Tag Archives: carriageway

Roberto Mancini visits cycling velodrome in Manchester

Gold standard: City look to emulate success of cycling as Mancini meets Brailsford

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UPDATED:

22:09 GMT, 4 October 2012

Manchester City will be champions of the Barclays Premier League for the next eight months, at least. Interestingly, though, they are not even the most successful sporting team in their own postcode.

Six hundred yards or so across a dual carriageway from City’s Etihad Stadium stands the National Cycling Centre. Home to the team that delivered eight Olympic gold medals and, of course, a Tour de France winner in the last three months, Manchester’s velodrome really is the classic centre of excellence.

Years ago — when he was still plotting British Cycling’s route to the top of the world — performance director Dave Brailsford met Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson to ask his advice on building a successful team.

On your bike! Dave Brailsford with Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini

On your bike! Dave Brailsford with Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini

‘Get rid of the b******s’, was Ferguson’s blunt — and not to mention pertinent — reply.

On Thursday afternoon it was City manager Roberto Mancini’s turn to drink tea and swap ideas with the man without whom Victoria Pendleton and Bradley Wiggins might still be searching for the vital ingredients that turn good athletes into gold medallists.

Having heard Mancini was coming, Wiggins hung around after training to meet him. Sadly, the Italian was slightly delayed and the Tour de France winner had somewhere else to be.

Mancini and Brailsford, however, spent two hours talking sport, physiology and man management as members of the successful GB team rode relentlessly around the indoor track that is their home.

‘Football can certainly learn from this sport,’ said Mancini.

‘Every time I watch the Tour de France on the television I say this is very difficult because only one gets the glory but the other 10 are part of the team but don’t get the yellow jersey. To manage that is not easy. In football we all get a medal if we win.

‘Every manager is human so I will try to change the attitude of a player if I feel it is not good for my club or the team.

Saddle up: A keen cyclist himself, Mancini was happy to talk with the team

Saddle up: A keen cyclist himself, Mancini was happy to talk with the team

Saddle up: A keen cyclist himself, Mancini was happy to talk with the team

‘But we need a contribution from everyone — this is the most important thing.

‘It doesn’t matter who scores the winning goal. Football should understand that sometimes.’

A keen cyclist since he was a child, Mancini regularly rides his sky blue 'Manchester City' bike the half-hour journey from his Cheshire home to the club’s training ground.

He declined the offer of a spin around the velodrome, perhaps not surprising given the elite nature of the company.

Looking rather more relaxed than he had during the tension of the previous night’s Champions League 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund, Mancini’s challenge this season is not too different to that which faced Brailsford after Team GB delivered eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics — namely how to do it all again next time.

Brailsford said: ‘In certain respects we’re in the same boat. They won the league and we won the Tour de France. That’s a bit more similar than the Olympics.

‘But pressure is only something in your mind. You can’t buy a tin of pressure. It’s not tangible, it’s not real, it’s only something you allow to exist in your mind if you entertain it.

‘I decided way before London that I wasn’t going to entertain pressure. Focus on the process and not the outcome. Pressure’s only going to come if you think the outcome’s going to go wrong. In each race, or in each match, you’re going to have the ups and downs and ebbs and flows of competition, which I think is different from the long, overall view.

Gold rush: Philip Hindes shows off his gold medal at the velodrome

Gold rush: Philip Hindes shows off his gold medal at the velodrome

Sign him up! Mancini poses with a Team Sky cycling jersey

Sign him up! Mancini poses with a Team Sky cycling jersey

‘If you let yourself think, “Holy Moly, what if we lose” then it’s going to compromise what you’re doing now.

‘If you keep focusing on making sure you’re getting the process right, the outcome will look after itself. You are going there, there will be a race, you will win or lose. Be the best you can be.’

Brailsford admits he looked on with interest as Mancini wrestled with the Carlos Tevez issue a year ago.

‘It soon became clear that there was one guy in charge and one guy only,’ he said. ‘He was the boss and he was the manager. It was impressive.’

For his part, Mancini watched and wondered how Brailsford motivates his athletes to complete circuit after circuit of often tedious riding when he sometimes finds it hard to keep Mario Balotelli occupied for more than 10 minutes.

Asked if Balotelli could benefit from the sports psychologists employed by cycling, Mancini smiled and said: 'Mario would need two.'

He also offered the opinion that football is still ‘too far behind’ other sports in the science of preparation. Overall, it was clear this was a valuable exercise for both men.

Mancini suggested Brailsford could one day work in football. ‘Why not’ the City boss said. ‘Things like this have happened before in Italian football.’

Brailsford, though, has other dreams to fulfil before he leaves a team that carries his personality and his stamp in every way.

‘I would not rule out switching sports,’ he said. ‘But I have unfinished business in cycling. I am still on a voyage of discovery.’

Andre Santos banned from driving for 12 months

Arsenal defender Santos handed year ban from driving after speeding at up to 145mph

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UPDATED:

12:27 GMT, 27 September 2012

Arsenal defender Andre Santos was banned from driving for 12 months on Thursday after admitting speeding at up to 145mph in rush-hour traffic.

The 29-year-old failed to stop as he was pursued by police and wove between lanes on a busy motorway on the morning of August 17, a court heard.

Ban: Andre Santos left court after being banned from driving for 12 months

Ban: Andre Santos left court after being banned from driving for 12 months

The Premier League star evaded
officers as he drove his black Maserati on the A1 and M25 in
Hertfordshire before he pulled over and was arrested close to Arsenal's
training ground.

Santos, of
Church Mount, Barnet, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and
attention during a hearing at Hendon Magistrates' Court in north west
London.

He was also ordered to pay 3,600 in fines and costs.

Taking part: Santos played in Arsenal's 6-1 thrashing of Coventry on Wednesday

Taking part: Santos played in Arsenal's 6-1 thrashing of Coventry on Wednesday

Taking part: Santos played in Arsenal's 6-1 thrashing of Coventry on Wednesday

The court heard that PC Chris Hurt and a colleague spotted Santos's Maserati accelerating at high speeds after passing a speed camera on the A41 towards Stirling Corner at around 9.15am.

Prosecutor Inder Gohlar said Santos failed to stop when the officers turned on their police car siren in pursuit of his vehicle, before he drove on to the A1 dual carriageway.

It was estimated that Santos was travelling at speeds in the region of 135mph-145mph – double the road's limit of 70mph.

The Brazil international then drove on to the M25, forcing some drivers to brake quickly to avoid collisions as he moved between the motorway's lanes, the court was told.

Santos eventually pulled over just 400 metres from Arsenal's training ground when he told officers he had been driving quickly as he was late for training, Ms Gohlar said.

He told officers he had been unaware his car was being pursued as his music was playing loudly, she added.

In a statement given to police after his arrest, Santos said: 'My music was on loud and I was not paying attention.

'I apologise to the police and for the trouble I've caused.'

Nicklas Bendtner banned from driving

Bendtner banned from driving after Sunderland striker admits speeding at over 100mph

Sunderland striker Nicklas Bendtner was banned from driving for 56 days and fined 660 after admitting speeding at almost 104mph in his Porsche.

Bendtner was late for a flight from Newcastle Airport when he was caught by a Northumbria Police traffic officer on the A696 dual carriageway, which has a 70mph limit, last December.

The Dane, who is on a season-long from Arsenal, did not appear before Newcastle magistrates for the hearing.

Man in the hat: Nicklas Bendtner watched Sunderland beat Arsenal on Saturday

Man in the hat: Nicklas Bendtner watched Sunderland beat Arsenal on Saturday

The court was told the 24-year-old was in Denmark for 'contractual obligations'.

He was deemed to not be absent from court because he was legally represented at the hearing.

Sarah Robinson, prosecuting, said Bendtner was spotted driving his convertible Porsche 911 Turbo and he was measured to be driving at 103.6mph for 0.137miles at 10.53am on Saturday December 10.

Barry Warburton, defending, said: 'I understand he was going to Newcastle Airport, he was slightly late for a flight and unfortunately he speeded.

'It was a Saturday morning, there was very little traffic on the road and weather conditions were fine.'

Addressing the bench, he added: 'Not withstanding the fact he is in Denmark, he has been absolutely no trouble to anybody. In my respectful submission, your public duty can be discharged by treating him with leniency.'

Man in the mask: Bendtner's protection for his broken nose

Man in the mask: Bendtner's protection for his broken nose

The solicitor said his client had 'substantial' disposable income and could pay the fine immediately with a credit card.

Chairman of the bench Edward Wardrobe imposed a 56-day driving ban, and fined the footballer 660, plus 30 costs and a 15 victim surcharge.

No penalty points were added to the three Bendtner has on his licence.

In 2009, his father Thomas said his son was lucky to escape with only cuts and bruises after crashing his Aston Martin on the way to training.

A photograph of the written-off sports car showed it had been badly mangled.

Suspended: Bendtner has been hit with a 56-day driving ban

Suspended: Bendtner has been hit with a 56-day driving ban

He will appear before the same court in a week alongside Sunderland captain Lee Cattermole.

They were charged with criminal damage after a number of cars were attacked in Newcastle's Stowell Street in December.

Bendtner was engaged to Baroness Caroline Luel-Brockdorff, a wealthy member of the Danish royal family and the mother of his child. They split soon after the birth of their son in December 2010.

The self-confident striker is currently playing in a mask after suffering a broken nose.

It has been customised to include his initials, the '52' shirt number and the Danish flag.

Bendtner was ineligible to play for Sunderland in their win against Arsenal in the FA Cup on Saturday.