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April 16, 2017

Sport (Easter) Sunday: Mono, Man, and

From the Isle of Man:  Top pro cyclist Mark Cavendish has been diagnosed with mononucleosis, and will need time out to make a gradual return to health and then to training. The virus was identified during a quarterly UCI blood test.  Manxman Cavendish has won 30 stages in the Tour de France and won the green points, top Sprinter, jersey in the 2011 Tour. He is normally a perennial challenger in the Spring Classics, or whenever a sprint is at challenge, so his presence has been missed. He is the second rider on Dimension Data to be diagnosed with mono this year after Jaco Venter in January. Hmmm...   That South African recently returned to racing.

In Holland:  The Amstel Gold Race takes place this Easter Sunday.  This annual road bicycle race brings the pro cyclists tour into the Ardennes, and is held in the province of Limburg, the Netherlands. It traditionally marks the turning point of the spring classics, when climbers rather than sprinters begin to shine.  Today's race takes place over 264.6 km and includes 35 climbs of varying difficulty. There’s a change in the final kilometers this year, with the final ascent of the usually decisive Cauberg removed,  for the first flat finish since 2002.  This could considerably alter the outcome of the race.  The Amstel Gold Race is the first of three events in the Ardennes Classic, all held this week.  La Flèche Wallonne brings the pro cyclists back into Belgium and takes place on Wednesday, April 19.  Liège-Bastogne-Liège  will conclude the week on Sunday, April 23.

From Bahrain:  Formula One Racing:  The Bahrain Grand Prix is contested Sunday in Sakhir. Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel duel in the desert after splitting the first two races of 2017. Both drivers have two wins on this 5.4 km circuit, but last year Vettel did not make the start while Hamilton took third.

In the United States & Canada: Stanley Cup playoffs continue in the National Hockey League.  The Minnesota Wild will visit  the St. Louis Blues in Game 3 of a Western Conference first-round series.  The Edmonton Oilers will visit the San Jose Sharks.  The Eastern Conference first round series will feature the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Columbus Blue Jackets.   

Normally, the two most storied and feted teams in Major League Baseball, the New York Yankees of the American League, and the St. Louis Cardinals of the National League, would meet only in a World Series.  With inter league play this weekend, though, the team with far and away the most number of  World Series titles, the Yankees, host the second most decorated team, as far as series titles, that is, the Cardinals.  The Yankees are having a great season, so far, the Cardinals, not so good.  Sunday night baseball, though, should be a great event to cap off your Easter Sunday celebrations! 

A Happy Easter to all, a happy Spring to all! 

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