July 9, 2012

The Death Eater Quidditch squad     Photo: pretendtious/Flickr

Quidditch Angles for Olympic Spot

Teams fly to U.K. for exhibition match

In the hopes of gaining legitimacy for their young sport, five Quidditch teams from around the globe flew to England to compete in an exhibition match as the Olympic torch passed through Oxford, England, on Monday. "We thought it would be a great time to piggy-back off the Olympics, being held in the home country of Harry Potter, and show people this is an exciting sport. There are a lot more ridiculous sports in the Olympics than Quidditch," said International Quidditch Association commissioner Alex Benepe. Players from the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, and France squared off for two days of competition, with the U.S. team ultimately winning the final.

Read more at Reuters


Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong     Photo: U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Tabitha M. Mans/Wikimedia

Armstrong Sues USADA to Block Hearing

Seeks to halt doping proceedings

Lance Armstrong has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency from charging him for allegedly using performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career. The suit, filed in Austin, Texas, on Monday, calls USADA's proceedings a "kangaroo court," accusing its chief executive, Travis Tygart, of pursuing a personal vendetta against Armstrong. It also argues that the International Cycling Union, not USADA, should have jurisdiction over the case. "It is a testament to USADA's brazenness and callous disregard for its own mission that it seeks to strip Mr. Armstrong of his life's work," lawyers for Armstrong said in court papers. USADA claims it has blood samples from the seven-time Tour de France winner that prove he was doping, and that as many as 10 former teammates and acquaintances have come forward to testify against him.

Read more at ESPN


Evelyn Stevens

Evelyn Stevens celebrates her win at Fleche Wallone.     Photo: CJFoto.com

Marianne Vos Wins Giro Donne

American Evelyn Stevens finishes third

Marianne Vos won her second straight victory at the Giro d’Italia Femminile, the only Grand Tour for women, after winning five of nine stages. Emma Pooley finished second, and American Olympic medal hopeful Evelyn Stevens finished third, over six minutes back. In a confidence booster ahead of the Olympics, Stevens won stage three of the tour and briefly held the Maglia Rosa leader’s jersey. Stevens, in only her second year of professional racing, has had a break-out season, winning Fleche Wallonne Femmes over Vos and taking the overall at the inaugural Exergy Tour, the highest ranked women’s race in the U.S.

Read more at VeloNation.


Wiggins took the yellow jersey Saturday     Photo: Jans Canon/Flickr

Crash Axes Sanchez, Poel May Lose Kidney

Bloody Tour weekend decimates field

Britain’s Bradley Wiggins held on to the yellow jersey in Stage 8 of the Tour de France on Sunday, surviving a weekend of carnage that claimed Olympic gold medalist Samuel Sanchez and defending Giro d’Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal. Peter Sagan easily won his third stage of the tour Friday after a massive, late-breaking pile-up that injured pre-race favorites Frank Schleck, Robert Gesink, and Hesjedal. While all three would go on to start the following day, Hesjedal dropped out mid-stage, bringing the total number of abandons following Friday’s crash to 12. Team Sky further depleted the rank of leading contenders Saturday by setting a brutal pace up the finishing climb. Kenyan Chris Froome took the stage win, while Wiggins kept the yellow jersey. Sanchez was the primary victim Sunday after crashing out with a fractured hand. Despite the injury, Sanchez insists that he will "do everything possible" to defend his title at the London Olympics on July 28. Another victim of Friday’s 70kph crash, Wout Poels, may lose a kidney after suffering a ruptured kidney and spleen, bruised lung, and three broken ribs.

Read more at Velonews.