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e important thing is we get ot

  • 17 Apr
    Throughout the Tour de France, Australian professional cyclist Richie Porte will be checking in. Here is his latest entry, as told to ESPN contributor Rupert Guinness:Stage14: Montélimar to Villars les DombesA tilt of the lid to Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) who on Saturday, and in a bunch sprint, won the 14th stage of the Tour de France - 208.5km from Montélimar to Villars des Dombes.That was Cavendishs fourth stage victory in this years Tour, and also the 30th Tour stage win of his career, leaving him four wins short of Eddy Merckxs all-time record of 34.The pursuit of Merckxs record - one of so many - should provide Cavendish with some great motivation for next year, the year after the Rio Olympics in which he will race on the track for Team GB in the omnium event and also as fifth rider for the 4000m teams pursuit.Its great to see what he is doing, and back here winning. It is great for the sport - and him.He is actually a genuinely good fella. And I reckon that despite the plaudits that come his way, he is still under rated for what he has achieved.People forget very quickly when there are dips in a riders career. He is obviously happy with where he is at. His mojo is back. Its always great to see people get the rewards for hard work and drive. Cav is a case in point.That was a tough stage on Saturday too, despite the relatively slow place from the start.It was characterised with hard dead roads of which the first 100km seemed to take forever. But after those first kilometres, the rest of a niggly stage fortunately went by pretty quick.The Tour being the Tour, the last six to four kilometres of the day were also pretty stressful. So what made them so hard, you ask? In conditions like what we got where there was a stiff head wind, the bunch was so spread out. When it is a head wind like it was, everyone wants to sit on the wheel to be protected. This make the peloton a couple of hundred metres long. When it is like that there are also surges which make it better that you are at the front. Todays route was also up and down ... not anything like how the official road book read.There was no time for real chat, even though the peloton appeared to take it slow. It was all head down. There was simply no easy way to get through the stage. But these days, I expect the worst and hope for the best ... and thankful to get through without incident.I dont think television would have done today justice, to be honest; with how hard it was; especially the day after the time trial and everything. It was a good stage to tick off. As for Sundays 160km 15th stage from Bourg-en-Bresse to Culoz in the Jura mountains? That is a stage that could exert plenty of punishment on the peloton, from first to last.The stage features six solid climbs and a descent to the finish. We havent done any actual reconnaissance of this stage route, but Ive ridden the Grand Colombier, so I know it.That its a stage that will suit climbers, counts for plenty - for myself especially, and others. That includes another who is earning praise right now, Dutchman Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) who is second overall to Chris Froome (Sky). Mollema has finished in the Tours top 10 before. So Ive always known he is strong. But Mollema showed how so on the stage 12 to Mont Ventoux. When Froome and I were away, he was the guy who came across. And then he did a good time trial on Friday. So I would say he is definitely a threat for Froome.As for myself, am I still aiming for the podium? For sure, provided I can stay fit, healthy and problem free. That is not as easy as first thought, as Ive experienced too many times and last did on Friday in the chaotic finale on Mont Ventoux. That crash into the motorbike with Froome and Mollema could have seriously injured me, but it still left me pretty sore.I did not hit my chin on my way down as many thought. It was more like my throat. But it still hurt and I was sore during Friday time trial. But its amazing the difference a day can make. I certainly felt a lot better on the bike on Saturday than I did in Fridays time trial.That was also probably because of the better position I was in than on a time trial bike. But saying that, all in all the Tour is starting to take its toll. It does feel like the 14th stage has passed. To think there are seven more stages to go, and most of them amongst the hardest. Which all means if you are watching, there should still be plenty of great racing to come. Stan Smith Uomo Saldi . Newcastle dominated in the early stages but City weathered the storm and then raised its game in extra time. Negredo broke the deadlock from close range after a simple move in the 99th minute before Dzeko took the ball round goalkeeper Tim Krul to seal the victory in the 105th. Stan Smith Scontate . The home side created most of the chances but struggled to break down Braunschweigs resilient defence, resulting in the Bundesligas 1,000th scoreless draw. http://www.stansmithscontate.it/ . -- Ryan Getzlaf grabbed the three pucks wrapped in tape and held them up to his chest in the Anaheim Ducks dressing room for a celebration nine seasons in the making. Stan Smith Italia . -- Matt Rupert scored once in regulation and again in the shootout as the London Knights extended their win streak to nine games by defeating the Owen Sound Attack 4-3 on Friday in Ontario Hockey League action. Stan Smith Scontate Uomo . Inter president Erick Thohir says in a club statement on Wednesday that Vidic is "one of the worlds best defenders and his qualities, international pedigree, and charisma will be an asset. Jenson Button thinks the rest of the field are letting Formula One down by failing to challenge Mercedes for the third season in a row.Mercedes looks locked in for a third straight constructors crown, while the drivers championship is once again a two-horse race between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. The German manufacturer has dominated F1 since the introduction of the V6 turbos - it has won 43 of the 50 races since the start of 2014.Button believes the rest of the field have simply not done a good enough job.When asked about the Hamilton-Rosberg title fight, the McLaren driver replied: Its a not a fight were involved with. Its not a fight that really makes any difference to me whatsoever -- who wins or who doesnt win. For me, the important thing is we get other teams involved fighting at the front, because having just two guys in the same car fighting at the front is not what the sport needs.It needs other manufacturers involved, other teams involved, and thats where were letting the sport down by not doing a good enough job. Races like Barcelona when Mercedes werent in the race [after crashing out], everyone loved it because there were four cars fighting for the win.ddddddddddddThats something we hadnt had for three years, so hopefully well have more of that in the future of Formula One.Regulation changes next year will move the onus back towards aerodynamics, with wider and more aggressive-looking cars. Much has been made of the strength of Mercedes engine but Button thinks it is wrong to assume that is the only reason the world champions are doing so well.In terms of why theyre so good? I dont know. I think if we all knew, wed be as good as them. They have a lot of very talented people, and maybe the [current] regulations are in their favour.For next year, could they be caught out? Maybe. Possibly. But then I dont really think their power unit is that superior compared to the Ferrari, for example. They just have a very good car. Their overall package is fantastic.I dont think you can just point at the engine and say, thats why theyre performing well, because there are lots of other cars with the same engine that arent performing anywhere near as well. ' ' '