Tour de France started, time trial in Utrecht


This video was made in the Kruisstraat in the center of Utrecht city in the Netherlands this afternoon.

The first stage of this year’s Tour de France cycling race, a time trial, passed there.

The supporters of Dutch participant Laurens ten Dam had gathered. When the cyclist passed they loudly chanted his name and cheered.

Laurens ten Dam did not win the time trial. Australian Rohan Dennis won. Ten Dam is not a time trial specialist, but a mountain climbing specialist. He finished #91 of 198 riders. However, last year he was #9 overall in the Tour.

At #146 came another mountain stage specialist: Daniel Teklehaimanot. He started at 2pm as the first one of all riders. He is one of the first two cyclists ever from Eritrea participating in the Tour de France. Merhawi Kudus is the other Eritrean. They both ride in the first African (South African) team ever in the Tour. Like Ten Dam, they will probably get better results in later, steeper stages than on this first day.

This 27 June 2015 video is called Eritrean ERi-TV Tour de France interview Daniel Teklehaimanot, Merhawi Kudus.

Bats and Tour de France cycling in Dutch Utrecht


This Dutch video is about counting bats in Utrecht city in the Netherlands, from May to August 2015.

Utrecht is not just in the news because of bats these days.

Tomorrow, the Tour de France cycling race will start in Utrecht; with a time trial for all 198 participants.

This video shows where in Utrecht the cyclists will cycle tomorrow.

Croatian neo-nazi swastika vandalism on international football pitch


This 12 June 2015 football video is called Nazi swastika pattern seen on the field during Croatia vs. Italy Euro qualifier.

From weekly The Observer in Britain:

Croatian president calls for swastika perpetrators to be punished

• Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic: ‘This act has inflicted immeasurable damage’
• Large symbol appeared in the turf before Euro 2016 qualifier with Italy

Saturday 13 June 2015 13.18 BST

The president of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, has called for a swift investigation and punishment for the people who imprinted a swastika cross on the pitch in Split, where Croatia drew 1-1 with Italy in a Euro 2016 qualifier on Friday.

“This act has inflicted immeasurable damage on the reputation of Croatian citizens and their homeland all over the world. Therefore, we must finally put a stop to such things,” Grabar-Kitarovic said in a statement released on Saturday. “I condemn in the strongest possible terms the swastika on the pitch. I demand an urgent investigation and a decisive response from the relevant institutions to find and process the perpetrators.”

Croatia played Italy behind closed doors at Split’s Stadion Poljud having been handed a one-match ban for racist chants by their fans in March’s 5-1 home win against Norway in Zagreb. That followed incidents during a 1-1 draw against Italy in Milan last November when flares were hurled on to the pitch.

The swastika sign impregnated in the grass through a chemical agent days earlier became visible during the match. The incident left Croatia players and the national governing body, the HNS, fearing drastic punishment from the Uefa.

“This is a clear attack on football and we will without a doubt be severely punished,” the HNS’s secretary-general, Damir Vrbanovic, said on Saturday. “We have all been slapped in the face by hooligans and it was not an accident, it was a calculated move. The cameras will identify the perpetrators, but the shame will stay,” he said.

The result against Italy left Croatia top of Group H with 14 points from six games, two ahead of Italy and four clear of Norway.

Sepp Blatter resigns as world football boss


Sepp Blatter

Daily Neue Zùrcher Zeitung from Switzerland reports today at 18:52, that Sepp Blatter, the boss of the FIFA international football organisation, is resigning. There will be a new election.

See also here.