Olympic24: Dowsett looks to Tour as Brits march on at SW19

03 July 2015 / 04:14

Alex Dowsett admits a stage win at the Tour de France would be ‘career defining’ while Andy Murray and James Ward both make it safely through to the third round at Wimbledon. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours.

  • Alex Dowsett expecting tough challenge in first Tour de France stage
  • Andy Murray sees off Robin Haase while James Ward also progresses
  • Jamie Murray also safely though after doubles victory
  • Great Britain men’s hockey team secure spot at Rio 2016
  • Chris Froome relaxed after 2014 Tour disaster
  • Ashleigh Nelson sets sight on Rio after British Champs withdrawal

Dowsett: Tour de France stage win would be ‘career defining’

Alex Dowsett admits winning the opening stage individual time trial of the Tour de France would be a moment to savour, but isn’t expecting to take the yellow jersey on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Movistar rider will be among the favourites for the 13.8km time-trial in Utrecht in what will be his first-ever Tour.

While Dowsett is a time-trial specialist the shorter course could see a host of other riders vying for the stage victory.

"Winning stage one and taking the yellow jersey would be career-defining," he said.

"If that is all you had on your CV, you could be more than satisfied.

"It's not out of the question. But the problem with a short time trial is a lot more riders become a threat and would be motivated for it.

“I think it will be a closely fought battle. I will attack it as hard as I can, as always."

Murray and Ward both progress as Brits march on at SW 19

Andy Murray produced a brilliant display as he raced to a dominant straight-sets win over Robin Haase to book his spot in the third round at Wimbledon.

The Olympic champion took just one hour 26 minutes to dispatch of the Dutchman with a 6-1 6-1 6-4 triumph.

"I am very happy with the way I played," said Murray.

"I felt there were things I could do better in the first round but today I did things much better. I felt like I dictated the baseline rallies."

It was a solid day for the Brits at SW 19 as James Ward also made it through the third round for the first time in his career after he beat Jiri Vesely 6-2 7-6 (7-4) 3-6 6-3.

Jamie makes it a perfect day for the Murray brothers

It was the perfect day for the Murray brothers at Wimbledon as Jamie matched Andy’s straight sets victory to progress in the men’s doubles.

The 29-year-old, Britain’s number one doubles player, had a lethal link-up with Australian John Peers as UK pair Luke Bambridge and Liam Broady were quickly put out of their misery on Court 14 in less than 90 minutes. They comfortably won 6-1, 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 to slide into round two where they will face Nicholas Monroe and Artem Sitak.

The siblings are celebrating after the world number three cruised past Dutchman Hasse and Jamie said: “It’s been a good day, really good.

“I thought we were pretty comfortable, we served well throughout the match. We were always up in the tie break but as everyone knows a lot of the teams can beat each other in doubles it’s always very open so we’re pleased to get through in the manner we did.”

Great Britain men’s hockey team claim Rio qualification

Great Britain’s male hockey team have followed in the footsteps of their female counterparts after it was confirmed that Team GB are guaranteed to have two teams compete at the Rio Olympics.

With their tense quarter-final win over Pakistan, Great Britain’s had taken a giant step towards securing their qualification for Rio 2016.

And just hours later that giant step turned into a reality after India’s win over Malaysia.

This news comes just 11 days after Great Britain’s women booked their place in the Rio Olympics with a stunning seven wins from seven in their World League semi-final, ensuring both Danny Kerry’s and Bobby Crutchley’s sides will represent Team GB in Rio 2016.

Froome relaxed ahead of Tour de France opening

Chris Froome says he will ride the Tour de France without the weight of expectation as he looks to put his disastrous 2014 effort behind him.

Froome started last year’s Tour as the defending champion but crashed out on the fifth stage after three crashes in two days saw his defence come to an end.

The 30-year-old has since made his peace with what happened and admits that he is excited to get another shot at glory this time around.

“It just happens in bike racing, someone veered sharply ahead of me, across of my front wheel and took it out. There was nothing I could do. I continued, but that was what ended my race, that’s where I fractured my hand,” Froome said.

“I feel a lot less pressure on my shoulders, a lot more relaxed this time around.”

Nelson looks at bigger picture after British Championships withdrawal

Ashleigh Nelson says getting back to full fitness is the key ahead of a crucial year after the 100m European bronze medallist withdrew from this weekend’s British Championships.

The 24-year-old was also part of the 4x100m team that won European gold last year and is determined to shake off a niggle as she builds towards Rio 2016.

“In the end it boiled down to whether I was happy to compete this weekend carrying this niggle and not running as fast as I know I can, or sacrificing a huge part of this year to sort it once and for all,” she said.

“Myself, my coach and my support team have decided that the long term strategy is most sensible with Rio 2016 and London 2017 being my biggest priority.”

© Sportsbeat 2015