Cycling, Britain's most successful sport at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, has suffered a 4.29 million-pound ($5.4 million) funding cut in the build-up to the 2020 Games in Tokyo, UK Sport announced on Friday. Four of Britain's less successful Olympic sports - archery, badminton, fencing and weightlifting - have lost all their funding completely along with the Paralympic sport of wheelchair rugby. Britain's cyclists won 12 medals in Rio, including six golds, helped by investment of 30 million pounds but that figure has been cut to 25 million for the Olympic cycle leading up to Tokyo.
For so many years we have been impressed with Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s performance on the race track -- the 26 NASCAR premier series wins, the pair of emotional Daytona 500 victories, the absolutely extraordinary 14 Most Popular Driver awards. The green light he received Wednesday to begin competing again at NASCAR's highest level is a result of dedicated effort in recovery and unwavering belief in himself ... and the willingness and fortitude to get better the right way. Earnhardt has conceded often through this difficult and long road back that even he, one of his sport's greatest, had to rely on others at times for that extra push or reinforcement. Doctors evaluated him at a test at Darlington Raceway on Wednesday and gave him the thumbs-up to suit up for the 2017 season.
Veteran Spanish rider Joaquim "Purito" Rodriguez announced he is to retire on Friday, bringing to an end a successful 17-year career. "After taking my time to think, and trying to come back to a working routine, I realised it is not possible for me," Rodriguez, 37, said in a statement posted on his Instagram account. Rodriguez had signed a contract with new WorldTour team Bahrain-Merida for the new season, but will instead now act as a mentor to younger riders in the team.