September 17, 2018
September 16, 2018
September 15, 2018
The cycling season is held aloft on three main pillars, the Grand Tours. The high season begins with the Giro d'Italia in May, reaches its zenith with the Tour de France in July, and wraps up with the Vuelta a Espana in September. While there are certainly many other and important races through the year, these are the chief three, the great stage races.
Today the third of those races, the Vuelta a Espana, wraps up, with a short jaunt to, and then several laps around Madrid. The Vuelta began, this year, in Southern Spain, then a few weeks ago went to the north, then to the east. Now it concludes in the center of the Iberian Peninsula.
If things finish as they are expected to day Britain's Simon Yates will win a first Grand Tour after finishing third on the Vuelta a Espana's penultimate stage today in Andorra. Yates leads stage 20 winner Enric Mas by one minute 46 seconds with Sunday's processional race to Madrid to come. Since this last stage is set up as a ceremonial stage, no attack is possible. Simon Yates just needs to cross the line, perhaps with a glass of sangria in his hands. The 26-year-old Mitchelton-Scott rider came close to winning one of the sport's three-week races in May when he led the Giro going into stage 19, but Chris Froome won instead, at the last minute.
All hail to Simon Yates and congratulations to the riders at the end of the Grand Tour season!
International Cricket heats up today in this first weekend of the Asia Cup, held at the Dubai Sport City. The tournament will take place in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. While past tournaments have been in the 20 Twenty format, all games of this tournament will be 50 Over matches. Participating teams include India, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan, and they will participate in group play until the Super Four begin play on Friday. Finals will be held on September 28th.
India are the most successful team in Asia Cup history, having won six of the 13 tournaments held so far. Sri Lank has won five times, and Pakistan twice.
India just finished a 5 test series in England and continues on within a few weeks with a test series in Australia. Superstar Virat Kohli has decided to take a powder, wanting to rest up for the next test series, so he announced he will not participate, to the great disdain of India fans. India, who will be led by Rohit Sharma in Kohli's absence, begin their campaign against Hong Kong on Tuesday in Dubai, then play rivals Pakistan at the same venue the very next day.
Excitement has reached a fever pitch this September, as the Aussie Rules football season has hurried toward a finish. This has been an exciting season, and the battle for a place in the finals is taking place this weekend.
That place has already been found by Melbourne, who triumphed over Hawthorn in Friday's match. The Melbourne Demons beat the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds. The final score of 104-74 does not reveal the full excitement of the game. The crowd of almost 100,000 witnessed the Hawks fight back, even in the last minutes of the game, but ultimately they could not pull off a win. The very pro Melbourne crowd, proud of the homeboys who had not advanced so far in almost two decades, began celebrating early but then quieted as the score became closer. They cheered raucously at the end, as Melbourne pulled off the win.
The Melbourne Cricket Grounds will again be filled with excitement tonight. The Collingwood Magpies will play the GWS Giants in this evening's action. The Magpies had their opportunities to upset West Coast in their qualifying final clash, but now have to turn their attention to a semi-final contest – to keep their season alive – against Greater Western Sydney. The Giants were impressive in a 49-point hiding of Sydney, dismantling their crosstown rivals and keeping the Swans to their lowest score – since moving to Sydney – in a final. The Giants have won their last two contests, whilst Collingwood has won three of their last five competitions.
The English Premier League is back after a two-week hiatus. It is Liverpool, Chelsea and Watford who lead the way on 12 points apiece, with West Ham United at the bottom on no points. The great majority of games will be played today, with two Sunday, and a matchup between Southampton and Brighton and Hove Albion on Monday night.
Don't forget the next to the last day of the Vuelta a Espana today. The action should be keen.