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he 2008 Men's Olympics road race took place on August 9 at the Urban Road Cycling Course. It started at 11:00 China Standard Time (UTC+8), and was scheduled to last until 17:30 later that day. The 245.4-kilometre (152.5 mi) course ran north across the heart of the Beijing metropolitan area, passing such landmarks as the Temple of Heaven, the Great Hall of the People, Tiananmen Square and the Beijing National Stadium. After rolling over relatively flat terrain for 78.8 km (49.0 mi) north of the Beijing city center, the route entered a decisive circuit encompassing seven loops on a 23.8 km (14.8 mi) section up and down the Badaling Pass, including ramps as steep as a 10 percent gradient. The race was won by Spanish rider Samuel Sánchez in 6 hours, 23 minutes, 49 seconds, after a six-man breakaway group contested a sprint finish. The hot and humid conditions were in sharp contrast to the heavy rain weathered in the women's road race the following day. The event was one of the earliest to be concluded at the 2008 Summer Olympics, taking place on the first day of competition. Concerns were raised before the Olympics about the threat of pollution in endurance sports, but no major problems were apparent in the race. (more...)Recently featured: Olivier Messiaen – Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Miami – Elaine PaigeArchive – By email – More featured articles...Did you know...From Wikipedia's newest articles:

... that most of the buildings in the Giant Forest Lodge Historic District (cabin pictured), listed on the National Register of Historic Places, were demolished by the National Park Service to protect giant sequoia trees in Sequoia National Park?... that Toto's seizure of power in Rome, Italy, in 767 is one of the first indications that the military aristocracy believed that supreme power in Rome rested with the papal office?... that the human mouth forms when the opening that becomes the anus tunnels through the embryo and comes out the other side?... that the identity of the second police mole in the 2006 Toronto terrorism arrests has never been revealed?... that actor Scott Thompson Baker has had notable roles in each of the long-running soap operas General Hospital, All My Children, and The Bold and the Beautiful?... that a council ward in the East End of London was renamed "Spitalfields and Banglatown" in 2001 to reflect the history of Bangladeshi immigration to that area?... that at a 1972 re-election rally before a crowd of 15,000 at the Nassau Coliseum, Richard Nixon's opening words were "This is the biggest and best rally, Joe Margiotta, I have ever seen"?Archive – Start a new article – Nominate an articleIn the news

The Channel Island of Sark, a British crown dependency, holds its first democratic elections under a plan to abolish feudalism.Anti-police riots (pictured) continue in Athens and several cities across Greece.Ireland issues an international recall of its pork products following the discovery of contaminated pig feed.Patriarch Alexy II, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, dies of heart failure in Peredelkino, Russia.A bombing kills 29 people and injures more than 100 in Peshawar, Pakistan.A cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe spreads, with hundreds dead and over 10,000 people infected since August 2008.At the request of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Governor General of Canada Michaëlle Jean prorogues the parliament until January 26, 2009, to avoid a confidence motion by a newly-formed coalition of opposition parties.Wikinews – Recent deaths – More current events...On this day...December 11: Republic Day in Burkina Faso (1958)

1789 – The North Carolina General Assembly chartered the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, currently the oldest public university in the United States and the only one to award degrees in the 18th century.1886 – Dial Square, a football club from Woolwich, London that would eventually become known as Arsenal F.C., played their first match, winning 6–0 against Eastern Wanderers on an open field in the Isle of Dogs.1931 – The British Parliament enacted the Statute of Westminster, giving the option of complete legislative independence to the Irish Free State, Newfoundland, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.2005 – The Hertfordshire Oil Storage Terminal in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England was rocked by explosions (pictured) that has been described as the biggest of its kind in peacetime Europe.2006 – The International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust opened in Tehran "to provide an appropriate scientific atmosphere for scholars to offer their opinions in freedom about a historical issue", but was criticised worldwide as a "meeting of Holocaust deniers".More events: December 10 – December 11 – December 12Archive – By email – More anniversaries...It is now 03:20, December 11, 2008 (UTC) – Refresh this pageToday's featured picture

A six-image montage showing the development of a typical drupe, the nectarine (Prunus persica) over a 7½ month period:Bud formation (early winter)Leaves start to develop (early spring)Flowers are pollinated (early spring)After successful pollination, incipient fruit forms (mid-spring)Fruit is well developed and continues to grow (late spring)Fruit fully ripens (midsummer)Photo credit: John O'NeillRecently featured: Reconstruction political cartoon – Shanty town, Soweto – Prime knotsArchive – More featured pictures...Other areas of Wikipedia

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