So close for Minnaar at MTB World Cup

first_imgMost of Gwin’s challengers did exactly that. Australian Mick Hannah, the fastest man in qualifying and the last man to have a shot at racing inside Gwin’s blisteringly fast time, crashed heavily early on, breaking his bike stem and ending the competition in a moment of high drama. “I can’t understand why I was so fast today,” said an elated Gwin afterwards. “I was so calm at the start. Usually I try to shy away from people talking to me, but today I felt like I needed someone to wake me up. Before him British world number one Gee Atherton and World champ Sam Hill failed to match Gwin, and South African Andrew Neethling, who qualified tenth fastest in the field of 80, saw his challenge ended in a crash high up on the course. SAinfo reporter Moseley heard the on-course commentator say that her split times were very close to those of Griffiths, as she raced down the course. Hysterical supportEven hometown hero Minnaar couldn’t upstage Gwin, despite riding a tidal wave of hysterical support and vuvuzelas from the thousands of fans packed around the course. In the elite men’s event, Schurter showed just why he is the current world number one, looking calm and in control throughout the exhausting race on his way the third World Cup victory of his career. “I made a couple of silly mistakes early on and was trying to catch up all the way,” said Minnaar. “It was such an awesome race! I’m very happy to have finished ahead of Julien (Absalon) and its really great to have won the first World Cup of the year,” said an exhausted Schurter. “I can’t thank the crowd enough. Their support was unbelievable and made a huge difference to me on the day. I am sorry for the second place,” he added. “Maybe that what you need to do on a course like this – stay really calm otherwise you blow up,” he said. The American, who hails from California and races with the Trek World racing team, is a relative newcomer to downhilling, after converting from BMX and Motocross racing after a succession of serious injuries. The event, as it did in 2009, drew thousands of MTB fans. Toughest track“This is the toughest track I have ever raced,” said Moseley. “I was just hanging on for dear life, after pedalling flat out through the flat section following a great start.” Cross-countryNino Schurter of Switzerland and China’s Chengyuan Ren stole the limelight on the penultimate day of competition when they lifted the men’s and women’s cross-country titles. “I was done,” said Moseley. “It was so tough. The course was horrid – hard and fast – and I was finished at the end.” Griffiths was second, followed by a trio of French youngsters – Emmeline Ragot, Sabrina Jonnier and Floriane Pugin. Gwin, who victory was his first in a World Cup event, stunned the massive crowd that crammed into the forest at the Cascades mountain bike park with a time a full four seconds faster than the 4:12 that was being tipped as a title clinching mark. The all South African junior girls’ cross country race was won by the current national and African champ, Ashleigh Parker-Moffatt, almost a minute and half clear of Linda van Wyk, with Simone Vosloo making up the balance of the podium places. The trio of Schurter, Julien Absalon of France and the Czech Republic’s Jaroslav Kulhavy got off to a dream start and set a blistering pace from the opening lap. They went on to occupy the top third positions on the podium. Italian Gerhard Kerschbaumer took the men’s under-23 cross country title after a thrilling duel with Austrian Alexander Gehbauer, who led for most of the race. Pole Marek Komwa ended third. “I managed to hold sixth place for most of the way, but I could feel the guys getting close towards the end there and with the added pressure I went over again in the rock garden and I’m just happy to have finished in one piece!” he reckoned. Earlier in the day, rising Swiss star Andri Frischkneckt posted a comprehensive victory in the junior men’s cross country title decider, romping home to a one-sided two minute victory over local challenger Gert Heyns, with French teenager Cyril Grangladen a minute further back in third. Elisabeth Sveum of Norway claimed the women’s under-23 title, ahead of Poland’s Paula Gorycka, with Hungarian Barbara Benko in third place. Spectacular crashIt was a day to forget for South Africa’s Burry Stander after his hopes of a home win were dashed by a mishap early on the first lap and another spectacular crash on the last which saw the team Specialized Racing rider cross the line in a disappointing eleventh place. Australian world champion Jarryd Graves annexed the four-cross title, while Dutch star Anneke Beerten won the women’s four-cross. For much of the men’s downhill final veteran downhiller Steve Peat occupied the leader’s hot-seat, and looked set to provide an upset result until Gwin blitzed the course. Sliced through the fieldIn the women’s race, the day belonged China’s Chengyuan Ren, who sliced through the field from the second last row of the grid to the front where she held off a strong challenge from Julie Bresset of France and take the win. Russia’s Irina Kalentieva finished third. “I got off to a good start and was part of the lead group, but I just lost concentration for a second, my wheel slipped out and over I went,” said Stander. “I damaged my derailer and only had three gears for the rest of the race!” 28 April 2011 “The win will give me good momentum so hopefully I can just keep my shape in the next few races,” he added. South African Rourke Croeser has a bad start and lagged in the bottom half of the 55-rider field before powering his way through to 13th place. Earlier in the day, the women’s title fell to British women’s downhill pacesetter Tracy Moseley, who was pushed all the way by her fellow countrywoman Fionn Griffiths. The event organisers have lodged a very strong bid to host the 2013 World Championships at the same venue, and are bullish about their chances of winning that bid when it is decided in the coming weeks. Home town favourite Greg Minnaar narrowly missed out on repeating his success of 2009 when he placed second in the downhill at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Pietermaritzburg on the weekend, just 0.241 seconds behind American speedster Aaron Gwin. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Changi Airport fees to produce fare rises of up to 25 percent: Jetstar CEO

first_imgJetstar Asia A320. The Jetstar Group has warned that new fees at Changi Airport may see it shift  flights from the Singaporean hub and produce fare rises at Jetstar Asia of up to 25 percent.A move by Changi to boost fees to help pre-fund expansion works, including the new Terminal 5, has prompted complaints by a number of carriers.The fees include a new tax of $S10.80 per passenger from July 1 for departing travelers and $S3 for those in transit.  The airport’s passenger service and security fee is also rising by $S2.50 to $S30.40 from July 1 and there will be increases in landing, parking and aerobridge fees.“We’re very disappointed that this decision has been made,’’ Jetstar Group chief executive Gareth Evans said. “We believe this will lead to fare increases of 10 to 25 percent.“Eighty percent of Jetstar Asia passengers travel for under $100. A cost increase of $10 is significant, particularly for low-cost carriers.”Evans said that 80 percent of growth at Changi over the past decade had come from LCCs.He warned the change would not just impact fares, but also volume, gross domestic product and the network.“There is no doubt we will see a demand shift as fares go up, and we will need to adjust our network accordingly,’’ he said.“We support growth, but our view is that growth needs to be staged in the right way and funded by airports. In turn, the airport would recoup the investment from the volume increase that comes as a result.“The fact we are pre-funding this growth is something we fundamentally disagree with.”The International Air Transport Association also recently expressed concerns about the way Changi is funding its growth.While acknowledging the foresight shown by the Singapore government withits  expansion plans,  IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac said the funding model needed to be right to avoid burdening industry with extra costs.“The prize to keep in sight is the airport’s contribution to Singapore’s overall economy,”  he said, noting reports about the additional taxes. “The airline industry does not support pre-funding to finance in advance infrastructure projects.”More widely, de Juniac raised concerns that the growth in aviation infrastructure was failing to keep to pace with growth in demand for flights.IATA forecasts that the number of passengers will almost double to 7.8 billion by 2026 and de Juniac believes the industry is headed for an infrastructure crisis, particularly in the US.“To meet that demand we need sufficient capacity in terms of runways, terminals and airspace,’’ he said at Aviation Day USA. “Quality must be aligned with our technical and commercial needs. And it all must be affordable.”The IATA boss also reiterated concerns about governments looking to fund airport infrastructure development through privatization.“We have yet to see an airport privatization that has, in the long-term, delivered on the promised benefits of greater efficiency for airlines and a better experience for our customers,’’ he said.“To date, there has been no regulatory formula that effectively balances the interest of private owners to earn a profit with the public interest to have the airport serve as an engine of economic growth.“By all means, invite private sector expertise to bring commercial discipline and a customer service focus to airport management, but leave ownership in public hands.”last_img read more

Pele: We’ll talk when Ronaldo has 1283 goals

first_imgCristiano Ronaldo Pele: When Ronaldo has scored 1283 goals, we’ll talk Ben Hayward Last updated 2 years ago 22:00 9/4/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(125) Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal Getty Cristiano Ronaldo World Cup Hungary v Portugal Portugal WC Qualification Europe The Portugal star reached 78 international strikes to surpass the Brazil great’s 77, but the 76-year-old has laid down a challenge for the Madrid ace EXCLUSIVE Pele says he was happy to see Cristiano Ronaldo overtake his mark for international goals last week, but claims the Real Madrid forward has a long way to go before he can be in his illustrious company.Ronaldo hit a hat-trick for Portugal in a 5-1 win over the Faroe Islands in World Cup qualifying on Thursday night to take his international tally to 78, the first of those a spectacular scissor kick early on in the game.”I saw the goal, It was really special,” Pele told Goal in an exclusive interview. “It was a really nice play.” Article continues below Editors’ Picks Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Pele’s 77 Brazil goals came in just 92 appearances, while the former Santos icon also won three World Cups for his country (in 1958, 1962 and 1970). And Ronaldo, who helped his nation bring home the Euro 2016 trophy last year, now has 78 strikes in 145 games for Portugal.Pele Ronaldo graphic“Of course, these are different times,” Pele said. “But the beautiful thing about football is the goals. And I take this opportunity to send a big greeting to Cristiano Ronaldo for that victory.”However, in reference to his total career goals record, the three-time World Cup winner added: “Now he has to score more than 1,283 goals!”*** Pele was speaking at a Snickers event that saw competition winners from over 20 countries come to Barcelona to play with the legend ***last_img read more