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Giro d’Italia to start in Budapest in 2020

The Italian Grand Tour will begin in Hungary for the first time.

The 2020 Giro d’Italia will start in Budapest, Hungary – a first, with no other Grand Tour yet to visit the central European country.

This will be the 14th Grande Partenza to take place outside of Italy, with the first three stages of this year’s edition taking place on Hungarian soil.

Budapest follows a progressive international push by RCS Sport. In recent years, it has begun its three-week Italian Grand Tour in Jerusalem, Amsterdam and Belfast. The first ever foreign Giro start was in 1965, when the race began in San Marino.

The 2021 Giro d’Italia is already due to start in Sicily, Italy’s southern island. This year’s Giro, starting May 11 with Egan Bernal leading Team Sky, will begin in Bologna.

France’s Marseille had been in the running to host the 2020 start before the organiser decided on Budapest.

The race should begin on Friday, as other recent Giros have done when beginning abroad. It will allow an extra rest day when returning home to the Bel Paese.

The Giro caravan faces a 550km drive to the nearest city, Trieste in Italy’s far northeast, or alternatively it could take a flight to the very south in the heel of the country. In 2014, the Giro left Dublin for Bari in the south east – a 2700 kilometre journey.

No distance appears too far for the Italian organiser, however, after its 2018 start in Jerusalem. The race flew three hours to Sicily, with the hour’s time difference, to begin the race 48 hours later. Chris Froome went on to win the race overall.

The Giro/Budapest deal could be linked to Hungarian sponsor Kométa. The Italian-owned meat processor has invested millions in Hungary in recent years.

The announcement comes one month after the European Union’s center-right leaning coalition, the European People’s Party, suspended Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party, which has led an aggressive anti-European Union campaign and has been accused of eroding judicial independence and press freedoms.

The 2020 Giro d’Italia will start in the capital, Budapest, with two more stages in Hungary before transferring to Italy. The Giro d’Italia has had a previous 13 starts outside Italy.

Other foreign starts in the Giro d’Italia:
1965 San Marino (Republic of san Marino)
1966 Monte Carlo (Principality of Monaco)
1973 Verviers (Belgium)
1974 Vatican City
1996 Athens (Greece)
1998 Nice (France)
2002 Groningen (the Netherlands)
2006 Seraing (Belgium)
2010 Amsterdam (the Netherlands)
2012 Herning (Denmark)
2014 Belfast (Northern Ireland)
2016 Apeldoorn (the Netherlands)
2018 Jerusalem (Israel)

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Chinese GP: Hamilton storms to race victory

 

Lewis Hamilton has taken the lead in the world championship for the first time in 2019 as he crossed the line in first place at the Chinese Grand Prix.

The Briton was unchallenged on his way to his 75th career win, as he beat teammate Valtteri Bottas to the chequered flag at the Shanghai International Circuit.

Hamilton got the jump on Bottas off the line, and took the lead into the first corner, making it three from three races in 2019 that the pole sitter hasn’t headed the pack into the opening corner of the Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc also got past his teammate Sebastian Vettel at Turn 1, but couldn’t keep up with the Mercedes’ who started to pull away.

There was a brief virtual safety car period after Daniel Kvyat came together with the two McLarens on the exit of Turn 6. Daniil Kvyat received a drive-through penalty for the incident, whie McLaren failed to score any points.

On the 11th lap, Leclerc let Vettel past to allow the German to go in chase of Bottas in front. However, Vettel failed to pull away quickly and while he towed Leclerc along, Max Verstappen closed in in the Red Bull.

The Dutchman then triggered the pit stops, as he boxed for medium tyres. Vettel responded on the next lap, coming out just in front of the 21-year-old. Verstappen attempted an overtake at the Turn 14 hairpin, but failed to make the move stick, getting pushed out onto the grass by Vettel.

When Leclerc pitted a number of laps later, he emerged far behind Verstappen in fifth place, where he would remain for the rest of the race, even after the second round of pit stops.

Out in front, Mercedes was unchallenged and decided to stack their cars when they made their second pit stops, after Vettel and Verstappen.

Pierre Gasly drove a lonely race but picked up his best result at Red Bull, crossing the line in sixth place. However, he pitted in the last couple of laps and managed to pick up the extra point for the fastest lap.

Daniel Ricciardo also had a quiet race for Renault but managed to pick up his first points of the year, finishing in seventh place. He headed Sergio Perez and Kimi Raikkonen who were eighth and ninth respectively.

After starting from the pitlane, Albon drove a one-stop strategy to pick up the final point on offer, while also winning the Driver of the Day vote.

It was a tough day for Haas, who failed to pick up points despite having both of its cars inside the top ten for the start of the Grand Prix.

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A-League Review: Ninkovic late show settles Big Blue

 

Milos Ninkovic’s deflected injury-time goal secured a 2-1 A-League win for Sydney FC over Melbourne Victory in the Big Blue on Saturday.

Sydney took an early lead when Brandon O’Neill fired home a superb left-footed strike from outside the box to delight the home crowd.

But Victory levelled it up after Kosta Barbarouses collected Keisuke Honda’s fine throughball and lifted a delicate finish over Andrew Redmayne.

It looked as though the spoils would be shared until Siem de Jong escaped down the right and picked out Ninkovic, who got his shot away at the second attempt and saw it bobble into the bottom-left corner via a defender.

The win moves Sydney four points clear of Melbourne in the second place, and three behind leaders Perth Glory.

The Jets now sit five points behind sixth-placed Adelaide United, who play their game in hand on Sunday, courtesy of teenager Angus Thurgate’s first A-League goal.

Rashid Mahazi had put the visitors ahead at the break, but Roy O’Donovan levelled matters before goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic punched Dimitri Petratos’ corner into his own net.

A long-range equaliser from Keanu Baccus looked set to earn the Wanderers a point, only for substitute Thurgate to clinch it with a cool finish eight minutes from time.

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Red 2

Red 2 – As the american action movie title this can be also the title of this year season of the Szody brothers.

But no worry if you do not figure out why – there is no such correlation only that they start their season two with their red car.

After 7 years with Suzuki last year they stepped up and changed to Opel Tigra. Before the season start we had a discussion with the Brothers.

 Amdala.hu: Last year was a complex one, however it was a learning year. Is that correct?

 Szabolcs Sződy: -Yes, it was definitely that one. We had to learn the new category, the car, the ccm and the power. The first half of the year was also a testing period but in the summer the results did come. We had a trophy and at the year-end category fourth and sixth position. We had to fight each seconds and each points. It was a hard and busy season with good ending.

Amdala.hu: It was only 0.6mp, is not it? That is really tight, but succeed. What kind of experiences did you get?

 Zsolt Sződy: -We made a good choice with this Opel Tigra. Basically it is the same as Opel Corsa but it is more sporty and with its unique outfit this is not a regular one. We get used to it, moreover we love it. But we had to learn a lot from this car, this is a sport car, heavier than the rival Citroen Saxo and the motor is only 106 horsepower compares to Saxo 118. But the difference is not that big, however the fourth position is after the three Saxo.

Amdala.hu: How did you prepare for the new season?

 Szabolcs Sződy: – The preparation for the new season started in January. We would like to thank you for Opel Gombos for the preparation. The suspension set-up by Kárászy and built into the car by Kanyik Car Service. The rest was managed by us, these are small corrections. Overall plenty of work was made, even more than last year. This year it takes more time but we are ready just in time.

Amdala.hu: the new decoration is pretty nice and the Opel logo is also there. Can you tell us more about the new sponsors?

 Zsolt Sződy: – Definitely we have more. We have three new ones, Opel Gombos, Csergő Ltd. who gives Opel parts and SKF who provides bearings. The main sponsor the Orbico Hungary Kft., who  the distributor of Shell lubricants in Hungary. We also would like to give our best and have even two-three podiums. The year-end target is the third place.

Amdala.hu: This is brave, in the second season a podium place?

Szabolcs Sződy: – We try it. Last year the target was to finish among the middle and we reach more. So it is possible to be much braver now however if we will finish back it is okay. This is only the second season and the category field also changed.

Amdala.hu: Good attitude! Lets talk about the races. There will be a new one in Eger.

 Zsolt Sződy: – We do not know anything about it, we only had a trip there. What a new challenge! The well-known track of Kakucs and Kiskulacháza is also varied. We are really looking forward to Nagyatád again, last year that was the most successful one. But right now we will only concentrate for the first race.

Amdala.hu: Serie 3 Category (S3) is a strong one. Was it a good decision?

Szabolcs Sződy: – We like it. There is fight within however the differences are bigger than in S1 but the cars are different. These are stronger, faster and heavier. We are really looking forward to the season. We would like to drive again, we worked a lot for this.

Amdala.hu: Were there any big change on the car?

 Zsolt Sződy: – Of course it improved. On the last race the engine holder was broken so it was totally replaced with some units. The air filter was really effective so it was built even more this time. The tyres brand, Nankang remained the same however we choose medium for this season, NS-2R.  In the front the new spoiler can be seen, this is an original Irmscher sport spoiler, it was set-up right now. Small corrections but it is still on progress.

Amdala.hu: What can I say? At least the same result as last year, lets go for the podium! But have a save drive without any problem and good lap times.

 Sződy brothers: – Thank you very much.

Amdala.hu

Photos: Track Racing

 

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Isner misses out on Delray Beach final, Auger-Aliassime through to Rio decider

John Isner was stunned by Daniel Evans in the semi-finals of the ATP Delray Beach Open, while Felix Auger-Aliassime’s dream week continued at the Rio Open.

Isner looked to be on track for a spot in the final after winning the first set but the American second seed crashed to a 3-6 6-2 6-2 defeat on Saturday.

The path to victory in Delray Beach opened up for Isner following the surprise elimination of top seed Juan Martin del Potro in the quarter-finals.

However, Isner – who had not been broken in 77 service games dating back to his opening-round defeat to Reilly Opelka at the Australia Open – lost his way.

Evans reeled off three successive breaks in the second set to swing the momentum in his favour and the Englishman did not look back at the ATP 250 tournament.

He will now have the chance to claim his maiden tour title when he faces Radu Albot, who outlasted Mackenzie McDonald 3-6 6-0 6-0.

Meanwhile, Canadian teenager Auger-Aliassime reached the Rio Open decider courtesy of a 6-3 3-6 6-3 victory against Pablo Cuevas.

Auger-Aliassime, who had not advanced to a tour semi-final prior to the event in Rio de Janeiro, became the youngest ATP 500 finalist since the level was established in 2009.

However, Isner – who had not been broken in 77 service games dating back to his opening-round defeat to Reilly Opelka at the Australia Open – lost his way.

Evans reeled off three successive breaks in the second set to swing the momentum in his favour and the Englishman did not look back at the ATP 250 tournament.

He will now have the chance to claim his maiden tour title when he faces Radu Albot, who outlasted Mackenzie McDonald 3-6 6-0 6-0.

Meanwhile, Canadian teenager Auger-Aliassime reached the Rio Open decider courtesy of a 6-3 3-6 6-3 victory against Pablo Cuevas.

Auger-Aliassime, who had not advanced to a tour semi-final prior to the event in Rio de Janeiro, became the youngest ATP 500 finalist since the level was established in 2009.

Serbia’s Laslo Djere awaits in the final after Aljaz Bedene withdrew from the semis due to a right leg injury.

 

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Eubank dominates DeGale to claim IBO super-middleweight crown

Chris Eubank Jr produced a stirring display to defeat James DeGale via unanimous decision and claim the vacant IBO super-middleweight title at the O2 Arena on Saturday.

There was little love lost between the British pair, who shared a frosty embrace after Eubank’s hand had been raised by referee Michael Alexander in London.

The three judges scored the fight 114-112, 115-112, 117-109 in Eubank’s favour and it was hard to argue with that assessment at the end of a contest in which former Olympic middleweight gold medallist DeGale failed to leave his stamp.

At the final bell, DeGale raised his arm more in hope than expectation and the 33-year-old, whose record falls to 25-3-1, must know he is nearing the end of a career that twice saw him crowned IBF super-middleweight king.

“I’m going to go back, talk to my team and talk to my family,” DeGale told ITV Box Office afterwards.

“I’ve been to the heights of boxing, I’ve won an Olympic gold medal, won the world title twice, made history and I’ve boxed the best around the world, I’ve left my mark in boxing.”

With victory, Eubank moves to 28-2 and it was he who set the tone for the fight as early as round two, wobbling DeGale with a left hook that forced a mandatory eight-count.

Following a few scrappy rounds, Eubank remained in the ascendancy and floored his opponent again in the 10th, courtesy of another devastating left.

Eubank was docked a point for a body slam in the penultimate round but DeGale was in desperate need of a knockout by that stage and was in no state to provide one, leaving Eubank – and his father and former world champion Chris Sr – smiling widely at the end.

“I’m back where I need to be – at the top of the food chain and now I’m coming for all the other belts in the super-middleweight division,” Eubank Jr said. “I knew he [DeGale] would come in here and run.

“I dominated pretty much every round. He is a hell of a skilled fighter but my heart and tenacity got me there. A lot of people said I was going to get my head jabbed off and not stand with a proven boxer. It was the most important fight of my career and I’ve made the statement. It is belt season, it is collection season.”

On the undercard, former IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby prevailed via a unanimous points decision over Omar Douglas.

Selby, who lost his world belt to Josh Warrington in May, emerged victorious despite suffering deep cuts over both eyes that left his white shorts, Douglas’ hair wrap and the referee’s shirt heavily stained with blood.

 

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Champions League 2018-19 Last 16 draw

As it happened: Juventus face Atletico, Man Utd to take on PSG

UEFA Champions League 2018-19 Round of 16 draws are out and there are some interesting clashes lined-up for the fans. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus will be taking on Atletico Madrid in the knockout stages, which will be a return to Madrid but not to the Santiago Bernabeu for Ronaldo. Lionel Messi’s FC Barcelona have been drawn against Lyon, a relatively easy fixture for the Spanish league toppers. Meanwhile, Manchester United, who were in the group of death, will be taking on Neymar’s Paris Saint Germain in the UCL Round of 16.

Champion League 2018-19 Last 16 draw HIGHLIGHTS: 

Manchester City vs Schalke

Atletico Madrid vs Juventus 

Manchester United vs Paris Saint Germain 

Lyon vs Barcelona

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Clippers-Thunder: Two slumping teams try to get untracked

Oklahoma City was flying high just a few days ago, as the Thunder entered Wednesday’s game at New Orleans with the best record in the Western Conference.
But the Thunder enter Friday’s home game against the Los Angeles Clippers needing to get things turned around, especially on the offensive side.
All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook was just 5 of 15 from the field in Friday’s 109-98 loss to Denver. Westbrook has made more than two 3-pointers in a game just once this season going into Saturday’s game.
The Thunder have been most effective this season when attacking the basket. But they have had problems recently as Westbrook has struggled offensively even on the inside, and Oklahoma City’s offense has grown stagnant at times.
“I think from an identity standpoint, the way we want to play — we want to play downhill,” Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said.
Westbrook has struggled offensive recently, shooting 42 of 110 (38.2 percent) from the floor in December.
The Thunder come into the game having lost two consecutive games for the first time since their 0-4 start to the season Oct. 16-25. Oklahoma City has lost three of its last four.
Oklahoma City, which coming off Friday’s loss to the Nuggets, is 2-1 this season on the second night of back-to-backs. The Thunder are near the start of a stretch in which they will play nine of 13 games on the road.
The Clippers have lost four of their last five after Thursday’s 125-87 loss to the Sours. That was the first of nine consecutive games against Western Conference opponents.
This has been Los Angeles’ roughest stretch of the season, and it hasn’t lost three in a row this year.
“It’s a long season,” Clippers guard Patrick Beverley said. “You play long enough the game teaches itself and it told us, as a unit, we can’t ease into games. That’s what we’re trying to do lately and we can’t do that. We’re not that good, not right now. But we can be.”
Clippers coach Doc Rivers expanded his rotation recently, playing all his players who dressed — 12 total — at least nine minutes in Thursday’s blowout loss in San Antonio. Rivers is trying to keep his team fresh.
“I played a long time ago and I knew when I didn’t have energy, but it usually didn’t mean the next game I wouldn’t have energy,” Rivers said. “It means there were nights that I showed up (and) I tried to do everything I possibly could do to get ready and I came into the game and I just didn’t have it, unfortunately.
“They’re human and sometimes it happens. You know this is a long stretch, so you see it over and over again. What they’re telling you is they’re tired and you probably have to just try and play a bigger rotation, which sometimes you don’t want to do, but sometimes you have to do it.”
The teams have split their two meetings so far this season, with the Clippers winning 108-92 on Oct. 19 at home and the Thunder winning 128-110 on Oct. 30 at home
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Leicester vs Tottenham – Match Preview

 

After suffering a heavy defeat to Arsenal last weekend, Tottenham had to bounce back in the best possible way against Southampton in midweek and thanks to a comfortable win by three goals to nil, that is exactly what they managed to do.

And thanks to a combination of results elsewhere that saw their London rivals drop points, it means that Mauricio Pochettino’s men have reclaimed third spot before Saturday’s visit to the King Power Stadium.

It is there where they will face a Leicester City side who are unbeaten in their last six league outings, a run of form which sees them currently occupy ninth place in the table. It is fair to say that Claude Puel’s men are going under the radar as of late, as they prove to be a tough but to crack.

The Foxes were reunited with an old face on Wednesday night as Claudio Ranieri bought his Fulham side to the East Midlands, while it was a trip that proved relatively fruitful for the Cottagers as they managed to earn a much needed point in their bid to stave off relegation.

The question for Leicester is whether or not they can continue their impressive run of form and in turn become a genuine contender for the Europa League places this season, especially as just one point separates themselves and Everton who currently lie in sixth.

To do so they will have to continue their unbeaten run, one that could be in danger with the visit of Tottenham on the horizon. That said, Leicester do seem to have their upcoming opponent’s number after a spate of recent wins.

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West Ham Looking Good Ahead of London Derby

 

The Premier League resumes on Saturday following a busy period of mid-week games. 

With the Champions League and Europa League final group games also coming up, teams have their work cut out but two teams who do not have to worry about European competition are West Ham United and Crystal Palace.

The Hammers have their sights firmly set on the top half of the table and this is one match in a series of games West Ham will expect to win.  If they can pick up maximum points, it could be a good Christmas period for the club.

Crystal Palace may be outside the relegation zone but they cannot afford to switch off in the battle against the drop.  A win in this match would ease their worries and move them within 3 points of their opponents.

Wet Ham were being held to a 0-0 draw at home by Cardiff City on Tuesday night and with Marko Arnautovic going off in the first half, things were not looking good.However, West Ham came out in the second half and produced a good display to see off the Welsh club by scoring 3 goals only to conceded one themselves late on in the game.

That result means West Ham have won three of their last five Premier League matches, including the last two and trends show they have lost one of their last five.  In addition to the win over Cardiff, the Hammers have defeated Burnley at home and Newcastle United away.

West Ham have won four of their last seven games at home but have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last six.

Crystal Palace were very disappointing in their 3-1 loss against rivals Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday night. The Eagles were 2-0 down when Brighton were reduced to ten men but conceded another goal just before half-time.  Crystal Palace pulled one back towards the end of the match but it was a poor performance overall.

Having picked up a point at Old Trafford and defeated Burnley, both without conceding a goal, Crystal Palace returned to their previous ways at Brighton.  That result means Crystal Palace have won just one of their last ten games in all competitions and trends show they have kept only two clean sheets in those ten matches.

Crystal Palace have lost five and drawn one of their last six away games in all competitions.

Looking ahead to the team news and West Ham will be without Marko Arnautovic who went off in the previous match with a hamstring injury.  The Austrian joins Aaron Cresswell, Ryan Fredericks, Andriy Yarmolenko, Carlos Sanchez, Manuel Lanzini and Winston Reid on the treatment table.

Crystal Palace could receive some positive news on the injury front with defender Scott Dann and striker Connor Wickham working their way back to fitness.

West Ham will believe this game presents a great opportunity for them to make it three wins in a row in the Premier League.  Their form in comparison to Crystal Palace’s suggests the Hammers will pick up the 3 points.