Tag Archives: halt

After crash-filled Stage 3, Tour de France riders halt race in protest

Riders briefly brought the Tour de France to a halt on Tuesday to protest racing conditions after a series of crashes in the early days of this year’s event.

FOUGÈRES, France — Tour de France riders staged a protest at the start of Tuesday’s stage to complain about perceived dangerous racing conditions after a flurry of crashes reignited the issue of road safety.

Having left the town of Redon in the western Brittany region to start Stage 4, the peloton rode at a moderate pace and all riders got off their bikes after about one kilometer. They waited silently for about a minute before hitting the road again.

After the crash-filled Stage 3, several riders have criticized race organizers for setting up what they considered a dangerous finale to a Tour stage, especially in the early days of the race when nervousness is at its highest level.

Former world champion Philippe Gilbert said in a video that riders’ representatives asked for the Stage 3 timings to end with five kilometers left. The goal by the majority of riders was to avoid a risky final sprint in narrow and winding roads leading to the finish line.

“We had analyzed the route and saw that the finale was extremely dangerous,” said Gilbert, a Belgian classic specialist.

Gilbert said that race organizer ASO supported the proposal. “But the UCI (cycling’s governing body) commissaires did not accept the request, it was rejected in the morning at the start of the race,” he said.

Gilbert said a pileup on a downhill curve about three kilometers from the finish was a direct consequence.

“There was a big mistake from the people who approved this route,” he said.

Riders’ union CPA said in a statement it has asked the UCI to set up discussions to adapt the so-called “3-kilometer rule” during stage races. Under that regulation, riders who crash in the last three kilometers are awarded the time of the group they were riding with before they fell.

“This could avoid circumstances such as those which occurred in yesterday’s stage,” the union said. “Riders and CPA are determined to pursue changes for the safety and physical integrity of athletes. These changes are more necessary than ever.”

Thierry Gouvenou, who is in charge of the Tour route, told L’Equipe newspaper about the increasing challenges he faces to find finish sites without dangerous road materials.

“There are no longer any medium-sized towns without a small island, roundabout or narrowing,” he said. “Ten years ago, there were 1,100 dangerous points on the Tour de France. This year, there are 2,300. If the level of demand becomes too great, there will be no more finishes. That’s where we are.”

Gilbert did not put all the blame on the route on the UCI, though, saying the teams that scouted it before the race should have let organizers know about its dangers.

One of Gilbert’s teammates at the Lotto-Soudal team, ace sprinter Caleb Ewan, fell near the finish line as he contested the sprint and was forced to abandon with a broken collarbone.

Two top contenders for the yellow jersey — last year’s runner-up, Primoz Roglic, and 2018 champion Geraint Thomas — were involved in crashes on Monday, losing ground to their main rivals. But they fell on straight roads with no major difficulty and did not blame organizers.

Saturday’s opening stage was marred by two big pileups, one caused by a spectator holding a cardboard sign in the way of the peloton.

Calling for changes in the sport without offering solutions, veteran Groupama-FDJ sports director Marc Madiot called on all stakeholders to take their responsibilities “because if we don’t do it, we will have deaths and I don’t want to phone the family of the rider who will be in hospital forever. That’s not worthy of our sport.”

The last rider to die on the Tour was Fabio Casartelli, an Italian on the then-Motorola team of Lance Armstrong who crashed on the descent of the Portet d’Aspet pass in 1995. Many serious crashes have continued to mar the race since.

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This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports

Too hot: Track trials come to a halt as temperatures soar

With temperatures reaching 108 degrees Fahrenheit, one athlete was wheelchaired off the field.

EUGENE, Ore. — The U.S. track and field trials came to a halt Sunday afternoon with temperatures reaching 108 degrees. One athlete, heptathlete Taliyah Brooks, was carted off the field in a wheelchair but was “OK,” her agent told The Associated Press.

Fans were filing into the stadium for the headline events of the final day of Olympic qualifying when, at around 3 p.m., the track announcer came onto the PA system and said action was being suspended due to extreme heat. He asked all spectators to evacuate.

Brooks was in fourth place after five of the seven events of the heptathlon, which is considered among the most grueling contests in track and field. She had been listed as a “DNS” — did not start — in the sixth event, the javelin. Her agent, Tony Campbell, said she had hopes of returning in the evening to compete.

The program was scheduled to resume at 8:30 p.m. PDT. Among those still waiting to secure spots in the Olympics were Noah Lyles in the men’s 200, and Dalilah Muhammad and Sydney McLaughlin, who were set to face off in the women’s 400-meter hurdles.

Earlier, JuVaughn Harrison won the high jump, contested under cloudless skies in 105-degree temperatures. Harrison was also entered in the long jump, which had been pushed back to the evening.

A record heat wave settled in over the Pacific Northwest for the second day, with the temperature in Portland, two hours north on Interstate 5, reaching an all-time record of 110 (43 Celsius).

With the humidity, Eugene felt like 113 in mid-afternoon. Third-place high jump finisher Shelby McEwen called the heat “mind blowing.”

“It’s crazy. I wasn’t expecting it to be this humid,” he said. “We just had to be mentally locked in, mentally prep ourselves for it, stay hydrated and go out and get the job done.”

The men’s 5,000 meters took place at 10 a.m. in a nod to the forecast, which since early last week had predicted triple-digits over the weekend. In temperatures reaching 90 degrees on the track, Paul Chelimo fended off a pair of runners for a .19-second victory.

“Honestly,” Chelimo said, “I wanted it a bit hotter.”

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This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports

Destroy EU agenda! Britain told to team up with Swiss to halt 'petty' Brussels bullies

And Jayne Adye has told Prime Minister Boris Johnson he must join forces with Bern to thwart the bloc’s expansionist agenda – and expose its “fragility”. Years of talks aimed at binding Switzerland more closely to the European Union‘s single market collapsed on Wednesday, when the Swiss government ditched a draft 2018 treaty that would have cemented ties with its biggest trading partner.

Faced with fierce opposition to the pact domestically, the Swiss Cabinet said it would break off talks and seek an alternative way forward.

Ms Adye told Express.co.uk: “The recent discussions between the EU and Switzerland have a very familiar feeling to all those who have been involved in Brexit negotiations.

“Just as they did with the UK, the EU is trying to force their agenda onto Switzerland, with no regard for national sovereignty.”

She added: “This is nothing new for the Swiss, and their resilience in the face of EU threats shows we have a great deal to learn from them in how to deal with Brussels for the decades to come.

“The EU bureaucrats see themselves as the dominant force in Europe, to whom all should bow down before.”

Ms Adye said: “This is a narrative the UK should work with Switzerland to destroy.

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“This brings the negotiations on the draft of the InstA (treaty) to a close.”

EU-Swiss economic ties are currently governed by more than 100 bilateral agreements stretching back to 1972, which remain in effect.

However, walking away from a deal could over time disrupt and ultimately jeopardise Switzerland’s de facto membership in the EU common market which – unlike Britain which made an unruly exit from the bloc – Bern is keen to maintain.

The failure to strike a deal means Switzerland is excluded from any new access to the single market, such as an electricity union or health cooperation.

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, Swiss President Guy Parmelin said: “We are opening a new chapter in our relations, hopefully a fruitful one.”

Brussels has been pushing for a decade for a treaty which would see the Swiss adopt changes to single market rules.

It would also have provided a more effective way to resolve disputes.

A statement issued by the European Commission, led by President Ursula von der Leyen, said: “Without this agreement, this modernisation of our relationship will not be possible and our bilateral agreements will inevitably age.”

Switzerland’s Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis admitted there would be disadvantages for Switzerland, but insisted erosion of the existing bilateral accords would happen slowly.

He added: “That gives us time to react with mitigation measures.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed

Irish regulator gets green light for probe that could halt Facebook data

Irish regulator gets green light for probe that could halt Facebook data© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A 3D-printed Facebook logo is seen placed on a keyboard in this illustration taken March 25, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

By Conor Humphries

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland’s data regulator can proceed with an inquiry that could lead to a ban on Facebook (NASDAQ:)’s data transfers from the European Union to the United States, the country’s High Court ruled on Friday.

Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) launched an inquiry in August and issued a provisional order that the mechanism Facebook uses to transfer EU user data to the United States “cannot in practice be used”.

Facebook had challenged both the inquiry and the Preliminary Draft Decision (PDD), saying they threatened “devastating” and “irreversible” consequences for its business, which relies on processing user data to serve targeted online ads.

The High Court on Friday rejected the challenge.

“I refuse all of the reliefs sought by FBI (Facebook Ireland) and dismiss the claims made by it in the proceedings,” the court said in a judgment.

“FBI has not established any basis for impugning the DPC decision or the PDD or the procedures for the inquiry adopted by the DPC,” the judgment said.

Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems, who was instrumental in forcing the data regulator to initiate the inquiry, said he believed the decision made it inevitable that Facebook’s data flows would be halted.

“After eight years, the DPC is now required to stop Facebook’s EU-U.S. data transfers, likely before summer,” Schrems said in a statement.

Facebook and the DPC said they would comment on the judgment shortly.

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Author: Reuters
This post originally appeared on Stock Market News

Scots urged to halt Sturgeon’s ‘obsessive’ independence dream with tactical voting plot

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

The SNP, Scottish Greens and Alex Salmond’s Alba are all in favour of an independent Scotland. Unionist group Scotland Matters is urging tactical voting to confront the threat.

The Scottish Conservatives, Scottish Labour and Scottish Liberal Democrats are all pro-union but are strongest in different regions.

Scotland Matters wants unionist voters to lend their votes to the party most likely to beat the SNP in their area.

New billboards have been erected in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen warning of a nationalist majority.

The billboards portray Nicola Sturgeon being controlled by Mr Salmond like a puppet on a string, with the SNP leader in turn directing Scottish Green leader Patrick Harvie.

A spokesman for Scotland Matters commented: “The most recent billboard in our ongoing series sees three of the independence movements most ardent adherents strung together in an obsessive performance above Scotland, while the nations essential services, private businesses and critical infrastructure is neglected once again.

“Salmond, Sturgeon and Harvie’s mono-obsession with independence has kept Scotland stuck in limbo for what is now approaching a decade, while repeatedly treating the issues that all Scots want Holyrood to concentrate on as a mere puppet show: post-covid recovery, economic development, the NHS and the environment.

“If pro-indy parties secure a majority on May the 6th all Scotland can look forward to is further division, decline and the constant threat of Scotland seceding from one of the world’s most successful and long-lasting unions with the other nations of the UK; thus why Scotland Matters supports tactical voting in the forthcoming election.”

Scottish Parliament elections take place on May 6 with the SNP demanding another referendum on leaving the UK.

READ MORE: Speaker blasts Ian Blackford for ‘unsavoury’ attack on Boris Johnson

It found concerns over a hard border with England, the currency and coronavirus vaccines helped fuel a unionist revival.

However, it also showed the SNP remaining the most popular party in Scotland and its supporters are the most likely to vote next month.

Last month Mr Salmond launched Alba seeking a pro-independence “super majority”.

The party won’t stand for individual constituencies, so it doesn’t risk losing the SNP seats, but will have regional candidates.

Ms Sturgeon has said she will refuse to work with Mr Salmond.

Some SNP figures have suggested a referendum could take place after the election even without the British Government’s consent.

Should this happen Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross is urging unionists to boycott the poll.

Scotland voted to remain part of Britain in 2014 by 55 percent to 45 percent.

‘Perfectly steered by Ole’: Solskjaer outwits Guardiola AGAIN as Manchester United halt City's 28-game unbeaten run

Manchester City’s seemingly inevitable march towards the Premier League title hit a road bump on Sunday as Pep Guardiola’s men surrendered their 28-game unbeaten streak to city rivals Manchester United at the Etihad.

An early penalty from Bruno Fernandes and a second-half strike from Luke Shaw was enough to hand Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s charges a hard-fought three points, ending the unbeaten run which had propelled City to the top of the division – with United now being unbeaten in an impressive 22 away games.

Fernandes’ early strike set the tone for the remainder of the game, with Guardiola’s free-scoring side unable to break down Man United’s stoic rearguard.

In truth, City never really secured a foothold in the game. Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan, so often Manchester City’s talismen this season, struggled to make an impact. So too did Kevin de Bruyne who cut a forlorn figure on the pitch for much of the 90 minutes on the occasion of his 250th appearance for the team.

It’s always difficult to play against Manchester City,” Fernandes told Sky Sports after the game. “They are difficult on the ball and tough to play against. Today we did almost everything perfect.

It’s not about winning against City, it’s about winning every game.

Scoring in the first minute was perfect, we had more space to counter. We remained focused until the end of the game. When we defend well we know we’ll have chances to score. The league is not a sprint. It’s is a marathon. We have to do our best and not think about others.”

The win will be a particularly satisfying one for United’s occasionally under-fire boss Solskjaer who now – incredibly – is the only manager to hold a winning record against Guardiola, and more than the other 66 top-flight managers that the Spaniard has faced (three times or more) in his career.

Much like they did in the previous campaign, it was a tactical masterclass from the Norwegian whose team so successfully neutered the in-form City. 

Obviously I don’t think we started very well,” De Bruyne said of his team’s performance. “We knew it would be hard. We played into their hands with the first goal and we needed about 15 minutes to settle a bit. Then we played pretty good but we didn’t score and that made a difference and made a mistake with the pressing for the second goal.

It is not the best if you go behind after one minute but you still have 90 minutes after that. The second was a little worse but I think the mentality of the players was the same as always.

Sometimes it is necessary to lose games and have bad spells. Even in the winning run we had some bad spells but overcame then, we didn’t today. Sometimes it can be a positive.”

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The manner of United’s win, though, may well be bittersweet to some sections of their supporters after a recent run which saw them drop points in games with Crystal Palace, Chelsea and West Brom – results which almost certainly ended any realistic ambitions they might have held of closing even further ground on the runaway league leaders – something which Solksjaer emphasized in his post-match comments.

No, we just take one game time,” he said to Sky Sports. “They are too far ahead to think we can catch them. They have been excellent. Even today they put you under so much pressure.”

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