July 11, 2011

Alexander Vinokourov     Photo: Petit Brun/Flickr

Crashes Rattle Tour Favorites

Vinokourov, Van den Broucke out

Thomas Voeckler of Europcar edged out leader Thor Hushovd to take the yellow jersey at the Tour de France's ninth stage on Sunday, as a crash sent two overall favorites home with broken bones. Alexander Vinokourov broke his femur and Jurgen Van den Broucke broke his shoulder blade in a pile-up during a wet descent on stage nine. The crash ends Vinokourov's career, as he had said that the 2011 Tour would be his last. He was later transported by helicopter to a Parisian hospital for surgery on his fractured right femur. In a separate incident, a Euro Media press car was ejected from the Tour after hitting cyclists Juan Antonio Flecha and Johnny Hoogerland, sending the Hoogerland flying into a barbed wire fence; he later received 31 stiches but recovered and went on to take the climber's polka-dotted jersey. Monday is a scheduled rest day for the race.

Read More at Velo News

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Valery Rozov     Photo: Damiano Levati/Red Bull Content Pool

Video of Record-Breaking BASE jump

Russian skies off Italian side of Mont Blanc

Russian BASE jumper Valery Rozov became the first person to sky off the Italian side of Mont Blanc last Thursday. Red Bull sponsored the event and just released this this video of the jump, which lasted 35 seconds and covered 800 meters. It wasn’t a particularly long flight—Rozov had intended to descend into a nearby valley town, but landed instead on the Brenva Glacier because of windy conditions. Rozov and a crew of three spent two days getting to the sheer southern face of Mont Blanc, which at 4,800 meters is the highest peak in the Alps.

Read more at Planet Mountain

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San Juan Mountains     Photo: Jeff Foster/Flickr

Frenchman Wins Hardrock 100

Third-fastest time in race history

France's Julien Chorier won the Hardrock 100 Endurance Run on Saturday in 25 hours, 17 minutes, beating pre-race favorites and former champions Karl Meltzer and Jared Cambell, both of whom dropped out mid-race. Chorier's time is the third fastest in Hardrock history, behind Kyle Skaggs (23:23:30, 2008) and Karl Meltzer (24:38:02, 2009). It is also the second-fastest time ever for the counter-clockwise race direction. (The race, which runs through Colorado's San Juan mountains, alternates direction each year.) Diana Finkel, 40, of South Fork, Colorado, claimed her fourth consecutive women's title in 29 hours, 27 minutes. The Hardrock 100 begins and ends in Silverton, Colorado, and takes runners up and down 13 mountain passes for a total 33,992 feet of elevation gain and loss.

Read more at UltraRunning.com

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    Photo: ChicagoKoz/Flickr

Man Logs 10 Million Frequent Flyer Miles

United will name plane in his honor

A man became United Airline's first passenger to fly ten million miles over the weekend. Tom Stuker, 57, an automotive sales consultant from the Chicago area, crossed the ten-million-mile barrier on a flight from Los Angeles to O'Hare on Saturday. Stuker's family and United representatives greeted him when he arrived, and announced that Stuker will never have to wait in line again. The company will also name a plane after him. Stuker has flown with United 5,962 times, mostly on business, racking up enough miles to circle the globe 400 times. He has been to Australia more than 200 times and rarely goes a week without flying. “Every time I hit another milestone, they send me a case of champagne,” Stuker told CBS Chicago. “When I call the 800 number, they recognize my voice.” The 2009 film Up in the Air, which starred George Clooney, was about a man who had also hit ten million miles. United's Martin Hand said that it took Stucker 19 years to hit his first five million, and ten more to reach ten million. He is the first person to fly ten million miles with United, although several other people have logged more with other airlines

Read more at NBC

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Mountain Goat     Photo: Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife/Flickr

Don't Pee On That Trail

In Olympic, hikers' urine attracts goats

Mountain goats in Olympic National Park have developed a taste for human urine, causing problems for the park's visitors. Hikers appear to be attracting goats by peeing alongside trails, creating what park officials call "long, linear salt licks," and drawing goats from miles away. The animals don't normally wander near humans, but they can be deadly when agitated. A 370-pound male attacked and fatally gored a man hiking in Olympic last October. On Monday, park officials released a multi-part plan to keep goats and people separated, including restrictions on trail use and a recommendation that hikers pee at least 200 yards from any trail. They'll also be harassing goats with air horns and rubber pellet guns to "re-instill a pattern of avoidance of humans by goats." So far this year, there have been no goat-human conflicts, although a man reported being stalked by a large goat in June. 

Read more at the Peninsula Daily News

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