#1 cond half surge to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers 98-91. HOUSTON -- As the No. 9 Texas A&M Aggies von mary123 24.10.2019 08:06

ANGLET, France -- For many people, vacation means lying poolside or beachside, reading and relaxing. But for me, it meant biking through the French Pyrenees in a week-long race, taking in the famous climbs of the Tour de France with 400 others.It was agonizingly difficult, one steep, grueling mountain road after another. But it was also wonderful.The event was part of the Haute Route series, billed as the highest, toughest and most prestigious amateur cycling events in the world. The events take place annually in the French Pyrenees, French Alps and Italian Dolomites. A U.S. event is planned for the Rocky Mountains in June 2017.Haute Route events attract cycling-crazy folks from around the world of all ages and abilities. At the sharp end of the stick are aspiring or retired professionals, in the middle are fit cycling enthusiasts like me and at the bottom are people who signed up on a whim and may be regretting it. Some brave souls do all three European events, back to back, the so-called triple crown.My August trip to southwestern France was a 50th birthday present from my wife. I met up for the race with a friend, Paul ODonnell, also turning 50. Both of us race bikes regularly in the New York area and are, for our ages, very fit. This was to be a stiff test of our abilities: 500 miles (800 kilometers) with 65,000-plus feet (20,000-plus meters) of climbing. Each day wed burn 4,000 to 5,000 calories.The event began in Anglet in rainy weather. Then we hit the first major uphill of the day, the Col dAhusquy, a steep 8-mile (13-kilometer) ascent. Id never been on a climb this long and difficult before and found myself breathless and exhausted halfway up, wondering what Id gotten myself into.A quick pause and it was down the other side toward the days second and final climb, the Pierre St. Martin, a 10-mile (16-kilometer) climb through heavy fog, with visibility dropping to about 20 meters (65 feet), a blessing because you couldnt see the long series of switchbacks coming. It was quiet for long stretches but for the whirring of bikes and the riders breathing, with cowbells softly tinkling in the distance. A car or motorcycle engine would come and go and then you could focus on your own engine again -- heart, lungs, legs.Day two saw four climbs, all hard and long, with the Col DAubisque the killer, on and on (and then on some more) for 10 miles (17 kilometers). Exhausted, rationing water, stuffing down energy gels, controlling the breathing, I tried to focus. Sweat dripped into my eyes, stinging me onto another pedal stroke, and then another.Some might call it suffering, but for me it was cleansing, liberating, nothing but effort and the road ahead. The mind? Circling the wheel, wondering what was to come. And then I passed a one-legged, one-handed man on his bike, also making his way up. Hes Christian Haettich, a regular, who lost his leg and hand in a traffic accident as an adolescent and yet hes chugging away on some of the toughest climbs in Europe.At the top, the landscape was astonishing, massive mountains upholstered in green grass and trees like giant sleeping ogres. The Pyrenees, where Iberia smashes slowly into France.Dropping down like a marble, through tunnels bored through the rock, we descended into the valley. Cows lay nonchalantly by the roadside, big metal bells around their necks, a few pigs too and some sheep, guarded by large mountain dogs. We were warned not to approach the sheep lest the dogs mistake us for wolves and attack, as had apparently happened in previous years.And then to the base of the days final climb, the Col de Spandelles, just 6 miles (10 kilometers) long but with steeply graded ramps. Small groups of curious bystanders would form by the road, some clapping, some cheering us on.We went through the legendary Tourmalet climb, scene of epic battles in Tour de France races. Drink, drink, sweat, sweat and drink some more. More switchbacks, focus, OK, half a mile (1 kilometer) to go, pushing a bit harder and onwards, up and then down through majestic scenery, but always keeping an eye on the clock. Each day had a time cut off and if you didnt make it, youd be eliminated from the timed event and escorted to the broom wagon for a ride to the finish. The next day you could continue at your own pace, no longer timed.The final day was a mere 105 miles (169 kilometers), just one major climb and then mostly downhill through rolling farmland into Toulouse. And then it was over. We got our participant medals, then celebrated with pizza, soft drinks and later in Toulouse, a beer or two.Reflecting on the week, each day had seemed as punishing as the next, my whole body a slippery sinew of muscle turning and turning. But Id gradually adjusted to the effort, the fitness kicking in. What seemed like misery in the moment felt like triumph looking back. But would I trade a beach vacation for a week of pushing uphill again?Absolutely.---If You Go...HAUTE ROUTE: http://www.hauteroute.org . Event organizers can handle hotels, meals and other logistics for participants. Punto Tours -- https://puntotours.com/ -- offers a more upscale experience with personalized support. Cheap Padres Jerseys . He said Tuesday thats a big reason why he is now the new coach of the Tennessee Titans. Whisenhunt said he hit it off quickly with Ruston Webster when interviewing for the job Friday night. San Diego Padres Gear . -- Washington Redskins tight end Fred Davis was charged Thursday with driving while intoxicated, a day after he was suspended for an NFL substance-abuse policy violation. https://www.cheappadresjerseys.us/ . On Mar. 16, coming off a "fight of the year" performance at UFC 154 the previous November, St-Pierre faced Nick Diaz at UFC 158 in what would be his eighth defence of the welterweight title. Using his superior athleticism, St-Pierre cruised to a five round, unanimous decision victory setting up a much-anticipated title defence against number one contender Johny Hendricks. San Diego Padres Store . This should be celebrated because it will not always be this way. With the amount of money given to players by their clubs these days, it is a wonder that so many of those teams allow the sport to continue to take away many of their assets so they can play for a different team in the middle of their season. Padres Jerseys China . After a first half in which he thought "the lid was on the basket," the Toronto Raptors coach watched his squad mount a second half surge to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers 98-91. HOUSTON -- As the No. 9 Texas A&M Aggies take a break from the rigors of Southeastern Conference to host New Mexico State on Saturday, they are far more worried about improving than they are about their opponent.And thats not simply because theyre 48 1/2-point favorites.Our identity as a team this year is playing the next week, quarterback Trevor Knight said. Its about us and a nameless, faceless opponent. And thats no disrespect to who were playing, but we want to worry about us and play as best we can.The Aggies are looking to rebound after taking their first loss of the season last week in a 33-14 defeat at top-ranked Alabama . Linebacker Justin Evans said its easier to move on from that game since a single loss to the No. 1 team could still give them an outside chance at the College Football Playoff.We know with just one loss we can still do a lot, Evans said. We dont want to look too far ahead, but in the back of our mind we know that were still playing for something so its going to be there.Texas A&M returns to SEC play next week with a trip to Mississippi State before hosting Mississippi on Nov. 12.But first theyll meet New Mexico State for the first time. New Mexico State has had a tough time this season with just two wins and is coming off a 22-19 loss to Georgia Southern.New Mexico State coach Doug Martin knows things will be tough for his offense on Saturday in facing a defense led by Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall . New Mexico State is tied for 111th in the nation after allowing 21 sacks this season. Texas A&M has piled up 23 sacks, which ranks 12th in the country. Garrett leads the Aggies with four sacks and Hall and Jarrett Johnson have 3 1/2 each. Garrett and Hall have also combined for 18 quarterback hurries.The two defensive ends are first round draft picks so its going to be a real challenge for our offense to move the football, Martin said. But were a pretty good offensive football team so looking forward to that challenge.Some other things to know about the game:RUNNING WILDTexas A&M ranks third in the nation by averaging 251.4 yards rushing a game. The Aggies success has come from splitting carries between freshman Trayveon Williams andd Keith Ford and with quite a bit of help from Knight.dddddddddddd Williams leads the team with 727 yards rushing and Ford has added 304 yards rushing. Knight has 526 yards rushing and leads the team with nine rushing scores.Ford, who has missed time with an injury this season, impressed coach Kevin Sumlin by leading the team with 62 yards rushing against Alabama.At beginning of year I said wed need all the backs, Sumlin said. All provide change of pace for difference defenses. That was more of a Keith Ford-style of football game and I think you saw that. His experience in those situations showed. Way he runs showed. Physical, tough guy in that situation, a different back than Trayveon.TEAM STRENGTHNew Mexico State has seven different players who have at least 150 yards receiving this season, giving quarterback Tyler Rogers plenty of targets each week. The group is led by Gregory Hogan, who has 26 receptions for 335 yards and three touchdowns and Tyrian Taylor with 304 yards receiving.Our offensive kids have a lot of confidence, Martin said. We have a really good group of wide receivers that can really compete against anybody and it kind of gives us an edge.WE HAVE GOOD RECEIVERS, TOONew Mexico State isnt the only one with a solid group of receivers as the Aggies receivers might be the strength of A&Ms offense. Josh Reynolds has 515 yards receiving and five scores and Christian Kirk also has five touchdowns and has added 410 yards receiving. Ricky Seals-Jones missed two games with an injury before returning last week against Alabama and has 200 yards receiving.I still say thats the best receiving corps in the country, Knight said of A&Ms receivers. And theyve proven that time and time again, and its just getting the ball in their hands and being more consistent.PILING `EM UPNew Mexico State linebacker Rodney Butler leads the nation with 102 tackles. Butler had a season-high 24 tackles against New Mexico on Sept. 10 and has had at least 12 tackles in all but one game this year.---More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org ' ' '

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