Olympic24: Robson and Watson falter in Nottingham as Froome applies Dauphiné pressure

Olympic24: Robson and Watson falter in Nottingham as Froome applies Dauphiné pressure

08 June 2016 / 06:52

Laura Robson and Heather Watson both lost out in their grass-court season openers at the Nottingham Open, while Chris Froome upped the ante at the Critérium du Dauphiné. Here’s our round up of the latest news:

  • Heather Watson, Laura Robson and Naomi Broady all lose in the first round of the Nottingham Open, with Tara Moore a surprise winner.
  • Chris Froome applies pressure on Critérium du Dauphiné leaders.
  • Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee head up a six-strong Great Britain triathlon team.
  • Johanna Konta buzzing ahead of next week’s Aegon Classic Birmingham.
  • Simon Middleton ratchets up Great Britain Women Sevens Olympic selection battle ahead of Europe Grand Prix Sevens Series in Kazan.
  • Lizzie Armitstead heads strong British Championships road race field in Stockton-on-Tees. 

Robson and Watson out in Nottingham:

Heather Watson

Laura Robson and Heather Watson both endured stuttering starts to their grass-court season with losses in the Nottingham Open first round. 

Neither could join Johanna Konta in the next round, with 24-year-old Watson giving away a one-set lead to fall 4-6 6-0 6-4 against Magdalena Rybarikova.

Former British number one and Olympic silver medallist Robson was broken six times on her way to a 6-3 7-5 loss to Portugal's Michelle Larcher de Brito.

Naomi Broady lost 6-2 6-2 to Su-Wei Hsieh, while there was a surprise 6-2 7-5 win for British number four Tara Moore over Croatia’s Donna Vekic. 

Froome applies pressure in Critérium du Dauphiné:

Chris Froome

Chris Froome finished eighth on stage two of the Critérium du Dauphiné to remain in third place overall.

Spain’s Alberto Contador – looking to break his Dauphiné duck – leads Froome by 13 seconds, with the Briton’s former Team Sky colleague Richie Porte separating the two double Tour de France winners in second place.

Froome finished 15 places ahead of Contador and though he gained no time, he was happy with Team Sky’s tactics.

“We need to put pressure on the guys who are defending by riding with an aggressive tactic," Froome said.

"We didn't end up with the stage but it worked out how we wanted it to."

Brownlees to lead Team GB triathlon bid in Rio

Team GB Triathlon

The Brownlee brothers will headline a six-strong Team GB triathlon squad heading to Brazil in search of success at Rio 2016.

Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee will be joined by Olympic debutant Gordon Benson, while former world champions Non Stanford and Helen Jenkins lead the trio of women, with Vicky Holland completing the team.

Alistair Brownlee won gold at London 2012 with younger brother Jonathan taking bronze behind him.

"It's an honour to be a defending champion returning to the Olympic Games. I intend to make the absolute best of the opportunity in Rio," said 28-year-old Yorkshireman Alistair.

To hear more about Team GB’s Rio 2016 triathlon squad, click here.

Konta thrilled to be going back to Birmingham

Johanna Konta

British number one Johanna Konta will be looking to better her second round performance from last year's Aegon Classic Birmingham when she returns next week.

The new world number 18 will be joined at the Edgbaston Priory Club by former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova as well as former world number one Caroline Wozniacki.

Konta has shot up the rankings in the past year, and, after reaching the second round in 2015, will be looking to continue her meteoric rise on the grass courts of Birmingham.

"I'm thrilled to be coming back to Birmingham," said the 25-year-old.

"I played well there last year and any time you can play on grass, in front of your home crowd, it's always something special.”

Olympic selection hots up for GB women at Europe Grand Prix Sevens Series:

Great Britain Women Sevens will step up their preparations for the Olympic Games in Rio in the opening round of the Rugby Europe Grand Prix Sevens Series in Kazan this weekend.

Two squads, the GB Lions and GB Royals, have been named by head coach Simon Middleton. Alice Richardson captains the GB Lions and Rachael Burford leads the GB Royals.

This weekend’s competition is the last official competition before the Olympics, with Middleton leading the GB Lions, supported by GB assistant coach Richie Pugh, and England assistant coach Susie Appleby and James Cooper leading the GB Royals.

"This is all about preparation for the Olympics," said Middleton. "The Lions give a reflection of the continuity we've developed over the course of the past three World Series tournaments.”

Armitstead heads strong British Championships road race field:

World Champion Lizzie Armitstead is set to defend her British road race title against Olympic track gold medallist Dani King and junior World Champion Lucy Garner on June 26 in Stockton-on-Tees.

Dame Sarah Storey and Emma Pooley go in the women’s time trial, while Mark Cavendish faces off with Ian Stannard, Luke Rowe and Ben Swift in the men’s road race.

British Cycling also confirmed an eight-rider team for the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in the Czech Republic from June 29 to July 3.

Join Team GB Club today, check it out right here.

Sportsbeat 2016