TOUR DE FRANCE
If it's July, it must be the Tour de France. Even in a FIFA World Cup year, there's no denying the thrilling spectacle that is the Tour and thousands of people are expected for this-the 97th version of the race. For the first time since 1966, the race will begin in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, where the first of the tournament's three Individual Time Trials (where the cyclists individually race against the clock) will be held on July 3. Featuring an even mix of flat stages, hilly stages and mountainous stages, the Tour will continue till July 25 when it will end in Paris at the Champs-Élysées.
July will see the epic round-the-world yacht race, Clipper 09-10, reach Humber in the UK. This is from where 10 sleek, stripped-down, 68-ft yachts set off on a circumnavigation of the globe in September 2009. Over the months, the race has touched France, Argentina, South Africa, Australia, Singapore, China, the US and the Netherlands. The final leg is expected to commence in mid-July. The biggest attraction of the Clipper is the fact that anybody can participate. This year, in fact, the teams comprise housewives, taxi drivers, lawyers, doctors, carpenters and CEOs.
Smooth sailing so far
The inaugural Louis Vuitton Trophy-a series of match race regattas in America's Cup Class yachts-is proving to be a great success. Each event features between eight and ten teams (from New Zealand, the US, France, Sweden, Italy, Britain and Russia) in a round robin with two teams advancing to a final. The third race of the regatta, the Louis Vuitton Trophy La Maddalena, finished with the Emirates New Zealand team on top, their second victory in a row. This puts them on course for the final slot. A cracker of a race so far, it's definitely something to look forward to once it resumes in September at Dubai.
MotoGP's magical young star Jorge Lorenzo seems to be going from strength to strength this year. Standing tall at the top of this year's rankings, the former 2008 Rookie of the Year is currently miles ahead of the competition. A fantastic start to the season saw the Catalunya tearaway winning two of his first four races while coming second in the other two, thus opening up a huge lead on top of the championship table.
Described by many as the perfect biker, Lorenzo has steadily moved up the ranks. (He was a 125-cc champion before lighting up the 250-cc championship). Completely unfazed by the move to MotoGP in 2008, he came second that year, and again in 2009. Hotly tipped to be champion this year, Lorenzo just can't be touched right now.