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Sunday, November 1, 2020

never celebrate early ~ Tour-de-France teaches !!


We have heard it so many times ~ ‘the match is not lost or won, until the last delivery is bowled’ ! So true especially in ODI and T20s .. ..

Remember that match between KX1 Punjab and Rajasthan Royals – as it unfolded, it felt like a chase that defied logic in every way possible. A  target of 224 - an IPL record - the scorecard reflected one bit of cold, hard T20 logic: the team that hits more sixes usually wins.  Chasng the improbable RR promoted Rahul Tewatia - their only left-hander - to No. 4, and the move was beginning to look like one of the most ill-judged tactical interventions in IPL history when he struggled to hit the ball off the square and crawled to 8 off 19 balls.  With 17 gone and 51 required off mere 18 balls -  Tewatia smacked Sheldon Cottrell for five sixes in a match-turning, match-defining 18th over, and they won !

Never celebrate early !  .. .. even when the finishing line is nearest !!

When Seoul Olympics was on air live in 1988, the heart throb was Ben Johnson, born in Jamaica but running for Canada – one of the firsts to break the 10 sec barrier.   It was indeed thrilling  to watch Ben Johson finish with 9.79 seconds. Actually closer to the finish, he turned his neck to see where his competitors were and started celebrating with a hallmark rise of fingers. He was praised so much and the race would remain etched in one’s memory. It is another matter that he was snatched of the Gold in a few days due to his testing positive for the prohibited drug - stanozolol.  He actually  completed the lap in 48 strides !!

“C’est le sommet,” Julian Alaphilippe said softly as he glanced down at the rainbow bands across his chest. If World Championships victory marks the summit of his career, then his triumph on the Imola course was all about the summit of Cima Gallisterna ~ recently a few days ago in Tour de France.

Julian Alaphilippe  is a French professional road cyclist and cyclocross racer and 2020 UCI road racing world champion, who currently rides for UCI WorldTeam Deceuninck–Quick-Step.  He is the brother of racing cyclist Bryan Alaphilippe. One of his challengers is - Primož Roglič,  a Slovenian racing cyclist, who rides for UCI WorldTeam Team Jumbo–Visma.  Roglič started his career as a ski jumper but then shifted to cycling.  

Liège   is a major Walloon city and municipality and the capital of the Belgian province of Liège – associated with Tour de France.  The Tour de France   is an annual men's multiple stage bicycle race primarily held in France, while also occasionally passing through nearby countries. Like the other Grand Tours (the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España), it consists of 21 day-long stages over the course of 23 days. It has been described as "the world’s most prestigious and most difficult bicycle race.  The race was first organized in 1903 to increase sales for the newspaper L'Auto and is currently run by the Amaury Sport Organisation. The race has been held annually since its first edition in 1903 except when it was stopped for the two World Wars.   Traditionally, the race is held primarily in the month of July. While the route changes each year, the format of the race stays the same with the appearance of time trials,  the passage through the mountain chains of the Pyrenees and the Alps, and the finish on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.

Tour de France runner-up Primoz Roglic won the Liège-Bastogne-Liège single-day classic on Sunday after rival Julian Alaphilippe celebrated too soon.  To add insult to injury for world champion Alaphilippe, he was then penalised for an irregular sprint and dropped from second to fifth. That was for swerving into the path of Marc Hirschi during the frenetic final sprint of the 6.5-hour race.

A photo finish showed that Roglic narrowly beat Alaphilippe after the Frenchman lifted his arms in celebration and coasted to the line. 'It's unbelievable. It was so close,' Roglic said. 'Just never stop believing.'  The Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe was  overtaken on the line by Primoz Roglic  at the end of the Liège-Bastogne-Liège classic on Sunday.  The loss was brought about by  Julian Alaphilippe himself, as he celebrated  too early – he was closer but not yet finished ! Slovenian Primoz Roglic,  of the Jumbo - Visma team sneaked to cross the finish line  ahead to win the Belgian cycling classic and UCI World Tour race Liege-Bastogne-Liege.   

With the result, Hirschi moved up to finish second and Tour champion Tadej Pogacar got third. Last month, Roglic was leading the Tour until fellow Slovenian Pogacar swiped away the lead in the penultimate stage by winning a time trial.  'Finally I managed to win something,' Roglic said. 'It was definitely on my wish list to win a Monument.' British rider Lizzie Deignan won the women's edition, for her first 'Monument,' ahead of Grace Brown of Australia.

First run in 1892, Liège–Bastogne–Liège, also known as La Doyenne (The Old Lady),is the oldest of the five Monuments on the European road cycling calendar. The race, like other spring classics, was rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar


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