Tag Archives: cylinders

Team GB"s cyclists win gold and silver medals in Rio Olympics 2018 preparations

Team GB's cyclists make a promising start to Rio preparations with bronze and silver medals

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Two of the London Olympic-winning quartet – Ed Clancy and Steven Burke – were present in the squad which lost the world champion rainbow jerseys to Australia.

Over the moon: Great Britain's Becky James (left) and Vicky Williamson celebrate Bronze in the team sprint

Over the moon: Great Britain's Becky James (left) and Vicky Williamson celebrate Bronze in the team sprint

Silver service: The men's team pursuit pick up a second place

Silver service: The men's team pursuit pick up a second place

Clancy, Burke, 2012 world champion Andy Tennant and Sam Harrison, who won world bronze in 2011, qualified second fastest and were unable to overturn their seeding, finishing in four minutes 00.967 seconds, to their rivals' 3mins 56.751secs.

Australia led throughout the 16-lap final, even though Glenn O'Shea dropped out entering the final kilometre, leaving Alex Edmondson, Michael Hepburn and Alex Morgan to hold off Britain in the finale.

Clancy, who experimented with the team sprint earlier this winter before reverting to his usual discipline, said: 'It does hurt to lose to the Aussies, but it's an Olympic programme. It's bike racing, you can't win all the time.

'It's disappointing, but if you don't look at it so black and white there's a lot of positives.'

Clancy pointed to the absences of Geraint Thomas and Peter Kennaugh, focusing on their road careers with Team Sky after their Olympic glory, and the fact Britain finished fourth in Pruszkow in 2009, a year after winning gold in Beijing.

Vicky Williamson (bottom) and Becky James (top) pick up the bronze medal during the women's team sprint event

Vicky Williamson (bottom) and Becky James (top) pick up the bronze medal during the women's team sprint event

The quartet were not quite firing on all cylinders.

'We had at least one set of legs in there that weren't quite on it,' Clancy said.

'I'm not saying we're happy about coming second, but we're not in a bad place, that's for sure. If you look at where we were in Poland, we've done a hell of a lot better than we did there.'

While there was a sense of disappointment for Clancy and co, for James and Williamson there was joy.

The 19-year-old Williamson was a late replacement for Jess Varnish, who has a back injury, while James was fulfilling second-lap duties previously occupied by the now-retired Victoria Pendleton.

Sprint coach Iain Dyer says 21-year-old James, who pushed Olympic champion Anna Meares close for Commonwealth gold in 2010, is in the form of her life.

Warm up: After a magnificent medal haul at London 2012, Team GB will be hoping to show similar form at the Rio Olympics

Warm up: After a magnificent medal haul at London 2012, Team GB will be hoping to show similar form at the Rio Olympics

As if to prove it, James allowed a gap to open up by going up the banking coming into the changeover to allow her to accelerate into her lap.

The technique was devised in the last session of the Newport training camp ahead of travelling to Minsk.

James, who made up deficits in each of her rides, said: 'We just thought we'd try something new and because my form's come through quite nicely we wanted to get as much speed as possible off the lap.

'I'm just absolutely buzzing. I'm so shocked. I can't believe it, my first world medal.'

Williamson, who received text messages of support from Varnish in the build-up to Minsk, said: 'I'm gobsmacked. To come out with a bronze medal is just amazing.'

James will now ride in the 500 metres
time-trial tomorrow, the first of three individual events in which she
is targeting further success.

She added: 'Seeing the form I've got I'd really like to be up there this week. I'll give it my best shot.'

Pedal power: The Danish team competes during mens team pursuit qualifying race of the event in Minsk

Pedal power: The Danish team competes during mens team pursuit qualifying race of the event in Minsk

Kian Emadi competed in the corresponding men's event, the one-kilometre time-trial, placing an impressive fourth on his debut.

In an event removed from the Olympic programme following Sir Chris Hoy's win in Athens in 2004, Emadi clocked 1:01.756, with Francois Pervis of France winning in 1:00.221, New Zealand's Simon Van Velthooven second in 1.00.869 and Germany's Joachim Eilers third in 1:01.450.

Emadi's time was short of his personal best, set at altitude in Colombia, but he was content with his display.

The 20-year-old will now ride in the men's team sprint on day two alongside Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny, taking Hoy's man three slot in the three-lap event.

Emadi is confident of combining well with the Olympic champions.
He said: 'There's good signs in training. Everyone's stepping up and getting faster as the competition has come closer.'

Three more events take place tomorrow, including the women's team pursuit, featuring Olympic champions Laura Trott and Dani King, with Elinor Barker making up the trio.

Owain Doull is entered into the men's scratch race, with Burke entered in the 4km men's individual pursuit.

Australian Open 2013: Victoria Azarenka wins first round

Azarenka not firing on all cylinders but world No 1 battles through opening test

By
Jon Fisher, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

04:01 GMT, 15 January 2013

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UPDATED:

04:37 GMT, 15 January 2013

Top seed Victoria Azarenka survived a second-set scare to see off Monica Niculescu in the first round of the Australian Open.

Having cruised through the opener Azarenka's game inexplicably came off the rails in the second before she reasserted her superiority to win 6-1 6-4.

It seemed plain sailing for the defending champion on Rod Laver Arena as she raced into a 4-0 lead, seemingly at ease with her own game and that of her opponent, whose quirky sliced forehand marks her out from the rest of the crowd in the women's game.

Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka

Defending champion: Victoria Azarenka survived a wobble in the second set to beat Monica Niculescu

A minor blip saw Niculescu break back but the Belarusian simply raised her level once again to take the first set in 31 minutes.

There appeared little chance of a Niculescu comeback but the Romanian surprised everyone inside Rod Laver Arena by swiftly establishing a 3-0 advantage. It almost became 4-0 but Azarenka clung grimly on to her serve by staving off two break points.

It proved a turning point as the world No 1, roared on by close friend Redfoo from the band LMFAO, hit back.

Watching brief: Stefan 'Redfoo' Gordy of LMFAO watches Azarenka and Niculescu in Melbourne

Watching brief: Stefan 'Redfoo' Gordy of LMFAO watches Azarenka and Niculescu in Melbourne

She drew level at 3-3, prompting a frustrated Niculescu to crack her racket into the court – an act which earned her a warning from the chair umpire.

Azarenka then broke again for 5-4 as Niculescu's challenge waned and she served it out to advance.

It was her first appearance on RLA since her thrashing of Maria Sharapova in last year's final and Azarenka admitted she was pleased to have avoided an embarrassing return.

Game over: In the end,, world No 1 Azarenka had too much in her locker for Niculescu

Game over: In the end,, world No 1 Azarenka had too much in her locker for Niculescu

Monica Niculescu

'It's great to be back, there were a lot of overwhelming emotions out there,' she said.

'I started really well but the second set was a struggle. I am pleased to get through.'

Azarenka had to pull out of the warm-up event in Brisbane due to an infected toe but she insists the injury is now behind her.

She added: 'I am running without pain and am just trying to focus on the next two weeks.'

Joey Barton scoops Marseille player of the month and loves life in France

J'adore La France! Marseille's player of the month Barton is back in love with football

By
Adam Shergold

PUBLISHED:

16:54 GMT, 9 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:45 GMT, 9 January 2013

He has only been in France a few months but already Joey Barton has earned the respect of his Marseille team-mates.

The midfielder was named the club's player of the month for December – but apparently nobody had bothered to tell him.

He was taken aback when an interviewer said he had won the award, following Marseille's 2-1 win against second division Guingamp in the Coupe de France.

Honour: Joey Barton was named Marseille's player of the month for December

Honour: Joey Barton was named Marseille's player of the month for December

But Barton, who was kicked out by Queens Park Rangers in the summer following his shameful antics at Manchester City on the final day of last season, was quick to praise his team-mates and reaffirm his love for the Gallic game – and he didn't even put on the dodgy accent this time.

'It's always good that the fans appreciate the job you're doing but for me the most important thing is winning football matches and that's what I came here to do,' he said.

'My role in the team is not to score goals, my role is to help out the team and that means defending and getting the ball and getting some of the great players that we have in our team on the ball.

'The old water-carrier role is one I wasn't really renowned for in England, although I was able to do it.'

Enjoying life: Barton, kicked out of QPR in the summer, spoke fondly about his team-mates and life in France

Enjoying life: Barton, kicked out of QPR in the summer, spoke fondly about his team-mates and life in France

The 30-year-old added: 'I'm really enjoying my football – it's difficult for me because the change in the culture of football took me a little bit to adapt to.

'But now the team is winning and I don't think we're firing on all cylinders, that's generally a really good sign, when you don't play great but you're winning football matches.

'I believe winning is a habit, the same way losing is. When you get used to winning, you get hungry for success. The team is really together and it's great to be a part of.

'I'm really blessed to play for a great club, play with some great people and some great footballers. Long may it continue.'

Marseille are third in the French top flight, level on points with Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon in a tight title race.

Vincent Kompany will play through pain against Wigan

Man City skipper Kompany shakes off knock to lead charge against Wigan

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UPDATED:

12:58 GMT, 27 November 2012

Vincent Kompany will lead Manchester City’s bid to reclaim top spot in the Barclays Premier League against Wigan at the DW Stadium on Wednesday night after shaking off a knee injury,

After hobbling through the final stages of last Wednesday’s Champions’ League game with Real Madrid, there were concerns about the inspirational City skipper’s well-being when he put the knock to the test in the pre-match warm-up at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Heavily strapped and treading gingerly to begin with, Kompany signalled that he was all right to continue and went on to marshal City’s defence with his usual assurance in a goalless draw against Chelsea.

Back in business: Vincent Kompany (fourth right) is raring to go

Back in business: Vincent Kompany (fourth right) is raring to go

City are back in action just three days later, but any worries that the workload may be too much for the commanding City centre-back were dismissed by assistant-manager David Platt.

‘It’s not a case of two games in a week being too much for Vinnie at all,’ he said. ‘At Stamford Bridge, he was still feeling the effects of the injury he picked up on Wednesday, but he got through the game and got through it very well.

‘There were no problems with the injury and no after-effects. He had it iced straight afterwards, but that was just a precaution. We don’t really have any concerns for him tomorrow night.’

Platt shrugged aside criticism that City are still not firing on all cylinders, despite their unbeaten start to the season.

‘The disappointment about only getting a point on Sunday came from the way the game went,’ he said.

‘Had we been up against a barrage,
where they had dominated possession and chances, we would have been
happy with a point. But we are disappointed because we felt, up until
the final third, we played well enough to take the three.

‘But you keep adding points to your
tally and you see where you are. It is still a positive result. We would
like to have a few more goals to our tally, of course, because it would
have got those extra victories.

'But 13 games gone, one point off the top, still unbeaten, there’s enough in there to be pleased about.

Heady times in Manchester: Roberto Mancini

Heady times in Manchester: Joe Hart

Heady times in Manchester: Roberto Mancini is braced for the cold with a big hat while Joe Hart is wearing some kind of curious head-snood

‘People
have criticised the defence or our defensive failings. But last time I
had a look, the team that has conceded least amount of goals in the
Premier League is ourselves.

'I think we have conceded fewer goals
at this stage of the season than last. But there’s only really one
statistic that counts, and that’s the points.’

Gael Clichy is still out injured,
while Platt admitted Jack Rodwell had suffered a setback of ‘a couple of
days’ in his recovery from a hamstring injury.

‘It’s just a bit of tightness, that’s
all,’ he said. ‘It’s nothing to be concerned about and has only put him
back a couple of days.’

Joleon Lescott is hoping he will be given a recall after being snubbed for Matija Nastsic despite returning from injury.

He said: 'I’ve won [at Wigan] a
number of times with Everton and City so it’s not been a bad ground for
me, but it’s going to be hard for me to break back into the team with
Matija playing so well at the moment, but if I’m called upon to do a
job, I’m fit and ready to play.'

Attacking threat: Mario Balotelli (right) and Sergio Aguero

Potent force: Carlos Tevez in front of David Silva

Force to behold: Four of City's talented attackers, Sergio Aguero and Mario Balotelli (left) with Carlos Tevez and David Silva (right)

Lescott also paid tribute to Wigan's resilience against the best sides in England.

'Wigan gave us a really tough game last season and we just edged the game 1-0 and were hanging on towards the end to be fair,' he said.

'They always seem to play better against top teams and have a lot of talent in their side plus a very good manager who likes his team to play attractive football.

Ambitions: Joleon Lescott wants to get back into the team

Ambitions: Joleon Lescott wants to get back into the team

'They proved that against United last season when they did us a massive favour in the title race by beating them last April, but full deserved it so we can’t and wouldn’t underestimate them.

'These games are a chance to showcase how good they can be and occasionally they really surprise people like they did by beating Spurs away last month.'

Jack Wilshere says he did have doubts he would return during injury lay-off

Wilshere admits he had doubts over return during the dark days of his recovery

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UPDATED:

14:17 GMT, 28 October 2012

Jack Wilshere admits there were times during his 14 months on the treatment table he did not want to even think about football, but now hopes Arsenal can 'push on' after getting back to winning ways against QPR.

Wilshere last played a competitive first-team game for the Gunners in May 2011 and was forced to sit out the whole of last season because of niggling ankle and knee problems, which also dashed any hopes of featuring for England at Euro 2012 or representing Team GB at the London Olympics.

The 20-year-old came through more than an hour of Saturday's battling 1-0 win over QPR, which was secured by a late goal from Mikel Arteta after full-back Stephane Mbia had been shown a straight red card for kicking out at Gunners captain Thomas Vermaelen.

Jack's back: Wilshere made his first appearance for Arsenal in over a season

Jack's back: Wilshere made his first appearance for Arsenal in over a season

Wilshere was relieved to be finally playing again, having only been told he would start by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on Saturday morning.

'There are some days when you came into the physio room and the lads were going out, you just do not want to be there because after 10 or 11 months it gets to you,' Wilshere said.

'I am happy to be back now, so hopefully we can push on.'

Wilshere accepts it will take a while for him to be firing on all cylinders, and could now be rested for next week's Capital One Cup tie at Reading with Arsenal away to Manchester United on Saturday.

'This is my first long-term injury, so I am not really used to it. After 60 minutes, my legs were going, so maybe next time after 70 or 80 then so on,' he added on BBC Sport.

Getting stuck in: Wilshere vies with Shaun Wright-Phillips during Arsenal's win over QPR

Getting stuck in: Wilshere vies with Shaun Wright-Phillips during Arsenal's win over QPR

Wilshere had to deal with plenty of robust challenges from a hard-working QPR midfield of Samba Diakite and Esteban Granero, and the England international would not have it any other way.

'It is all part and parcel of football, there are going to be challenges on both of my ankles and my knees, it is part of my game and I am going to have to get used to it,” he said.

Relief swept around Emirates Stadium as Arteta bundled the ball home when inspired QPR keeper Julio Cesar was finally beaten six minutes from time, albeit from what looked an offside position.

QPR, though, still had time to mount a couple of counter-attacks, with substitute Jamie Mackie waltzing his way through the Arsenal defence only to see his shot blocked at the near post by keeper Vito Mannone.

Wenger felt his side's desperation to secure a victory following the disappointments of defeat at Norwich and Schalke – which led to a heated atmosphere at the annual general meeting on Thursday – was behind their late lapse in concentration.

'It was psychological. You could see that as soon as we scored we just wanted to protect the result and we were 11 against 10,' he said.

'If the team is full of confidence maybe we give a chance away, but we would continue to flow forward. However, here we just wanted to protect the result – it shows you how quickly the confidence goes in the team.'

For QPR manager Mark Hughes, it was another negative return from a performance of great industry.

The Hoops remain bottom of the table on just three points, but not yet cut adrift.
Hughes remains confident things can turn around with matches coming up against fellow strugglers Reading and Southampton.

Welcome return: Wilshere was playing in an all new midfield to the one he last played in

Welcome return: Wilshere was playing in an all new midfield to the one he last played in

Boost for club and country: Wilshere's return is good for Arsenal and England

Boost for club and country: Wilshere's return is good for Arsenal and England

'We are building in terms of performances. The guys are getting used to playing together. We are looking for continuity,' said Hughes, who berated referee Anthony Taylor and his officials for not ruling out Arteta's late winner.

'In terms of preparations for games I wouldn't question what we are doing. We just need to cut out the individual errors at key stages.

'We have played nine games, the majority against teams in the top 10.

'We have got a run of games coming up that hopefully will allow us to get maximum points.'

Hughes added: “We weren't expected to win at Arsenal, but we have had a real go and given a good account of ourselves, so we will draw belief from that.'

Manchester City almost back to their best – Roberto Mancini

We are almost back to our best, City boss Mancini warns title rivals

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UPDATED:

13:17 GMT, 30 September 2012

Roberto Mancini believes Manchester City are getting close to their best and will be back firing on all cylinders after the international break.

The reigning Barclays Premier League champions picked up a 2-1 victory at Fulham on Saturday thanks to substitute Edin Dzeko's late effort.

Had the Bosnian not found the net, though, the draw would have seen City go five matches without a win in all competitions for the first time in nearly four years.

Leaving it late: Edin Dzeko (left) scored Manchester City's winner at Fulham

Leaving it late: Edin Dzeko (left) scored Manchester City's winner at Fulham

Mancini admits his team are yet to find the form they showed last season but believes they are moving in the right direction.

'I was worried because we continued to play well and had chances,' Mancini said.

'We didn't score for 87 minutes and I am very pleased for Edin because he scored an important goal.

'It is also difficult for me to choose 11 players because I have 17, 18, 20 players that are really good.

'We play every three days so we need all of these players. Fulham is a difficult pitch so it was really important to have all these good players.

'I think that we were very close to the same we played last year.

'The problem we had was we didn't have all the players in pre-season. Twelve players started their pre-season 10 days before the championship began, which is difficult.

'I think, in my opinion, maybe after the international break we will be OK.'

Catch me if you can: City celebrate their narrow win against Fulham

Catch me if you can: City celebrate their narrow win against Fulham

Saturday's win stopped the rot and propelled City up to fourth, keeping them within touching distance of Manchester United and Chelsea.

'We were unlucky for three or four weeks and we deserved to win,' Mancini said.

'Against Fulham we had a lot of possession, a lot more chances to score and I think we played very well.

'I am happy with that and if we had lost you could say it was a bad moment, but we wanted this victory and we got it.'

Mancini's attention now turns to the Champions League tie with Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday for which the Italian says he has no new knocks after Saturday's victory.

Fulham, meanwhile, will be looking for a return to winning ways when they travel to Southampton next weekend.

The Cottagers have enjoyed a bright start to the season and began well against City, with Mladen Petric netting from the penalty spot 10 minutes in.

Back to our best: Roberto Mancini believes City have rediscovered their form

Back to our best: Roberto Mancini believes City have rediscovered their form

However, Sergio Aguero's leveller and Dzeko's late goal saw Martin Jol's side lose out on a point the Dutchman believes would have been fortuitous.

'Everybody saw before the game they changed their team,' Jol said.
“Normally they play with Aguero and striker Dzeko, but they left him out and played 4-3-3.

'They don't do that all the time and that was good for us because they showed us respect.

'Scoring the goal after 10 minutes gave us a good cushion but we need a bit more to score the second one.

'To score the winner at 1-1 we had one good chance through Bryan Ruiz and Alex Kacaniklic, but it was just not enough for me to say we probably deserved the point.

'On the other hand, I feel if you work that hard and concede a goal just before the end through our own mistake it's a bit frustrating.'

USA 119 Australia 86: Kobe Bryant helps Dream Team make basketball semi-final

USA 119 Australia 86: Bryant sparks into life to help Dream Team make semi-final

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UPDATED:

23:55 GMT, 8 August 2012

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LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

Kobe Bryant exploded into life in the second half as the United States eased into the semi-finals of the London Olympics.

Australia fought hard to keep the Americans in check, but had no answer once Bryant found his stroke.

The Los Angeles Lakers man had done little to live up to his superstar status in London prior to this game and reached half-time 0-for-four from the field and with as many fouls committed – 14 – as field goals made in the entire tournament.

On the march: US guard Kobe Bryant is challenged by Australian guard Matt Dellavedova

On the march: US guard Kobe Bryant is challenged by Australian guard Matt Dellavedova

But that changed in a big way in the second half as he made six-of-nine three-point attempts to fire a United States surge that killed off the Boomers.

Australia played the Americans hard in the first half but were let down by the simple things.

They reached the interval shooting just nine of 17 from the free-throw line.

Hitting the deck: US guard Deron Williams falls to the ground

Hitting the deck: US guard Deron Williams falls to the ground

They were also missing some straightforward lay-ups, with Patty Mills, Aron Baynes and Aleks Maric all guilty.

That allowed an American team hardly firing on all cylinders themselves to pull away gradually.

Deron Williams hit a pair of free throws late in the first quarter to make it 26-16.

Beating his man: Bryant passes the ball around the head of David Andersen

Beating his man: Bryant passes the ball around the head of David Andersen

Kevin Love made it 56-40 late in the first half, but Australia grabbed the last two points through Mills' free throws and then exploded out of the gates after the break.

Mills and Joe Ingles combined on an 11-0 run, with Ingles hitting back-to-back three-pointers to make it 56-53.

The game stayed close until Bryant came up with back-to-back three-pointers that had his team-mates off their seats on the bench as the lead moved to 70-58.

Closer to a medal: LeBron James and the rest of the USA team will play in the semi-final

Closer to a medal: LeBron James and the rest of the USA team will play in the semi-final

A huge slam from Durant made it 80-66 as the Americans stepped it up late in the third quarter.

Bryant continued to pour in the points, and then Durant, LeBron James and James Harden brought out the party tricks with a series of late dunks.

Bryant finished with 20 points, Deron Williams had 18 and Carmelo Anthony 17. Kevin Durant added 14, James 11 and Love 10.

Mills led Australia with 26 and Ingles had 19.

Javier Hernandez will be better than ever, says Sir Alex Ferguson

Chicharito will be better than ever next season, warns Ferguson

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UPDATED:

09:26 GMT, 1 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson has fired a warning shot to Manchester United's title rivals, by saying that striker Javier Hernandez will be better than ever this season.

Hernandez had an outstanding debut campaign at Old Trafford, but struggled to reach the same heights last year after Danny Welbeck was favoured over the Mexican.

Firing on all cylinders: Javier Hernandez is hoping to reach a similar tally to his 20 goals in 2010-11 season

Firing on all cylinders: Javier Hernandez is hoping to reach a similar tally to his 20 goals in 2010-11 season

Ferguson said: 'I think this season we’ll see a better Chicharito.

'For the last four or five years he’s played all through the summer. This year, with the co-operation of Mexico, he’s had a proper rest.

'We wanted to give him as much rest as possible. He had a couple of weeks off and then joined the Mexico side for a couple of qualifying games before getting another few weeks’ rest.

'That was important for him and I’m sure he’ll reap the benefits.

'We’ve already seen the fruits of that in the early training sessions and I think he’ll have a top season.'

The 24-year-old hitman scored 20 goals in the 2010-11 season at United, but only managed 12 in United red last term.

Mark Webber signs Red Bull contract for 2013

Silverstone winner Webber ends Ferrari talk by extending Red Bull deal until 2014

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UPDATED:

09:40 GMT, 10 July 2012

Mark Webber has pledged his future to Red Bull Racing by signing a new one-year contract with the marque for 2013.

Australian Webber, who claimed the ninth victory of his Formula One career on Sunday by taking the chequered flag in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, had attracted interest from Ferrari.

But the 35-year-old, firmly in the title hunt this season as he trails Ferrari's Fernando Alonso by 13 points in the standings, has opted to remain with Red Bull for what will now be a seventh season.

Champagne moment: Mark Webber won the British Grand Prix last Sunday

Champagne moment: Mark Webber won the British Grand Prix last Sunday

Webber, who hinted over the weekend he was close to tying up his future, said: 'I've been with Red Bull Racing since 2007 and have achieved nine grand prix wins during that time.

'I'm high on confidence at the moment and firing on all cylinders.

'I know the team well and I'm very comfortable here. We have grown together over the years and it feels like absolutely the right thing to stay with Red Bull for another season.

'The team is constantly working hard to improve in all areas and we've shown that together we can win races.

'It's great to be able to make this announcement off the back of the win in Silverstone at the weekend and I'm looking forward to competing on the edge and pushing myself in every race again next season.'

Veteran: Webber has committed to a seventh year with Red Bull

Veteran: Webber has committed to a seventh year with Red Bull

Horner, who last week said Webber's motivation and driving this season could not be faulted, has moved quickly this year to secure his services.

Horner said: 'Mark has driven very well in the first nine races of this season and his performance has been impressive.

'Much of his Formula One success has been during his time with Red Bull Racing and together we have achieved 10 poles, nine wins and 31 podiums.

'As there was a strong desire from both sides to continue the partnership, it was a logical decision to extend our relationship and it is with great pleasure we confirm Mark will drive for us in 2013.'

With team-mate Sebastian Vettel already contracted to Red Bull Racing until the end of 2014, the Milton Keynes-based marque are the first team to confirm their 2013 driver line-up.

Manchester United desperate to win title back – Gary Neville

United will be desperate to show that Fergie's empire is not crumbling, says Neville

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UPDATED:

10:10 GMT, 6 July 2012

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville expects the club to start next season firing on all cylinders after a disappointing 2011-12 campaign.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side were pipped to the Premier League title by rivals Manchester City, while they were knocked out in the group stage of the Champions League.

Off the pace: United were trophyless last season

Off the pace: United were trophyless last season

But rather then being despondent, Neville thinks the disappointment of last season will spur Ferguson's squad on in the quest for silverware.

Neville told the club's official website: 'You can bet they would have had a frustrating summer, after not winning any trophies last season.

'The beauty of football is that you start afresh each year with a clean slate. United now have an opportunity to put things right.

'The challenge this season is always the same: it’s to win the Premier League, do well in the cups and do well in the Champions League. That challenge never changes.

Red Nev: Neville was part of England manager Roy Hodgson's coaching set-up at Euro 2012

Red Nev: Neville was part of England manager Roy Hodgson's coaching set-up at Euro 2012

'But, obviously, when you don’t win anything you have an added incentive because people start to question the team and wonder if the empire is crumbling.

'The manager and the players have had to cope with all that before, so this challenge is something they’ll all be looking forward to.'

United players who were not involved at Euro 2012 reported back for training this week, and they will fly out to Durban on July 16 for the start of the club's world tour.