An eight-day race taking in some of the Western Cape’s most beautiful mountain passes, the Absa Cape Epic is a gruelling 800km effort with some 15 000 metres of climbing. (Image: Absa Cape Epic)• Absa Cape Epic+27 21 426 firstname.lastname@example.org@cape-epic.comLucille DavieIt’s tough, tough, tough – but that’s why they sign up. Each year athletes from around the world descend on Western Cape to test their extreme endurance skills in the Absa Cape Epic mountain bike race.Now in its 11th year, the race attracts Olympic medallists and previous world champions, as well as some of South Africa’s top riders. An eight-day race taking in some of the province’s most beautiful mountain passes, it is a gruelling 800km effort with some 15 000 metres of climbing.It is ridden by two-person teams and is the most televised mountain bike stage race in the world, according to its founder, Kevin Vermaak. It is the only eight-day mountain bike stage race classed as hors catégorie, meaning “beyond categorisation”, by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), making it “a highlight on the professional racer’s calendar”. The race also attracts aspiring amateur riders wanting to test themselves against the best in the world.Vermaak, who established the Cape Epic back in 2004, says he is pleased with how it has developed. “[I am] incredibly satisfied, when I think that sporting legends like Alain Prost, John Smit, Luis Enrique, amongst many others, all take time out to train for the race and come to South Africa every year to ride it. It’s an honour.”In 2002, Vermaak participated in the 10th edition of the 400km La Ruta de los Conquistadores mountain bike race across Costa Rica – and the idea to create a multi-day mountain bike stage race was born. The Cape Epic takes a different route each year, and Vermaak and his team ride the new route at least twice before settling on their final choice. Each year, it is selected on the basis of “most amazing mountain biking riding that the Western Cape has to offer”, he says.Asked what gives him the most satisfaction, he says: “The 30 minutes around the time when the winners come in every day. It’s a moment of the event in which we invest so much money and effort, to get it just right for TV and all the fans and spectators watching, and it’s something that really differentiates us from all other mountain bike races around the world – to know that the guys coming in at that moment are the absolute best riders in the world, all the Olympic medallists and previous world champions.”Amateur mountain biker Lynn Morris, who cycled the race in 2009, says she did it “because it sounded tough and I love mountain biking”.“The hardest part was making the cut-off times every day, and of course the climbing! The most enjoyable parts were the stunning landscapes and the feeling of camaraderie amongst the cyclists (at the back of the field).”Vermaak says the “satisfaction of finishing the Epic is priceless. And the camaraderie of riders during those eight days and all the months of training leading up to the race are truly special. For many, it’s a life-changing journey.”This year, many riders came in covered in mud, having gone through forests and splashes of water, up and down rocky ridges, some too steep to descend, requiring riders to walk their bikes, and over wooden walkways. Some 1 200 cyclists entered, and just under half of them finished the course. Overall prize money is R1.7-million (about $161 000); the entry fee is R53 900 (about $5 100) per two-person team.First over the line were German Robert Mennen and teammate Kristian Hynek, from Czech Republic, in a time of 30 hours and 31 minutes. The first women to cross the line were Ariane Kleinhans from Switzerland and Annika Langvad from Denmark, in a time of 34 hours and 54 minutes.The Absa Cape Epic is just one of seven or eight endurance races that are held in South Africa every year, when athletes of all ages and abilities run, swim, paddle and cycle their way across the country.
ATHENS — Olympiakos beat Veria 3-0 and replaced the visitors on top of the Greek league on Sept. 20.Costas Mitroglou scored in the first half, and Jorge Benitez and Pajtim Kasami added in the final minutes to end Veria’s perfect record and allow Olympiakos to move into first place, a point clear.Mitroglou opened the scoring in the 33rd minute with a penalty kick. There was a dispute when Alejandro Dominguez apparently told Mitroglou that he was the designated penalty-taker. At the stroke of halftime, Mitroglou approached Dominguez to explain, and the latter shoved him back.Benitez made it 2-0 in the 88th off a defensive slip and Kasami closed the scoring in injury time.Also, Xanthi beat Levadiakos 2-0, and OFI beat Atromitos 1-0.TweetPinShare0 Shares
OTTAWA — The backlog of asylum claims from irregular migrants awaiting a decision on whether they can stay in Canada has grown to over 28,000.New statistics from the Immigration and Refugee Board show over 5,000 new refugee claims were filed between July and September of this year.This was just over 1,100 fewer claims than the previous quarter.But despite a recent boost in resources and staffing from government, the board finalized only about 1,600 claims in the same period, so the backlog got longer.The Liberals promised $74 million over two years in the 2018 budget to address the major backlog of refugee claims, many of which are coming from “irregular” migrants crossing the Canada-U.S. border away from official crossings.Refugee claims from other groups have also been on the rise, which has led to a current total backlog of over 64,000 refugee claims at the IRB.Wait times have also grown — refugees who arrive in Canada today will wait almost two years before final decisions on their claims are reached.The Canadian Press
Post a comment 18 Photos Share your voice Tags The upgraded Boston Dynamics Handle robot can stack robots quickly in a warehouse setting. Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET Boston Dynamics builds robots that can run, dance and even do parkour. Now the company has perfected its Handle robot so it can stack heavy boxes as if they were blocks in an extreme version of Tetris. The original Handle robot was created in 2017 as a research robot. It stands 6.5 feet (2 meters) tall, travels at 9 mph (14.5 kph) and jumps 4 feet (1.2 meters) vertically. Sci-Tech Now playing: Watch this: 1:51 Meet Boston Dynamics’ weird and wonderful robot family Robots 0 More robots Handle’s onboard vision system tracks marked pallets, and finds individual boxes for grasping and stacking. As Handle puts a box onto a pallet, it uses force control to stack the boxes up against each other. The boxes seen in a video posted on Thursday weigh about 11 pounds (5 kilograms). But Handle is designed to lift heavier boxes up to 33 pounds (15 kilograms). This upgraded Handle can also work with pallets that are 48 inches (1.2 meters) deep and 68 inches (1.7 meters) tall. Boston Dynamics Handle robot is a box-stacking beast This new version of the Handle robot has been upgraded as a mobile manipulation robot designed for warehouse tasks and manual labor. The robot can quickly stack multiple heavy boxes on a pallet, as well as unload them, according to Boston Dynamics. Smart, agile MIT robot plays a mean game of Jenga This robot wants to teach you Buddhist chants Hotel fires half its robot staff for sucking at their jobs
RapeA schoolgirl was allegedly gang raped at Naldanga village in Gaibandha’s Sadullapur upazila on Friday night.The victim, a student of class VII, was admitted to Gaibandha Modern Hospital, said Sadullapur police station officer-in-charge Borhan Uddin.He said when the girl was returning home alone after escorting her mother to Naldanga Bazar some local youths including Shohag, Babu and Shariful forcefully took her to an adjacent sugarcane field and raped her one after another.Locals rushed in hearing the scream of the girl and caught three youths and handed them over to police, added the OC.Victim’s uncle Halim Miah filled a rape case with the Sadullapur police station in this connection.
Kolkata: The bodies of mountaineers Kuntal Karar and Biplab Baidya reached the city airport on Saturday night.The duo, who had embarked on expedition to Kanchenjanga, had died a few days back due to their deteriorating health condition. The coffins of the two mountaineers reached the city on Saturday night and then the bodies were taken to Peace Haven. Kuntal’s body was taken to Howrah Mountaineering Club on Sunday morning where state Co-Operation minister Arup Roy, who is also an MLA from Howrah Madhya, paid tribute to him along with a sea of people who assembled to offer their condolence. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataHis body was taken to his residence at Kona area. The last rites was performed at the Banstala crematorium in Howrah. Minister of state for Sports and Youth Affairs Laxmi Ratan Shukla, who was supervising the last rites of Kuntal since his arrival in the city airport said: “It is extremely sad. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has instructed me to go to the airport to receive the bodies. We have guidelines for mountaineers and we also conduct thorough health check of those people who go on mountain expedition.” Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe body of mountaineer Biplab Baidya was also taken to his residence in Sonarpur on Sunday morning. The local people and neighbours turned up in huge number to bid adieu to him. It may be mentioned that Ramesh Ray and Rudraprasad Halder – who were on Kanchenjanga expedition along with Kuntal and Biplab had also fallen sick during the Kanchenjanga expedition. They were treated at Kathmandu Hospital and they had reached the city a few days back. Another mountaineer from the state Dipankar Ghosh’s body was airlifted on Saturday and has been brought to Kathmandu. Ghosh had died during his expedition to Mount Makalu in Nepal. His body is expected to reach the state by Tuesday. He had successfully scaled the fifth highest peak in the world but while descending to the base camp went missing and later died.