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Olympic cycling legend Chris Hoy realizes dream by finishing Le Mans

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Olympic cycling legend Chris Hoy realized a life-long dream on Sunday as he finished the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 17th place.

Hoy competed at four Olympic Games for Great Britain, culminating in London four years ago when he became the nation’s most successful Olympian by winning a sixth gold medal.

Hoy retired from cycling in 2013 and turned his attention to motorsport, joining Nissan in the British GT championship the following year with a view to racing at Le Mans in 2016.

Three years of training came to fruition earlier this year when Nissan confirmed he would be joining Algarve Pro Racing for Le Mans in the LMP2 class.

Hoy completed three stints during the 24-hour race as he and teammates Michael Munemann and Andrea Pizzitola took the No. 25 to 17th overall and 12th in class.

Given the nature of Toyota’s agonizing defeat at the front of the field, Hoy admitted he was relieved to have finished the race.

“Just when you think you’ve seen everything a race has to offer. Right at the death of the race, you see something else happen,” Hoy said.

“Incredible. The Toyota pulls over, the disappointment, heartbreaking scenes in their garage, the delight in the Porsche garage – an amazing race.

“And for us, to see Andrea crossing the line, to see everything that meant for the team was amazing.”

Hoy cast his mind back to when he took his first laps in a car during a track day at Oulton Park, a club circuit in the UK, which had led to him racing at one of motorsport’s greatest events.

“Thinking about starting out at Oulton Park doing track days, sitting for my test… the whole journey to get here,” Hoy said.

“There were times when I didn’t think it was going to happen and I thought – a bit like the Olympics, – thinking even if you don’t make it, you might get half-way and do something exciting.

“But even with this I thought I’d got to race British GT and European Le Mans series last year and test the LM P2 car last year so I’d already done something great.

“But we made it here to Le Mans – and we didn’t just make it. We finished the race – just amazing.”

Speaking to BBC Sport, Hoy admitted that while he has no firm plans to keep racing, he is desperate to return to Le Mans in the future.

“At the moment, this race brings my motorsport programme to an end,” he said.

“There’s nothing else in the calendar for the rest of the year, unfortunately, but I’ve got the Le Mans bug and I’m desperate to come back, do it again and improve my driving.

“As we know, racing costs money, but I’d love to come back and race again.”

Adam Cianciarulo sweeps to second straight Pro Motocross 450 win

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Adam Cianciarulo (450) and Dylan Ferrandis (250) swept both motos of their divisions Saturday in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship event at Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, Minnesota, significantly impacting the points standings.

After scoring his first career victory Sept. 8 at RedBud, Cianciarulo made it two consecutive victories on his Monster Energy Kawasaki. He won the first moto by 1.7 seconds over Blake Baggett and the second moto by 2.7 seconds over Baggett.

“Man, what a dream come true,” Cianciarulo said. “I really wanted to go 1-1 last round at RedBud and had that silly mistake. Today, we got the job done and made it happen. Two consecutive victories in the 450 Class just feels really good. I just want to keep the ball rolling.”

With three rounds remaining, Cianciarulo is ranked second in the standings at a 15-point deficit to Zach Osborne, who won three of the first five rounds.

In the 250 standings, Dylan Ferrandis jumped ahead of Jeremy Martin (who won three consecutive events earlier in the season) by three points (257-254).

Dylan Ferrandis swept both motos for his second win of the season in the 250 class (Align Media).

Ferrandis beat third-ranked RJ Hampshire in the first moto and nipping Martin by 0.4 seconds in the second.

“That was a difficult race in the second moto and the pressure was on,” Ferrandis said. “It was really good for me to have that battle and come out on top in the second moto. The championship is really close and I think that we were able to put on a good show for everyone today. Jeremy [Martin] and I have a good relationship I think and we congratulated each other and talked about the battle after the race.”

NEXT: The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will hold its seventh round Sept. 26 with the Geico Motorcycle WW Ranch National at Jacksonville, Florida.


RESULTS

Thor Spring Creek National (Spring Creek MX Park, Millville, Minnesota)

450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)

  1. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (1-1)
  2. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM (2-2)
  3. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha (5-4)
  4. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (8-3)
  5. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (6-5)
  6. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (3-10)
  7. Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Honda (7-6)
  8. Joey Savatgy, , Suzuki (9-7)
  9. Max Anstie, United Kingdom, Suzuki (10-8)
  10. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (4-16)

450 Class Championship Standings

  1. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna – 235
  2. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 220
  3. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 215
  4. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 196
  5. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha – 194
  6. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM – 190
  7. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 173
  8. Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Honda – 141
  9. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha – 134
  10. Joey Savatgy, Tallahassee, Fla., Suzuki – 122

250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)

  1. Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha (1-1)
  2. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda (5-2)
  3. Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Suzuki (4-4)
  4. Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda (3-6)
  5. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (9-3)
  6. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna (2-11)
  7. Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda (7-5)
  8. Jo Shimoda, Japan, Honda (12-8)
  9. Mitchell Harrison, Brighton, Mich., Kawasaki (11-9)
  10. Derek Drake, San Luis Obispo, Calif., KTM (8-12)

250 Class Championship Standings

  1. Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha – 257
  2. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda – 254
  3. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna – 202
  4. Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Suzuki – 194
  5. Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., Yamaha – 186
  6. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 164
  7. Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 162
  8. Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki – 140
  9. Mitchell Harrison, Brighton, Mich., Kawasaki – 123
  10. Brandon Hartranft, Brick, N.J., KTM – 114
Adam Cianciarulo won the holeshot in both motos at Spring Creek (Align Media).