The San Jose Cycling Classic will be held February 14, 2009 throughout San Jose. The multi-pronged event will encompass professional, amateur and community cycling activities, including a competitive time trial race, a criterium, a recreational ride and a CEO Challenge. It is expected to attract more than 1,000 cycling athletes, 20,000 spectators and cycling-related exhibitors. Ã‚Â Saturday’s Races are followed over the next few days with various parties and events leading up to the Amgen Tour of California rolling through town on Tuesday.Ã¢â‚¬Å“Cycling is an important form of alternative transportation, and San JoseÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Green Vision puts San Jose on the path to being a cycling-friendly city,Ã¢â‚¬Â San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The San Jose Cycling Classic lets the cyclists everywhere know that San Jose and the greater South Bay region is a one of the best places in the world to cycle whether youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re an amateur or a professional.Ã¢â‚¬ÂThe San Jose Cycling Classic will kick off with the The King of the Mountain Time Trial and Ride sponsored by Mattson Technology, and a CEO Challenge powered by SunPower, where riders will leave San Jose City Hall and reach the base of Sierra Road for a mass start time trial race. This challenging hill was featured in several Amgen Tour of California races and exploded the peloton. The climb is 3.7 miles long with an average gradient of 10 percent; however, some pitches reach 17-18 percent. It will include police motorcycles leading a rolling closure north and east of Downtown San Jose to the base of the Sierra Road climb. The San Jose Cycling Classic will also feature a 30-mile recreational ride which will start along the same route but will not include the challenging Sierra Road climb.All rides will start with police motorcycles leading a rolling closure north and east of Downtown San Jose to the base of the Sierra Road climb. Cyclists on the King of the Mountain and CEO Challengeride will then cross a timing pad to activate timing chips and begin their ascent up Sierra RoadÃ¢â‚¬â€a stunning 3.7-mile, 1,830-foot climb. After summiting Sierra Road, riders may complete the Sierra/Calaveras/Piedmont loop and ride west to City Hall. Even though the ride officially ends at the Sierra Hill summit, riders are invited to return back to City Hall for a post ride celebration.The San Jose Cycling Classic continues that day with the debut of The Criterium built by WEBCOR. Riders will take to the streets of San Jose to compete in a multi-lap one-day race throughout the city. The .86 mile urban downtown Ã¢â‚¬Å“trackÃ¢â‚¬Â features many of the elements that will get it that Ã¢â‚¬Å“classicÃ¢â‚¬Â designation Ã¢â‚¬â€œ tight turns, high speed straight aways, side-by-side racing as well as cash and prizes,including $5,000 for top male professional and $5,000 for top female professional. All the action starts and finishes on Park Avenue near Plaza de Cesar Chavez.In addition the to these two events, there will be many others, including a special LIVESTRONG Challenge San Jose Kick-Off Party at 6 p.m. on Monday, February 16, at The Tech Museum of Innovation. The event will help build momentum for the LIVESTRONG Challenge, the Lance Armstrong FoundationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s signature fundraising event, taking place July 11-12 in San Jose. Inspired by the hope, courage and perseverance of Lance Armstrong and the nearly 12 million AmericansÃ‚Â living with cancer, LIVESTRONG Challenge participants will take to the streets on bicycles and on foot to raise funds and awareness for the fight against cancer. In addition to San Jose, the 2009 LIVESTRONG Challenge will take place in Seattle (June 21); Philadelphia (Aug. 23); and Austin (Oct. 24-25).San Jose then welcomes the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s best professional cyclists with the Amgen Tour of California Stage 3 Start at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, February 17, at Park and Almaden in Downtown San Jose. A host city for the Amgen Tour of California for the fourth year in a row, San Jose will, for the first time, serve as a start city to one of the most challenging legs of the race. Festivities will include ahealthy lifestyle festival and Ã¢â‚¬Å“autograph alley,Ã¢â‚¬Â a designated area where cycling fans will have the opportunity to meet their favorite riders, including Lance Armstrong who is taking part in the Amgen Tour of California as a member of the Astana Cycling Team, and who is considered to be one of the greatest cyclists of all time.A complete San Jose Cycling Classic schedule overview follows:Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Friday, February 13, 5-9 p.m., athlete registration/packet pick-up for all events, San Jose City Hall Rotunda, 200 East Santa Clara StreetÃ¢â‚¬Â¢ Saturday, February 14, 7 a.m., King of the Mountain Time Trial Race and Ride led by Mattson Technology, start at San Jose City Hall Rotunda, 200 East Santa Clara StreetÃ¢â‚¬Â¢ Saturday February 14, The Criterium built by WEBCOR athlete registration/packet pick-up, 7 a.m.-2 p.m., San Jose City Hall Rotunda, 200 East Santa Clara Street; Criterium built by WEBCOR, 8a.m.-4 p.m., Park AvenueÃ¢â‚¬Â¢ Monday, February 16, 6 p.m., LIVESTRONG Challenge San Jose Kick-Off Reception with the Lance Armstrong Foundation, The Tech Museum of Innovation, 201 South Market StreetÃ¢â‚¬Â¢ Tuesday, February 17, 10 a.m.-noon, Amgen Tour of California Stage 3 Start, including a ridersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ autograph alley and lifestyle festival, Park & AlmadenFor registration, visit www.sanjosecyclingclassic.com
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Kei Nishikori, Rakuten Japan Open Kei Nishikori continued his march toward the Rakuten Japan Open final on Friday afternoon with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over unseeded Jeremy Chardy of France in the quarterfinals.The seventh-ranked player in the world, Nishikori put on another fine display with an array of shots in the win on the hardcourt at Ariake Colosseum. He served well and relied on his powerful forehand at key points in the match. Kei Nishikori | KYODO KEYWORDS RELATED PHOTOS Reach out: Kei Nishikori hits a shot during his quarterfinal win over Jeremy Chardy at the Japan Open on Friday. | AFP-JIJI IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5 GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES Nishikori, the runnerup at last month’s U.S. Open, will face unseeded Benjamin Becker of Germany in the semifinals on Saturday. Becker beat Jack Sock of the United States 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the day’s last quarterfinal.The Shimane Prefecture native is gunning for his second straight title and fourth of the season. Nishikori has triumphed in Memphis, Barcelona and Kuala Lumpur in 2014.Chardy, ranked 34th, had beaten Nishikori in two of their three previous matches, but both wins came on clay.“It was a tough match today with the windy conditions,” said Nishikori. “This was my first match with the roof open, so it took me some time to adjust.”The fourth-seeded Nishikori got off to a slow start before another packed crowd, as Chardy broke him in the second game of the opening set to take a 2-0 lead.But Nishikori responded by breaking back in the next game, then held serve to level 2-2. He settled down from there and broke Chardy again for a 5-4 advantage, then claimed the set on serve.Nishikori, the champion here in 2012, broke Chardy in the first game of the second set, then won the fourth game with an ace to take a 3-1 lead. Nishikori ripped a return winner to break again to move ahead 4-1.Nishikori then took an injury timeout to have his lower back worked on by a trainer.He got up and held serve again for 5-1, then closed it out on his next service game.“He started very aggressively,” stated Nishikori. “He was getting to a lot of balls. I just hung in there and tried to use the wind to my advantage.”The result keeps Nishikori on track for a showdown with Canada’s Milos Raonic, the third seed, in Sunday’s final.Nishikori believes his fitness will hold up through the rest of the tournament.“I’m a little tired, but I should be OK for the rest of the week,” he commented.Raonic beat unseeded Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 7-6 (10-8), 6-3 to move into the semifinals.Raonic put on an amazing show by winning 97 percent (38 of 39) the first serves that he got in.So strong was the serving by both players that there was not a break point until the 21st game of the match.The first set was on serve until the tiebreaker, where Raonic outlasted Istomin in a tight battle.Raonic finally broke the service break drought in the eighth game of the second set to go up 5-3, then took the match on serve when Istomin netted a forehand.Raonic pounded away from the baseline, but also exhibited a deft touch with an array of shots in the contest. He had 15 aces in the victory.“I struggled finding myself at the beginning, then started to impose my will as the match went on,” said Raonic.Raonic said he was not surprised that it took so long for a break point to arrive in the match.“I’ve played him before and it always goes to the tiebreak in the first set,” he noted.The win keeps Raonic on course for his third straight trip to the final here, where he has lost the past two years.“I’ve done well in this tournament,” he said. “I want to keep doing better.”The eighth-ranked Raonic, will play France’s unseeded Gilles Simon in the semifinals. Simon downed Steve Johnson of the United States 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 to advance.
E-mail: [email protected] If you didn’t know better, you’d have thought Henry White had lost the golf tournament when he bogeyed the par-3 18th hole at Bonneville Golf Course late Sunday afternoon.White didn’t stomp around or anything — he just looked so sad when his par putt trickled off and just slid by the hole.What made the bogey so disappointing was that it was the first bogey in two days of superb golf by White at the Burton Lumber Salt Lake City Open.All it really meant was that the 45-year-old Salt Lake professional won by only four shots instead of five over second-place finisher Brad Stone. White’s final-round 68 coupled with his 64 the previous day at Wingpointe, gave him a 132 total, while Stone shot 69 to finish at 136. Jimmy Blair was another shot back at 137, with Milan Swilor and Kim Thompson finishing at 138.While White has won numerous tournaments over the years, this wash is first at the Salt Lake City Open, which was known for years as the City Parks Open. He had won the Salt Lake City Amateur on the same Bonneville layout 23 years earlier.Sunday afternoon, White was in control the whole tournament and was never threatened.”Honestly, I’ve never played this well before in my life,” White said. “I’m having fun.”White credits much of his success to practicing what he preaches. He is the owner of the Henry White Performance Golf and Wellness Center in Salt Lake, which helps golfers and others stay in proper shape through physical therapy and weight training.”Hopefully, I’m doing what I’m teaching,” he said.Besides working at his Wellness Center at the Metro Sports Club in downtown Salt Lake, White also teaches lessons at Eaglewood Golf Course. Perhaps he can cut back a bit after cashing his $3,000 winner’s check.White started the day with a three-shot lead after his 8-under-round at Wingpointe the day before. He admitted he “was trying not to make mistakes,” which is what he did for the most part. He made two birdies on the front nine and three on the back before his final-hole bogey.He was a little concerned after being burned at Spanish Oaks earlier this year when he shot a first-round 63 and was told that no one could catch him as he finished his second round. Instead he was shocked to see Matt Johnson had shot a 64 and beaten him by one shot.”I just said, ‘hey, I’m going to do better.’ I wanted to push myself a little bit today,” he said.Stone, who turned 50 earlier this year, never got closer than three shots of White and fell back with a couple of uncharacteristic bogeys at 11 and 12 before picking up a pair of shots on the final two holes.Scott Clark claimed low amateur honors after defeating Dustin Pimmin a playoff after both players had shot 139, which put them in a tie for sixth with Mountain View pro Todd Meyer. Four other amateurs, Doug Bybee, Carl Jensen, Dan Horner and Sterling Clark tied at 140. Jensen’s 65 was the best score of the day.