD LEVEL, Why..? Because if say it dips at the point, when you are down on the hooks, making a massive effort to break away or catch a group of riders. Even just taking part in a Time Trial, you tend to slide forward in the direction of the tilt. In this case down at the nose. You then find yourself having to constantly adjust your position and this breaks up the fluid easy motion of pedaling.
  2. On the other extreme, if the saddle is tipped up at the nose, you do not have to be extra intelligent to work out what will happen here. I read somewhere recently where this was described as a "Log splitter." You know what you are that log..!
To recap, doubled check your saddle position and see if it is level.

Saddle Height, This is one that really lights my fire. So many times you see the saddle either to low or to high. Here's the problems with both..
  1. If the saddle height is too high, the legs are extending straight, past to point of maximum thrust. (A the bottom of each revelution) This is the area where the powerful leg muscles are of no effect. You would have thought this to be obvious as the main propulsion comes from those very muscles. Yet so many, even experienced riders make this mistake.
  2. To LOW.. Same in reverse. The powerful muscles again are this time not getting extended to maximize the force. And most times are hitting the chest or abdomen.
VERY IMPORTANT... Do not raise you saddle or lower it any more than 1 - 2.cm at any one time. Make your adjustments gradual over a period of time. Ever so little during your racing season. These adjustments and experiments are best conducted during the off season.

FACT.. The great Eddy Merckx would be constantly adjusting his saddle, even on the move a few millimetres at a time. That was the Great Eddy Merckx....

This picture also in my opinion has the handlebar stem too low, Yes I know some of you will say, "But look at Lance Armstrong's setup, his handlebar stem is at least 2.5 inches below the point of his saddle..!" Point to remember, you are not Lance Armstrong..! Everyone is different and do not have the identical set up, so do not go copying anyone else.
Generic rule of thumb for Road Racing bike set up is around 1-1.5 inches below the point of the saddle.
It allows the chest to open and maximize oxygen intake..It's that simple.
Time trial setup and hilly road stages are another area we will cover again ...soon.

Handlebar width... If you are not familiar with this point then it's time you learned. When buying handlebars, make sure they fit...! Don't go buying the latest areo fad for looks. Remember the 3 points that are constantly in touch with the bike? Now we are talking about the hands arms and shoulders.
  1. Too Narrow... If the bars are too narrow and not in line with the points of your shoulders then you are stiffling your oxygen intake and making it hard for you to breath.. I don't have to tell you how important it is to get the air into the lungs during a race..!
  2. Too Wide.. If the handlebars extend past the line of your shoulders, then you are putting excess strain on your chest muscles, and arms and wrists.
Key Point... When buying handlebars hold them to your chest, look in a mirror and see if they line up with your chest and shoulder width. This si simple custom fitting..

And finally.. The position of the saddle on the seat post. Forget about time trial setup and triathlon setup, this is about roadracing. Use a plumb line an from the centre of the bottom pull the line straight up the bike's seat tube and in line with the seatpost. Mount your saddle centre, with the line in the middle of it. Its simple logical stuff, yet so many get it wrong.

Next time you are at an event have a look at other setups and then look at your own, there will be so many who have it WRONG...
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Monday, February 20, 2006

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Sporting Heros - Joey Dunlop

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Any one who ever went to a motor bike race, will have heard the name Joey Dunlop OBE, MBE. The wee man from Ballymoney was a hero and an inspiration to many all over the world.

Joey was born in Ballymoney on 25th February 1952, a devoted father of 5 and loving husband to Linda. Joey won his first race at Maghaberry on a Triumph Tiger Cub in 1969. This was to prove to be the start of an exciting career, going on to be the Formula1 World champion for 5 years (1982 - 1986)

This amazing career saw many victories

Joey's Record of Wins

Isle of Man TT,
Jubilee Classic - 1980
Classic 1983-F1
1984 - F1
1985 - F1, 250cc, Senior
1986 - F1
1987 - F1, Senior
1988 - F1 - 250cc & Senior
1992 - 125cc
1993 - 125cc
1994 - 125cc, 250cc
1995 - 250cc, Senior
1996 - 125cc, 250cc
1997 - 250cc
1998 - 250cc
2000 - F1, 125cc

Other Major wins

Ulster G.P - 24
North West 200 - 13
Kilinchy 150 - 22
Dundrod 150 - 2
Southern 100 - 32
Killalane - 6
Steam Packet Races - 10
Skerries 100 - 15
Cookstown 100 - 10
Tandragee 100 - 18
Temple 100 - 5
Fore - 6
Mid Antrim - 15
Dundalk - 2
Munster - 1

This great career was ended when Joey was killed on 2nd July 2000 at Tallinn, Estonia, while racing in the 125cc race. He had already won the 600cc and 750cc races

Ballymoney Borough Council erected this staue in memory of this true hero

We will never forget you Joey

"I never really wanted to be a Superstar, I just wanted to be myself. I hope people remember me that way"
quote by Joey Dunlop