Teams embark on road trips

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Football News

Liverpool will continue the second part of their 24-hour epic journey to Madrid on Wednesday after reaching Paris on Tuesday night as the volcanic ash continued to force sports to seek alternatives to air travel.

The 2,600-mile round trip saw Liverpool's millionaire footballers take a train from Runcorn to London and then the Eurostar to Paris - first class of course - where they were to spend the night.

Another train journey to Bordeaux awaits on Wednesday before a short flight to the Spanish capital where they will arrive at lunchtime ahead of Thursday's Europa League semi-final first leg against Atletico Madrid.

Fulham, who are chasing their first European final in history after facing Hamburg in the other semi-final, had hoped to fly by private jet to Hamburg on Wednesday morning but they admitted defeat and reverted to plan B.

The team boarded a luxurious coach to Folkestone on Tuesday morning, where they caught the Eurotunnel to Calais before driving to Hamburg on the same coach. It is anticipated the approximate 600-mile journey will take between 10 and 12 hours to complete.

In Scotland, Celtic announced their planned friendly against AZ Alkmaar at Parkhead on Wednesday night has been cancelled.

Meanwhile, other sports have also been affected. If ash problems continue, the England cricket team may have to travel to the continent and then fly from there to Dubai to be air-lifted direct to the West Indies for the ICC World Twenty 20 tournament.

A decision will be made on that on Wednesday - they are due to fly out on Sunday and the International Cricket Council, charged with making travel arrangements for all teams involved in the global tournament, announced contingency plans on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, the Great Britain judo team are set for a 16-hour road trip to Austria ahead of the Senior European Championships, while Nottingham Panthers defenseman Stephen Lee has embarked on a full day's drive from his home in Hull to Slovenia, hoping to be in time for Team GB's third match of the World Championships against the host nation on Tuesday night.

British eventing star Oliver Townend spent £1,600 on a taxi from Paris to Madrid and then boarded a holiday charter flight to Disneyland before travelling on to Kentucky for the three-day equestrian competition where victory would land the Shropshire-based rider a £230,000 prize for the Rolex Grand Slam.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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