Toys ejected from pram – Coutts sacked



I like Russell Coutts. He’s earned NZers’ ire, but has forced us to grow up as a sporting nation for doing the same thing that many, many rugby players and coaches are doing every year, going overseas to find a better opportunity. It’s just that unlike Taine, or Craig, or Christian, Russell came back to take ‘our’ cup, and freed up a lot of warehouse space in the Viaduct in the process.

Coutts is supremely focussed, won’t accept second best, is outspoken, and a winner. Like Glenn Turner and Arthur Lydiad (until recent years), this hasn’t made him popular. It’s hard to see what he’ll do next, it may be impossible for him to race in the next regatta, but Team New Zealand would have a much better chance with him (in any capacity) than without him.

link

Armstrong out on his own in front



Lance Armstrong’s sixth consecutive Tour De France victory will go down as one of the great sporting feats. The 2004 event ended up being as straightforward as these races can be, with the competition wilting in the face of Lance and his USPS team, the Blue Train. Great to see his prickly attitude though, when urging Ullrich to race in the mountains, and not letting Simeoni get away from him. A superhuman feat from the cancer survivor.

link

Millar’s cautionary tale



There’s more talk of drugs in sport nowadays than on a Nandor Tanczos visit to his dealer. You just know that a big name athlete is going to be thrown out of the Olympics this year, if they haven’t been banned from going to the games at all. This is the story of David Millar, the Brit cyclist who was recently banned from Cycling for taking EPO. Millar has come clean and told his story, a refreshing attitude compared to some.

link

At Royal Troon, the Postage Stamp licks you



David Davies on British Open venue Royal Troon’s 8th hole – the Postage Stamp. Along with the 17th’s island green at Sawgrass, perhaps the most notorious par 3 in Golf. Swept by the Scottish winds, it plays 123 yards, with a tiny green surrounded by cavernous bunkers. The pros play this one with white knuckles, but it’s compelling viewing, the sporting equivalent of sneaking a look at a car accident.

link

Lance Armstong vs The World



Lance Armstong attempts to beat the legends of Cycling and win a sixth Tour De France. Under pressure from the expectant public and drug rumours, not to mention Ullrich and Hamilton, it will require a superhuman effort. Again.

<a href=”http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2004/07/03/sotour03.xml&sSheet=/sport/2004/07/06/ixtour.html

“>link

Tiger Tim fails again



Poor old Tim. As much as I love to see him fail year after year, you have to feel for him, I think there are very few sportsmen or women in the world under as much pressure as he faces during Wimbledon. I’ve got a sneaking admiration as he’s a serve and volley player in the old style, which is entertaining to watch. Pity he has the personality of one of the bats in a game of Pong.

link