Chris Froome

Chris Froome says Tour de France will be ‘main focus’ in 2015

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Chris Froome, the 2013 Tour de France winner, said next year’s Tour de France takes priority over all other races.

“Of course, together with the team, we’ve had to prioritize some events over others, but the Tour will remain my main focus for 2015,” Froome, who has been training in South Africa, said on his website Tuesday.

Froome didn’t initially commit to the 2015 Tour de France when the route was unveiled Oct. 22. Next year’s Tour includes one nine-mile time trial, putting less emphasis on the “race of truth” than usual. That would seem to hurt Froome, the 2012 Olympic time trial bronze medalist for Great Britain.

But Froome is also strong at climbing, and next year’s Tour includes 26 climbs, highlighted by the grueling Alpe d’Huez with its 21 switchbacks.

“There’s no reason why I would be any worse off than any of the other contenders,” said Froome, who grew up in Kenya and South Africa. “It’s a climbers Tour next year so I’m going to have to work extra hard in the mountains and spend less time on practicing time trialing. It’s also going to be important to be as light as possible so our nutrition will play a key role. There will be new tests for me as an individual, that’s what I’m looking forward to.”

In October, Froome hinted he may try to do the Giro d’Italia-Vuelta a Espana double in May and September instead of the Tour de France in July. He has never won the other two Grand Tours.

“The concept of doing all three Grand Tours in a season has got appeal but having said that, I know how hard it is to do two Grand Tours while targeting the overall win,” Froome said on his website Tuesday. “At this point in my career I feel that the Tour takes priority. There may come a time at some point down the line where other races may take preference, but for 2015, it’s the Tour.”

Froome’s biggest competition in the 2015 Tour de France could come from the three reigning Grand Tour winners — Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Tour de France), Colombian Nairo Quintana (Giro d’Italia) and Spaniard Alberto Contador (Vuelta a Espana).

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Chicago Marathon canceled; one major marathon left in 2020

Chicago Marathon
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The Chicago Marathon, scheduled for Oct. 11, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, becoming the fourth World Marathon Major called off this year.

Organizers cited the challenge of staging the 45,000-runner event “out of concern for the safety of event participants, volunteers, event staff and spectators.”

Previously, major marathons were canceled in Berlin (originally scheduled for Sept. 27), Boston (April 20, then Sept. 14) and New York City (Nov. 1). The London Marathon, originally scheduled for April 26 and postponed to Oct. 4, remains scheduled.

The other World Marathon Major, Tokyo, took place on its scheduled date of March 1 but with elite runners only.

Last year, Kenyan Brigid Kosgei won Chicago by taking 81 seconds off Paula Radcliffe‘s 16-year-old women’s marathon world record. Kosgei clocked 2:14:04.

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MORE: U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials results

Figure skating Grand Prix events in China remain scheduled

Grand Prix Final
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Figure skating Grand Prix events in China in November and December remain scheduled, the International Skating Union announced Monday, four days after reports about international sporting events in China being canceled through the end of 2020.

A notice about sports events, issued Thursday by the General Administration of Sport of China, made an exception for Beijing Winter Olympic test events and other preparations for the first Winter Games in China in February 2022.

The Grand Prix Final, the second-most prestigious annual figure skating competition, is still scheduled for December in Beijing because it is an Olympic test event.

Furthermore, the Cup of China, one of six events across the globe that determines Grand Prix Final qualifiers, remains scheduled for November in Chongqing because it is related to the Final.

“Like for all other five ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating events in the different countries, this is of course subject to finding the necessary logistical, medical and safety solutions to hold the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating events as planned,” according to the ISU.

The ISU previously announced it set a deadline to decide on possible event cancellations: 12 weeks before an event starts. For the first Grand Prix Series competition, Skate America in Las Vegas, the decision deadline is Aug. 1.

The ISU council will meet virtually on Aug. 3 to decide on further action for upcoming competitions.

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