Olympic24: Sevens head coaches named as Froome still leads Tour
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Olympic24: Sevens head coaches named as Froome still leads Tour

24 July 2015 / 07:17

Geraint Thomas produced another brilliant ride on stage 18 to keep Chris Froome top of the pile in the Tour de France and Simon Amor and Simon Middleton named as Great Britain’s sevens coaches. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours.

  • Chris Froome closes in on second Tour de France title after stage 18
  • Simon Amor named as GB men’s sevens coach and Simon Middleton appointed women’s coach
  • Charlotte Dujardin ready to defend European titles
  • Great Britain name strong squad for boxing European Championships
  • Shane Sutton will name full-strength team to contest first Revolution Series event
  • Dan Clark relishing chance to take on Tall Blacks at Copper Box
  • Liam Phillips hungry to take BMX world title back

Thomas’ efforts help keep Froome in pole position

GeraintThomas3200Stage17

Geraint Thomas’s efforts proved vital as he helped Chris Froome maintain his Tour de France lead and close in on a second title.

Froome maintains his lead of three minutes ten seconds ahead of Nairo Quintana with Alejandro Valverde third and Thomas fourth.

And Thomas says it was a perfect ride for Team Sky ahead of the final push and Sunday’s finale.

“Perfect. It's ideal really. The team was strong, we didn't panic when guys were attacking,” said Thomas.

“We didn't have to react to Contador when he went. We followed over the top. The last climb was tough with those hairpins.

“Morale is good and everyone is up for it. We can see the finish."

Amor and Middleton relish opportunity to lead Great Britain in Rio

SimonAmor13200 

Simon Amor and Simon Middleton will have the chance to reap the rewards of their hard work after being appointed as Great Britain’s sevens head coaches for next summer’s Olympics.

Amor has been in charge of England men’s sevens for two seasons and a fourth-place finish at the World Series for his troops secured a berth for Great Britain in Rio.

“I am incredibly honoured and privileged to be appointed as head coach of the GB Sevens team,” he said.

“It will be a massive challenge but a huge opportunity. However with a lot of effort, common sense and working together across the unions we can get a team ready that can be very successful next year in Rio.”

Middleton meanwhile will lead the women’s side after he helped Britain qualify following his work with England’s women.

Dujardin ready to defend European titles

Charlotte Dujardin 

Charlotte Dujardin insists she is preparing herself for a tough battle as she bids to successfully defend her European Championship titles in Germany next month.

Dujardin is one of four British competitors set to compete in Aachen between August 12-16 – the others being Fiona Bigwood, Michael Eilberg and Carl Hester – while Spencer Wilton and Anna Ross have been selected as reserves.

This summer's event is the last major Championship before next year's Olympic Games in Rio, where Great Britain will be represented having already qualified a dressage team place following team silver at the World Equestrian Games in 2014.

And for Dujardin – who is once again riding Valegro – she will be eager to also keep hold of the two gold medals she won at last year's European Championships in Herning.

"It's always exciting to get that call to say you've been selected as it's such a great honour to represent your country," she said.

"He's in great form as ever and we're looking forward to defending our European titles but are fully aware of how strong some of the other nations and individuals are – we're definitely not going to have it our own way!"

McCracken optimistic after naming strong Euro boxing team

Great Britain performance director Rob McCracken believes the lure of the Rio Olympics will be a huge boost to his boxers after naming his team for the upcoming European Championships in Sofia.

The squad includes Commonwealth Games medallists Anthony Fowler, Qais Ashfaq and Joe Cordina who will spearhead the charge for medals in Bulgaria from August 5-16.

Harvey Horn also makes the cut at light flyweight while Muhammad Ali gets the not at flyweight, PatMcCormack at light welterweight and Joshua Buatsi goes at light heavy.

The competition forms part of the qualification pathway for Rio 2016 and fighters placing in the top six will secure a World Championship spot for September’s event in Doha.

“The fact that it is part of the qualification pathway for Rio is an extra incentive for all of the boxers who will be looking to add to the success we have enjoyed at this competition in recent years.”

Sutton promises stellar line-up for Revolution Series

Great Britain cycling chief Shane Sutton says he has every intention of fielding a full-strength squad for the first round of the Revolution Series at Derby Arena in August.

The event will be an important opportunity for the country’s best cyclists to rack up qualification points ahead of next summer’s Olympic Games.

And Sutton will be leaving nothing to chance with the likes of Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell Shand, Jason Kenny and Ed Clancy all set to compete.

“You can expect every Great Britain Cycling Team track rider to be competing at the Derby round in August - barring injury,” said Sutton.

Clark hopes for strong showing as Britain prepare for Tall Black test

Dan Clark believes Great Britain’s basketball stars have a golden opportunity to show their potential as they prepare to take on New Zealand at the Copper Box this weekend.

The Tall Blacks sit just one spot above Britain in the world rankings but often get the opportunity to compete on the world stage through FIBA Oceania qualification.

For Clark the matchup is a chance for Britain to pit their wits against a side they have aspirations to overtake in the rankings.

"It will be a good test. It's the type of team we should aspire to be like, although we could and potentially should be better than them,” said Clark.

Phillips hungry to reclaim world title

Liam Phillips 

Great Britain’s Liam Phillips insists he is hellbent on getting back to the top step of the podium at this week’s BMX World Championships in Belgium.

Phillips was world champion in 2013 but, despite winning the 2014 World Cup, he crashed out of last year’s World Championships.

But Phillips believes he is in the ideal shape to once again be crowned world champion.

"I certainly would love to wear that jersey again," said Phillips.

"I know that come race day if I can execute I should be in contention to challenge for the podium.”

© Sportsbeat 2015