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A legendary Giro battle, last-day shenanigans and Jonathan Edwards

·3 min read
<span>Photograph: Mike Powell/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Mike Powell/Getty Images

1) The Giro d’Italia begins this weekend and it’s a ruddy hard race. Tao Geoghegan Hart won last year, much to the surprise of many. The 1974 battle between Eddy Merckx and Felice Gimondi was legendary, ending with the Belgian winning the title by just 12 seconds. Conveniently, someone made a documentary about this vintage year. Elsewhere, Geraint Thomas prevailed at the Tour de Romandie despite a freak crash just before the line on the penultimate stage.

2) Cheltenham Town celebrated promotion to League One last week, with manager Michael Duff pumping his arms like a 1980s raver. Many a footballing triumph has resulted in some questionable shapes being thrown, such as John Stones casually enjoying Manchester City winning the title in 2019, Alan Pardew’s response to an FA Cup final goal as Palace manager, South Africa getting their hosting of the 2010 World Cup off to a flyer and Ian Holloway doing a little play-off jig.

3) Naturally, what we are all thinking when we see a convertible drive down the road is: “Could I hit a golf ball into the passenger seat?” Thankfully, Marcus Armitage and Paul O’Neill have given us the answer, beating a world record held by Jake Shepherd and David Coulthard.

4) Jonathan Edwards, still the triple jump world-record holder, is 55 on Monday. In 1995 he broke the record twice, in successive jumps. After Kenny Harrison shocked him at Atlanta 1996, Edwards’s sole Olympic gold came at Sydney 2000 and he completed his set of major medals in 2002, a year before he retired, at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

5) England followed up their Women’s Six Nations success with a victory over France. Admittedly, the game was curtailed by a floodlight failure with 18 minutes still to play but the visitors were awarded the game as they were leading 17-15.

Speaking of floodlights, ever fancied climbing one? One brave/foolhardy soul did during an extended mooch around Rotherham’s old Millmoor ground.

6) It is the final round of the Football League fixtures this weekend, with play-off places and relegation spots to be decided. Anything can happen in such circumstances, as last season proved in the Championship. In 2013, Marcello Trotta had the chance to send Brentford up with a last-minute penalty but things did not go to plan. Last but under no circumstances least, Jimmy Glass’s goal from 1999.

Our favourites from below the line last week

1) “He’s got to go to Middlesbrough and get something” – Kevin Keegan’s infamous meltdown moment, 25 years on. (Spoilers: United subsequently went to Middlesbrough and got something.)

2) The Chicago Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo does for Arizona’s Freddie Freeman with a 61mph pitch. At least Freeman saw the funny side.

And here’s Bartolo “Big Sexy” Colón – quick feet for a big man when he needs them, and even quicker hands.

3) Football evolution: how free kicks and penalties have changed.

4) Jamaica, 1995: Brian Lara bats on a track so shiny, you can see his reflection.

5) “I hated every single minute of that second half … is 2-2 a fair result? I don’t care – it’s over” – Emma Hayes delivers a masterclass in post-match honesty.

Spotters’ badges: vsbain67, whobroughtoranges, denothemeno, GrahamClayton, BlackCaeser.

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