Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 26th 2015 Contents Spain's Alberto Contador, left, and Italy's Vincenzo Nibali, are distanced by overall leader Britain's Chris Froome during the twentieth
stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 110.5 kilometres (68.7 miles) with start in Modane and finish in Alpe d'Huez, France,
yesterday. AP PHOTOS
July 26, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Two important sporting events which cause
serious pain physically, emotionally and psycho-
logically end later today, so some participants
from both could be recuperating for weeks!
Tour de France and Concacaf Gold Cup do not
compare to each other by world sports standards.
"Le Tour," with riders from Columbia to Eritrea
to Australia, the most inclusive sporting event
world-wide except for FIFA World Cups, World
Championships and Olympics, is the world s most
difficult cycle race. "Gold Cup" is just a regional
Both last three weeks, and for teams or riders
who endure to the end of each discipline, not to
mention extra efforts needed to win outright,
getting to the conclusion must be special, for these
are events for those who survive longest, not the
So, agonisingly, disappointedly, desperately-tired
T&T s "Soca Warriors", after 120 very hot, hard
minutes in New Jersey, lost to Panama on penalties
in their quarter-final.
Positively for our English-speaking Caribbean,
today s Concacaf Gold Cup 2015 final puts unbe-
lievably energised Jamaica against extremely for-
tunate Mexico. That dazzling Giles Barnes free-
kick helped "Reggae Boys" into the final while
outplaying discombobulated, mesmerised USA.
By contrast, Mexico s final place appears to have
been quite contrived and orchestrated.
COLIN EH CROFT
Tough competitions to win
Tour de France and Concacaf Gold Cup...
Meanwhile, Tour de France; several
teams included; that long, very difficult,
dangerous cycle race, peddling off from
"Grande Depart" in Holland, to Belgium,
thence to France, including climbing the
Pyrenees and Alps mountain ranges,
also ends today in Paris; a very unor-
dinary ride indeed.
Spare a thought even for USA s pre-
race favourite Tejay van Garderen, real-
istically only an outside bet to win, who,
when third overall, withdrew late from
"Le Tour," during the seventeenth of the
race s twenty-one total stages, because
of ill health and outright tiredness.
This bicycle race has similar liabilities,
dangers, possibilities of serious injuries
and death, to Formula 1 and Moto-Grand-
Prix motorcycle races. Only the very best
and strongest survive!
I ache all over while riding 125 or so
miles a week with few undulations or
hills, so I could only be in total awe as
to how these guys complete approximately
125 miles per day, sometimes climbing
hills nearly three miles high that same
day too, the race covering nearly 2100
Only the riders know how they manage,
but Tour de France has been rife with
scourges of performance enhancing drugs.
Even "Yellow Jersey" race-leader for
most of the race, Englishman Chris
Froome of "Team Sky", had nasty accu-
sations thrown at him last week.
USA s Lance Armstrong is a confirmed
drugs cheat. Past winners Spain s Miguel
Indurain survived suggestions about pos-
sibilities of drug taking, Italy s Marco
Pantini dodged doping allegations and
bans until he died of cocaine binging,
while even great Belgian, Eddie Merckx,
probably the best road cyclist ever, was
accused of blood doping.
But this is also a seriously dangerous
bike race. Last week, "Team Sky s" Ricky
Porte was wickedly, violently punched in
the gut, as was Merckx in 1975, by one
of always-encroaching crowd, while
Froome had urine thrown over him for
drugs allegations, plus many race-can-
celling injuries to riders.
Also, over thirty people, and four riders,
have died in Tour de France races.
Victory in Tour de France on Champs-
Elysees, Paris this morning is for the very
fit, as it would be to win Concacaf Gold
Cup in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania later.
Go JA! Rahtid! Enjoy!
SEE PAGE A49
Fully-confident Jamaica came out firing, fast
and very furious, ignoring debilitating, stifling
conditions which seemed to have affected T&T
so badly, going directly at USA, a tactic that rat-
tled "Red, White and Blue" so much that Jamaica
Support from the Caribbean must be universal,
hoping that Jamaica, recalling their halcyon days
of FIFA World Cup 1998, will win their first ever
Concacaf Gold Cup too, continuing good regional
representation in this event.
As shown, penalties are not easy to score from,
especially after a long, grueling game. Those who
failed to score for T&T; Sheldon Bateau, Joevin
Jones, Daniel Cyrus, whose penalty if converted
would have won the game for T&T, and Lester
Peltier, whose final penalty was brilliantly saved
by Panamanian goal-keeper Jaime Penedo; have
nothing at all to be ashamed of.
Similarly, stellar efforts from Marvin Phillip,
T&T s No 2 goal-keeper, kept his team alive with
secure, superlative saves throughout his tenure.
He should be specially saluted. Implanted when
Jan-Michael Williams was injured, Phillip, who
suffered that greatest of personal losses only last
year, with the tragic, untimely death of his infant
son, should also be very proud.
Skipper Kenwyne Jones, Head Coach Steven
Hart and staff, while understandably disappointed,
should also be very encouraged by their team s
Meanwhile, regardless of what many may say
now, very few expected "Soca Warriors" to do so
well in this tournament.
The one negative was that Coach Hart chose,
only after T&T had been eliminated, to publicly
complain about two extra days of rest that Panama
got which "Soca Warriors" did not have.
Tournaments playing conditions should be
studied, discussed, queried and agreed on prior
to embarking on journeys, not lamented later by
teams negatively affected by stated regulations.
Jamaica's head coach Winfried Schafer, centre
right, walks around as his players loosen up
during a Concacaf Gold Cup soccer practice
session, yesterday, in Philadelphia.
Tour de France puts Paris in spotlight today
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