Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 29th 2014 Contents A64
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, April 29, 2014
ROME---When the Giro d Italia
starts next week with three stages
in Northern Ireland and Ireland,
there will be a notable lack of star
quality in the 198-rider field.
Defending champion Vincenzo
Nibali, 2008 winner Alberto Con-
tador, reigning Tour de France win-
ner Chris Froome and his Sky
teammate Bradley Wiggins are all
skipping the Italian classic to focus
on the Tour this year.
"Absolutely," Giro director Mauro
Vegni said when asked if he was
upset about all the big names
missing. "I m not going to pretend
that that s not the case."
The two favourites who are
entered for the May 9-June 1 race---
Tour runner-up Nairo Quintana
and Spanish rider Joaquin
Rodriguez---have never won a
Sky had initially planned to send
Richie Porte but then moved the
Australian to its Tour squad after
the promising rider struggled with
illness early this season.
"Sure they had some problems
but in terms of moving someone
who was supposed to ride the Giro
to the Tour, to be honest I didn t
like that very much," Vegni said in
a recent interview with The Asso-
Vegni was more empathetic
"Vincenzo won the Giro in such
extraordinary style last year that
it s only normal for him to try and
win the Tour this year," he said. "I
Vegni is hoping that Brian Cook-
son, the new president of the Inter-
national Cycling Union (UCI),
speeds up reform of the sport s
calendar to make it easier for top
riders to enter both the Giro and
"We need to revise the schedule
to ensure that the best riders are
racing the biggest races," Vegni
said. "With the calendar as is, that
will never be possible."
"As it stands now, for the most
part whoever rides the Giro doesn t
ride the Tour, and vice versa," Vegni
added. "We re moving forward
with the reforms but with great
ROME---It is a testament to Ayr-
ton Senna s lasting impact on
Formula One that the 20th
anniversary of his death will be
observed this week with five days
of commemorations at the Imola
track where he had his fatal acci-
Current and past F1 drivers,
mechanics, racing officials and fans
will pay their respects to Senna
and Austrian driver Roland Ratzen-
berger, who also died at the 1994
San Marino Grand Prix.
books, all the videos, (Senna) was
the driver I looked up to, way
before I even started racing," Mer-
cedes driver Lewis Hamilton said
shortly before winning the Chinese
Grand Prix eight days ago. "He
kind of inspired me to even be a
Hamilton was 9 at the time of
Senna s death.
"It was very difficult for several
days to really (accept) your hero s
gone," the British driver said.
Senna was a hero to many and
is often voted as the greatest F1
driver in history.
He won three Formula One
titles---in 1988, 1990 and 91---all
with McLaren. He moved to the
Williams team for his tragic 1994
season. Despite his career being
cut short when he was 34, his 41
wins stand third all-time behind
Michael Schumacher s 91 and rival
Alain Prost s 51.
Beyond the numbers, Senna
attracted legions of followers for
his humbleness and strong
"He was loved to an unbelievable
degree," said Mauro Forghieri, a
former car designer for Ferrari and
other F1 teams, who was called on
as an expert witness in the court
trial following Senna s death.
Forghieri recounted how when
Senna s coffin was transported
back to his native Brazil, it wasn t
put in the airplane s luggage hold
but rather placed over three rows
of the first-class cabin.
"Of course the airline and the
pilot were Brazilian," Forghieri said.
"He was considered much more
important than a president."
The Brazilian government
declared three days of national
mourning for Senna and an esti-
mated 3 million people lined the
streets as his coffin was driven into
his hometown of Sao Paulo. (AP)
PARIS---France has selected
Roland Garros---the home of the
French Open---as the venue for its
Davis Cup semifinal series against
the Czech Republic in September.
The French tennis federation says
it opted for the 15,000-capacity
centre court in Paris after team
captain Arnaud Clement asked for
the best-of-five series on Septem-
ber 12-14 to be played on outdoor
Built in 1928 for the Davis Cup
final between France and the Unit-
ed States, Roland Garros has hosted
several Davis Cup matches, the
last one in 2002.
The Czechs are bidding for a
third consecutive Davis Cup title.
This will be the 15th time the two
teams have met, with each country
winning seven times.
Switzerland hosts Italy in the
other semifinal series. (AP)
France to host Czech Republic at Roland Garros
Giro director decries lack
of star quality in race
20th anniversary of Senna
death observed in ImolaAyrton Senna
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