Richard Williams

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Simon Yates came up the hard way and is making the Giro seem easy | Richard Williams

A Briton is leading the Giro d’Italia but not the one who was expected to and the 25-year-old is doing it with an air of utter confidenceSimon Yates launched his first big move when the riders of the Giro d’Italia were toiling up the slopes of Mount Et…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2018/may/14/giro-di-italia-simon-yates-leading-dumoulin-froome

Arlott and Swanton embraced change while still keeping cricket’s soul intact | Richard Williams

A couple of contrast, they had differing backgrounds and styles but were never afraid to support innovation that they felt would be to the benefit of the game they lovedA prelude to summer arrived last week, and with it a noisy chorus of speculation ov…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2018/apr/23/arlott-swanton-embraced-change-preserved-cricket-soul

Cal Crutchlow takes laid-back route to being the best since Barry Sheene | Richard Williams

First British rider to head the MotoGP standings for 39 years has done it on a non-works Honda and without the need for endless hours in the gymIn a universe of professional sportsmen and women happy to proclaim the incredible rigour of their winter tr…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2018/apr/16/cal-crutchlow-barry-sheene-motogp-motorcycling

Memory of Michael Goolaerts lives on in a race of sustained brutality | Richard Williams

Belgian’s death at the Paris-Roubaix reminds us of the price that can be paid for our pleasure, but riders return each year to this fiendishly difficult race in an act of non-rational courageThe death of young Michael Goolaerts following a crash in the…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2018/apr/09/michael--goolaerts-death-paris-roubaix-cycling-richard-williams

Do we trash or treasure our memories of Bradley Wiggins’ rise to the top? | Richard Williams

A combination of athletic prowess and eccentricity made him a beloved national figure but the latest allegations against him and Team Sky have at the very least tainted that legacyThe golden throne outside Hampton Court Palace. The Sun’s stick-on sideb…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2018/mar/05/bradley-wiggins-team-sky-allegations-legacy-cycling

Chris Froome and Sky must stop hiding behind the letter of the law | Richard Williams

Dave Brailsford’s lofty ideals when setting up Team Sky have been exposed under the pressure of top-level competitionTo judge from Dave Brailsford’s words the other day it seems he still doesn’t get it. He was talking in a press conference about the bu…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2018/feb/12/chris-froome-sky-hiding-behind-letter-of-law

Ballboy aged 10 gave us note of joy, but stern realities darkened 2017 | Richard Williams

Bristol City celebration and Cricket World Cup final were among the highlights in a year when sport too often seemed to reflect the corrosion of the world around itThe sight of Bristol City’s manager sweeping up a 10-year-old ballboy in a dance of pure…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/dec/26/bristol-city-women-cricket-world-cup-final-2017-sport-year-stern-realities

Team Sky and Chris Froome may find public will inflict a grim verdict | Richard Williams

BBC Sports Personality of the Year voting, and Sky corporate changes, could lead to Froome’s inhalation of salbutamol proving a puff too farChris Froome is an opportunist. All great riders have to be. It’s the faculty that allows them to spot the momen…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/dec/15/team-sky-chris-froome-public-salbutamol-inhalation-cycling

Facts mix with fiction yet Battle of the Sexes may still be underplayed | Richard Williams

Billie-Jean King’s match against the 1939 men’s Wimbledon champion in 1973 provides the main thrust of a new film but like other sporting movies the facts are often massaged to augment the storyAfter the credits finished rolling at the end of the Battl…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/dec/01/battle-of-the-sexes-billie-jean-king-bobby-riggs-wta

Use of TUEs negate an intrinsic part of sport – the overcoming of exhaustion | Richard Williams

Eradicating exemptions seems fairer than allowing athletes to use artificial means of lifting themselves back up to their natural level of performanceIn more optimistic times, the news that Dr Michele Ferrari’s appeal against a doping conviction was tu…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/nov/24/use-of-teus-negate-sport-overcoming-exhaustion

David Warner’s trash-talking is the wrong way to rouse competitive intent | Richard Williams

Using your sporting ability and showing mutual respect while defeating an opponent shows up those who prefer a crass war of wordsHow badly do you want it? That’s a question to be directed at an opponent in the form of a challenge, stated or implied. Do…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/oct/20/david-warner-trash-talking-ashes-troy-deeney-watford

Cal Crutchlow’s MotoGP triumph in Brno deserves Olympian acclaim | Richard Williams

The first British MotoGP win for 35 years went under the radar but he and his sport deserve a wider profile

For some, the imminent blizzard of damehoods, knighthoods and other honours for Britain’s medal winners in Rio will serve as a sharp reminder that John Surtees – the only man in history to have won world championships on two and four wheels – continues, at 82, to be denied the title bestowed upon Sir Jackie Stewart and Sir Stirling Moss, not to mention Sir Philip Green.

Silverstone’s grandstands and grass banks will be full of enthusiasts to witness next week’s MotoGP meeting, but motorbike racing has never enjoyed much in the way of status in Britain, even though the top international formula was dominated for several decades not only by Surtees but also by Geoff Duke, Mike Hailwood, Phil Read and Barry Sheene. So it was no surprise when Cal Crutchlow’s success at Brno last weekend – the first for a British rider since Sheene’s win in Sweden 35 years ago – went widely unnoticed, drowned in the acclaim for various homeward-bound tumblers, pedallers, trampolinists, divers and dressage artists.

Crutchlow’s success reminded me of watching Keke Rosberg at Monaco in 1983 when Nico’s dad gambled on starting on slicks

Continue reading…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2016/aug/26/cal-crutchlow-motogp-brno-richard-williams

Lewis Hamilton joins F1’s very best after becoming serial title winner | Richard Williams

Second drivers’ crown sets 29-year-old Briton on path to becoming one of the great champions
• Hamilton wins Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to take title

Next to Lewis Hamilton’s brilliance at the wheel he is noted for his mood swings. He is the grand prix driver who does not appear to have had Kipling’s lessons about triumph and disaster recited to him from the cradle onwards. Whatever is going on in his life tends to be reflected in his face and in his performance.

His mood will never have swung higher than after the result that finally, at the end of his eighth season in Formula One, sets him on the path to becoming one of the great champions, a status that is earned only by winning the title once and then going back and winning it again.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2014/nov/23/lewis-hamilton-sweeps-away-doubts-serial-title-winner

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg rivalry as team-mates nothing new in F1 | Richard Williams

Merecedes’ reliabilty has increased the chance of both their drivers aiming to be crowned world champion after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

From Cain and Abel via Hamlet and Claudius and Michael and Fredo Corleone to the Milibands, fratricide always pulls a crowd. And in Formula One there is nothing as exhilarating, and at times as blood-freezing, as a battle between team-mates with identical machinery at their disposal and the stakes at their highest.

Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, a floodlit event in a billionaires’ neon playground spiced by the unprecedented contrivance of the award of double points, promises a hot-blooded brotherly tussle to match the epic confrontations of the past: a showdown between the two Mercedes drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, who have been racing each other since they were schoolboys and are now competing for the biggest prize in their sport.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/nov/21/lewis-hamilton-nico-rosberg-team-mates-abu-dhabi-grand-prix

F1s meritocracy undone by letting richest teams write the regulations | Richard Williams

Money always talked but once you could rise from sweeping the floor to running teams built from scratch. Now, as Marussia and Caterham teeter, the best-funded have all the powerOne by one, the legendary figures of a golden era Stirling Moss, John Surt…

Permanent link to this article: http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2014/oct/31/f1-richest-teams-regulations-marussia-caterham

Why Formula One should improve safety without removing risk | Richard Williams

Almost all accidents contain some element of the freakish and unforeseen, and close analysis of their individual features has become the way F1 improves its safety standards F1 drivers to demand safety assurances F1 safety heightened at Russian GP in w…

Permanent link to this article: http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2014/oct/10/formula-one-safety-risk