Just two weekends ago, a public spat in Formula One reminded sports fans that professional athletes are, by nature, a rather narcissistic bunch. While Webber and Vettel continue to bicker, it is easy to see the potential for a similar scenario unfolding in professional cycling.
With a veritable glut of talent on their roster, it is not a stretch to imagine that Sky may have a problem managing the personalities and egos within their team, in a similar fashion to the discourse at Red Bull Racing.
So when does a stacked deck turn into a clash of egos, and what can be done to mitigate the impact on the team? For most teams, having more than one rider at short odds to win a monument or a grand tour is an absolute dream. For a team like Sky, flush with talent and potential, it has to be one of the most pressing issues.
In 2013, Australian Richie Porte has taken his performances up a notch. In doing so, he has given Sky a realistic third option for Grand Tour success in 2013. Managing Wiggins and Froome has already proven challenging, but Sky team management have thus far done a particularly good job of keeping the peace.
Do Peter Sagan’s podium antics at the Ronde van Vlaanderen highlight a problem with professional cycling's role models? Tom Palmer reflects on the race and whether we should expect more from our cycling stars and their attitude to women.
In my first year racing against professionals, an experienced teammate gave me some advice that upset me then, and sticks with me now. A teenager at the time, a professional rider took a sling off my jersey in a sprint finish to win the race. My teammate consoled me by sarcastically saying “it’s okay, the good guys always win”.
What he helped me come to terms with, was that in our sport there is no rule to this effect. Finish lines don’t know how just or noble you are, they don’t care how sexist or repugnant you are. Finish lines know distance, time and nothing more.
That the finishing podium is no moral high ground is once again all too clear to cycling fans this week.
The debate over the funding agency’s remit and leadership is heating up.
Screen Australia has defended its track record in investing in feature films while the debate over the agency’s remit and the issue over who should lead the organisation rumble on.
The board’s decision to advertise the CEO’s position rather than automatically renew the tenure of Ruth Harley, whose term expires in November, continues to generate diverse views within the film and TV industries.
Dr. Harley has her admirers who think she deserves another term. Others advocate a regime change and a review of Screen Australia’s goals and mandate.
Affairs of the heart can be oh-so complicated, as the US Supreme
Court discovered last week when it took on the issue of same sex
In brief, so you don’t have to dust off the legal dictionaries, the discussion among the highest legal authorities in the country came down to one point: Who has the power to regulate relationships? Two people in it? A church? A state? The Federal government?
In the ring were legal challenges to California’s so-called “Proposition 8” and a 1996 law called the “Defense of Marriage Act”. Proposition 8 is the hugely controversial California ban on same-sex marriage that was mandated by a ballot in 2008.
The current legal challenge asks that the Supreme Court invalidate that state law and insist on national recognition of same-sex marriage, overriding state laws.
You see, we Italians are civilised. Today build our roads out of bitumen. Not cobblestones as we did 2000 years ago. And when we build roads up very steep hills, we choose not to build those roads via the steepest possible route up those hills. And we use bitumen. Not cobblestones.
And the one thing we don't do in Italy is find the most difficult roads in a 100-mile radius and send a couple of hundred professional cyclists along those aforementioned roads. (Unless your name is Michele Acquarone and you set the route for this year's Tirreno-Adriatico, but he already said he was sorry.)
But Belgians - they're another story altogether. The double fried Frites with mayonnaise alone should have been a dead giveaway, but they've hardly advanced from the stone age, literally.
Before arriving in Belgium for the Tour of Flanders, I was all excited about the prospect of riding my first cobbled spring classic. Then the team directors handed out notes on the course and I saw it.
The 2013 European leg of the new season is just a few weeks old yet many cycling scribes appear to have written-off Cadel Evans as a likely Tour de France challenger this year.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned when covering the winner of the world’s biggest race is never, ever discount one of Australia’s most accomplished sportsmen.
Let’s not forget Cadel enjoyed promising results at the Tour of Oman in February when testing himself against Team Sky's Chris Froome and Saxo-Tinkoff's Alberto Contador.
It was an impressive start against the rivals he’s likely to challenge in July but far too early to make a realistic assessment.
From Sunday, Qantas passengers will be able to fly to Europe via Dubai, which the company claims will cut total flying time from Australia.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has today given the final tick of approval for the Qantas-Emirates strategic alliance which the airlines proposed back in September.
The decision came as no surprise, after the competition watchdog gave the deal its interim authorisation earlier this year, so that the two airlines could start planning and aligning their schedules.
The alliance means Qantas and Emirates can now co-operate in areas like maintenance and crew training, along with the joint purchase of things like fuel, which will make it more cost effective, much like when consumers buy things in bulk.
Calls for Cadel Evans to be dumped as BMC's Tour de France leader may be premature, but the 2011 champion is certainly walking on the precipice after the best part of 12 months riding in the shadow of young American talent Tejay van Garderen.
"There is some short-term memory from the media, I had a virus last year and I still was seventh in the Tour de France... I did actually win the Tour once before (in 2011). That does sort of proves that I can do it (again)."
So said Evans in an interview with Reuters journalist Julien Pretot after the finish of the Criterium International on Sunday.
The Australian had just rolled into the finish of the crucial Col de l’Ospedale stage some 15 minutes down on overall winner Chris Froome (Sky) after working in the service of van Garderen to the bottom of the 14.2km Category 1 climb, and then turning off the lights and cruising to the summit.
Sandy George is thinking about Alejandro González Iñárritu and feeling some déjà vu.
What directors have a flawless body of work? I’d have no hesitation in arguing that director Alejandro González Iñárritu is one of the few. Okay, maybe not flawless, but close.
This Saturday March 30 at 9.30pm, SBS ONE screens his most widely seen feature film, Babel, starring our Cate (Blanchett) and Brad Pitt, who recently became the first man to front a Chanel 5 advertisement. Then, at the same time the following week, SBS ONE airs his fourth and latest film, Biutiful, starring the mesmerising Javier Bardem. What a (double) treat.
[ SBS ONE Film season: full schedule ]
By several accounts, the 10-year anniversary of the start of the Iraq
war passed without much fanfare in Australia. This may seem odd
considering Australia joined Britain and Poland in being one of few
nations materially supporting the US invasion of Iraq.
The Australian military even gave its contribution its own codename – Operation Falconer. All three services got their hands dirty with troops, aircraft, and naval ships getting in on action that has been estimated to have cost the Australian government – that means taxpayers – over $3 billion.
But 10 years later? Pretty much crickets.
That was until Alexander Downer, the Foreign Minister at the time of the invasion, piped up in the Australian media to reminisce. A headline trumpeted “Even with hindsight the Iraq war was the best option for all concerned” which set a tone that pretty much went downhill from there.
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