1) The 106th edition of the Tour de France kicks off this weekend. You can get accustomed to this year’s route with this snazzy 3D snake through every stage, while here’s the best on board footage from 2018. The Tour was a different beast 70 years ago, when beer, cigarettes and a blatant disregard for health and safety were the order of the day. A rare and terrifying Tourmalet summit finish is back on the menu in 2019. There was an epic battle between Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck in 2010, as the two left the field behind and chased one another to the top of the daunting mountain. And Geraint Thomas defends his title this year. Here’s a recap of how the Welshman won the Le Tour in 2018.
2) Marcus Trescothick has announced his forthcoming retirement from cricket aged 43. He broke down barriers around the discussion of mental health in sport and it’s hard not to get a lump in your throat watching the Against The Odds video he made with Somerset last year. He was a fine Test cricketer whose highlights include 213 against South Africa for England in 2003 and 193 against Pakistan in 2005. He was no slouch in ODIs either. Here’s his century against Australia in the buildup to the Ashes in 2005 and his 100 not out off just 76 balls against Bangladesh. And here’s a little video celebrating his incredible of achievement of having scored 50 centuries for Somerset.
3) It’s the Women’s World Cup final this weekend. Look back on finals past, including the avalanche of goals when USA beat Japan in 2015, the nail-biting penalty-shootout when Japan beat USA in 2011, Germany being brilliant against Brazil in 2007, Nia Künzer’s golden goal for Germany in 2003 and the USA (again!) winning the 1999 final in front of 90,000 fans at the Rose Bowl, this time against China.
4) The Cricket World Cup match between Sri Lanka and South Africa came to a halt when a swarm of bees invaded Chester-le-Street. Bees have a habit of causing havoc at all manner of sport events: here they are stinging footballers in Brazil, causing golfer Pablo Larrazabal to jump into a lake, making competitors in the Tropical Bike Motril race ditch their mountain bikes and leg it after a terrifying Hitchcockian attack in the foothills of Spain.
5) While the Africa Cup of Nations struggles to contend with searing Egyptian temperatures, Kenya’s Michael Olunga drops a bicycle kick into the cauldron against Tanzania. Mo Salah found the sweet spot with a free-kick against Uganda. It’s not the first time he’s found that inside corner this tournament, either.
6) German referee Deniz Aytekin encourages Mike Dean to buy a set of turntables and raise his game.
2) More notable long-range hi-jinks: nothing but net from Oxford’s Peter Leven against Port Vale, while Wigan’s Maynor Figueroa takes a quick free-kick from his own half against Stoke, that stays quick all the way in. Meanwhile, Xabi Alonso thinks fast for Liverpool and Newcastle’s Steve Harper scrambles slow for this memorable effort, and FC United’s Rory Patterson lines up straight from the kick-off against Silsden.
3) Prize flukes from last year’s World Snooker Championship.
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