Sport 5. Sports Personality? Cavendish should walk it Talking of British cycling… how can Mark Cavendish not win Sports Personality of the
Year now? He shouldn't need his bike either - he should walk it. What
he's done this year, in the Tour de France and now at the worlds, is
awesome. But that whole team performance in Copenhagen last
Sunday was brilliant, particularly the last 10km by Bradley Wiggins.
It's a brutal sport and these guys are some athletes. How could anyone
possibly vote for Rory McIlroy now?

Sprinter Mark Cavendish will have four support riders, the maximum possible, in his bid to become Britain's first Olympic gold medallist next July.

Tour de France: Furious relaxation vital part of life on tour

When not on the bike it's sleep, porridge, massage, ergonomic seats and more sleep. Simon O'Hagan goes behind the scenes

Trail of the unexpected: Cycling in the French Alps

How to tackle the Alpe d'Huez stage of the Tour de France? In a low gear, says Simon Calder

Cyclo-therapy: 'If there is grace in cycling it is best defined by the motion of the feet'

It's that time of year, when channel- hoppers and shoppers passing window displays of televisions catch glimpses of impossibly lean men staring at each other's bottoms as they course through countryside in garish streams of tanned limbs and Lycra. It's the Tour de France! The world's toughest race reaches its climax on the Champs-Elysées on Thursday after more than 2,000 miles of sweat and peeing into cups proffered by anti-doping officials.

Tour de France: Thor Hushovd takes stunning victory in latest stage

World champion Thor Hushovd today foiled Jeremy Roy's bid for a first Tour de France stage win with a stunning victory in Lourdes.

Tour de France: Contador suffers in the Pyrenees after Thomas's dramatic climb

Alberto Contador's status as cycling's No 1 took its biggest step backwards in four years yesterday on the slopes of Luz Ardiden – on the same day that Geraint Thomas came the closest a Briton has been to taking a high mountain Tour stage since Robert Millar in 1989.

Lay Me Down Softly, Tricycle Theatre, London

"Mmm, I love that smell," declares Simone Kirby's excellent Lily, the boss's sharp-tongued, long-suffering mistress as she enters the marquee tent with its centrally erected boxing ring. "Sweat and dust and leather. And somethin' else, what is that?" She sarcastically mimes fondling a pair of balls, as though she'd like to be able to say "cojones" and can't. But then, you can hardly blame her. It's not the whiff of testosterone but the sad reek of masculine disappointment and defeat that pervades Delaney's Travelling Road Show, the struggling outfit in Sixties rural Ireland that is the setting for Lay Me Down Softly, Billy Roche's bittersweet, ruefully humorous play.

Tour de France: Thomas Voeckler retains yellow jersey after first mountain stage

Thomas Voeckler successfully defended the race leader's yellow jersey on Bastille Day, but defending champion Alberto Contador lost time to his overall rivals on the first mountain stage of the 2011 Tour de France.

Tour de France: Let the climbing begin: Mountains to sort the contenders from the rest

The Tour hits the Pyrenees today and the first-timers will feel the pain as the favourites wheel away

Tour de France: Cavendish happy in green after firing past his old foe

Mark Cavendish bounced back to business as usual yesterday, putting Tuesday's stinging defeat behind him as he claimed his third stage victory this year and the green jersey of points leader to boot.

Tour de France: Mark Cavendish claims Green Jersey with stage victory

An incredible 18th Tour de France stage win in four years saw Great Britain's Mark Cavendish claim the points classification leader's green jersey in Lavaur today.

Clive Commandments: Mind your language and keep rooms tidy

With a £13m budget and a huge backroom staff, no stone will be left unturned in hunt for more GB medals

Cycling: Why does this Tour seem to be so crash crazy?

There have been falls and injuries aplenty but it's probably who not how many that caught the eye

Banks say they are lending to small firms

Small businesses are not bothering to apply for new finance because they assume they'll be turned down. Only one in six small firms has applied for a new facility or renewed an existing one in the past 12 months, according to the British Bankers' Association's (BBA) Business Finance Taskforce, yet three-fifths of loan applicants received their request.

Tour de France: Crash could prompt legal action

Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford refused to rule out the possibility of taking legal action as Tour de France organisers and French police today continued investigations into the incident which saw Juan Antonio Flecha hit by a car.

Pony died in lake accident

A pony that was believed to have been pushed to its death in a lake really died accidentally.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
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