MTN-Qhubeka becomes first African team to compete in le Tour

first_imgSome of the riders on team MTN-Qhubeka. (Image: MTN-Qhubeka)The MTN-Qhubeka cycling team has made history by becoming the first African team to be invited to race in prestigious Tour de France in July. The announcement by the race organizers Amaury Sports Organisation was a dream come true for members of the African team.Five of the twenty teams that take part in the toughest road cycle race are by invitation. Other teams invited are: the German squad Bora-Argon 18, who raced in 2014 under the Netapp-Endura banner, and the French teams Cofidis, Europcar and Bretagne-Séché Environnement.MTN-Qhubeka principal, Doug Ryder, admits that he almost fainted when he received the invitation. “When I received a text message from Christian Prudhomme saying welcome to the Tour de France asking me to call him back, I simply could not contain myself, I shouted to my wife and then things started going crazy. I have been waiting my whole life for this news. The pressure over the years of getting partners and riders to believe in this dream is finally a reality.“We have so many people to thank that have been a part of this journey and I know our riders and staff will be the most motivated team in the world right now ahead of our 2nd training camp starting this weekend. We will not only ride in the Tour, we will compete and we will have the support of the whole continent behind us.”MTN-Qhubeka is supported by MTN, the telecoms company, Samsung and Qhubeka, a volunteer organisation. Qhubeka means progress and aims to help rural communities by giving bicycles to children in return for work done to improve the environment or community.A DREAM COMES TRUEAfter a seven year wait, the MTN-Qhubeka team is eyeing stage wins and a jersey at the race. Ryder said: “It’s been years of hard work and getting people to believe in this project and to believe in the potential of African cycling.“African sport has always been good, especially endurance running, and our theory was always if we can get more kids on bicycles in Africa, can you imagine how we can transform cycling because of the endurance running talent that has just been so successful over the last 30 years. For us to go to the Tour de France as the first African-registered team, that door will literally never close now.”While it is a historic moment for World and African cycling, for the MTN-Qhubeka team receiving a wild card invitation to le Tour is a dream come true for the entire MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung team,“This will be the first time an African registered team will take part in this, the biggest cycling race in the world. We are extremely proud to be able to represent South Africa and Africa on one of the biggest stages in world sport,” it said in a statement on their website.The riders will tackle 21 stages, covering 3 344km in total before the 2015 Le Tour finishes on the famous Champs Elysees on 26 July. The ASO also announced the 20 teams that will take part in the Critérium du Dauphiné and MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung are delighted to have been included in this event as well. The Critérium du Dauphiné is a World Tour event starting on the 7th of June which will be vital in their Tour de France preparation.Brian Smith, general Manager of MTN-Qhubeka, revealed to the BBC that the Nelson Mandela Foundation was keen for the team to mark Mandela Day. “They have made it clear they would like to see an African team in the Tour de France, and maybe wearing a special jersey of 67 for Mandela Day.“I feel extremely proud to be part of a bit of African cycling history. It’s been a lot of hard work from many people and today has been very emotional. This is a new chapter for MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung and we hope there will be many more chapters to come. This team is about making a difference and we are looking forward going to the Tour and making sure we make all our partners and supporters happy.”The teams riders include: Natnael Berhane, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Theo Bos, Gerald Ciolek, Steve Cummings, Nicolas Dougall, Tyler Farrar, Matthew Goss, Jacques Janse van Rensburg, and, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg to name a few.last_img read more

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Google Launches App Inventor: DIY App Creation Tool for Android

first_imgGoogle: Anyone with an Idea is Welcome HereGoogle, on the other hand, is taking an entirely different stance than Apple. Instead of locking down its App Market, barring entry to anyone but those who know how to code in the languages it specifies, Google is embracing “openness,” saying anyone with an idea is welcome here. To function, Google’s App Inventor uses the Open Blocks Java library for creating visual blocks programming languages. Open Blocks is distributed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Scheller Teacher Education Program and derives from thesis research by Ricarose Roque. It’s also closely related to the Scratch programming language – a language, notes Forrester Research principal analyst Jeffrey Hammond, that was banned on the iPhone. Yes, that may mean a bunch more “junk” applications, as TechCrunch rightly points out. But it could also mean more great applications, too. Or maybe just more of everything. Like Michael Gartenberg, partner at Altimeter Group, quipped on Twitter this morning: “…look how much damage those WYSIWYG word processors and graphics programs have done.” Damage? Like a Web where everyone can publish?Those interested in signing up for App Inventor can do so here. Tags:#Features#Google#mobile#web sarah perez Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Today Google launched “App Inventor,” a do-it-yourself mobile app creation tool that lets anyone build their own Android applications without needing to know how to program or even write a line of code. Instead, using an online interface, would-be developers visually design the app’s interface and interactions, using drag-and-drop blocks that specify what the app should look like and how it should behave. Want your app to talk to Twitter? There’s a button for that. Want your app to use text-to-speech? No problem. Use the GPS? Piece of cake. Or so says Google, who had tested the app for a year prior to launch with groups that included “sixth graders, high school girls, nursing students and university undergrads who are not computer science majors,” reports The New York Times, who broke the story this morning. See also:5 Big Questions About Google’s New App InventorDoes that list of testers sound a little odd to you? “It’s so easy a high school girl can use it!” Or a nursing student! (A profession still dominated by women, mind you.) In any event, the point The New York Times was making is that Google App Inventor is so easy anyone can use it; they just came about that point in a somewhat sexist way. Official DIY App Highlights Difference Between Apple and Google PhilosophiesBut DIY app creation tools aren’t new, nor are they unique to Google Android. However, apps like these usually exist as third-party applications, not ones that are officially launched and blessed by the company whose software they support. For example, in Apple’s ecosystem, there are a number of DIY apps that let non-developers create and submit iPhone applications to the iTunes App Store without needing to know Apple’s own development language. Last year, we profiled over a dozen of these services, ranging from the templated creations made with Sweb Apps to the more robust app builders from Appcelerator and Rhomobile. Unfortunately, third-party Apple tools are always just one step away from being knocked out of existence, thanks to Apple’s ever-changing software developer kit license. Earlier this year, Apple famously updated its terms to specify that only applications written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript would be permitted in the iTunes Store. The move was a swipe at Adobe, and the intended victim was Adobe’s Flash-to-iPhone packager, a tool that would have allowed Adobe developers to code for Apple’s platform with Flash. But in Apple’s zest to kick out Adobe, other application developers were fearful as well that they, too, would be affected. Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

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Ind vs Eng: Dhoni recalls Bell

first_imgIndia skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Sunday did what is seldom seen these days. And his move will certainly go down well with the purists who feel cricket is no longer a gentleman’s game.Ian Bell, famous for his jelly beans incident of 2007, was way past his century on third day of the second Test at Trent Bridge on Sunday, when a bizarre run out forced him to walk off.Bell was batting on 137 when his partner Eoin Morgan flicked the ball off Ishant Sharma to deep square leg where Praveen Kumar tried to save the ball.His effort was comical, but it gave India the wicket they wanted. Praveen Kumar cut the ball off, but thought that the ball had touched the ropes. However, the ball hadn’t.Praveen picked up and threw the ball back and by the time the ball arrived, the batsmen thought that it was tea and were no longer in their crease.Incidentally, the umpire hadn’t signalled a boundary or called it tea.Off came the bails and India were seen appealing for a run out even as the England batsmen were walking off.Finally, the run out call was upheld and Ian Bell was run out at tea with 137 runs against his score and England score read 254/4.Post tea India skipper MS Dhoni later decided to recall Bell.The batsman finally fell to Yuvraj Singh on 159.last_img read more

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10 months agoMan Utd chiefs believe Mourinho an obstacle to securing stars to new deals

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorChris BeattieShare the loveHave your say Man Utd chiefs believe Mourinho an obstacle to securing stars to new dealsby Chris Beattie10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United chiefs believe new contract talks with players are being held up by the presence of manager Jose Mourinho, it has been claimed.The Daily Mail says the players were given the day off after Sunday’s defeat at Liverpool, but have spoken for some time about it being a matter of when, and not if, Mourinho is sacked.The mood at the club is said to be desperate and he has almost no support left in the dressing-room.It emerged on Monday that United have triggered the 12-month extension on Anthony Martial’s contract – as they did with David de Gea last month – and are conscious that negotiations with both players over a new deal would be easier if Mourinho is no longer in charge. last_img read more

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a month agoFabinho insists Liverpool need ‘something extra’ to break title drought

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Fabinho insists Liverpool need ‘something extra’ to break title droughtby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveFabinho says Liverpool have to do “something extra” after finishing second last season with a record points total of 97.The Reds have got off to the perfect start to this term with five wins from five games.”Last season we achieved a club record number of points in the Premier League,” he told the official Liverpool FC magazine.”I think it was the third-highest points total in the history of the competition. This shows how much the level of competition is increasing.”We’re a great team but all our rivals are very strong as well, it shows that if we want to be champions we have to do something extra. “It’s not enough beating the record, sometimes we have to do even more.”We’ve focused upon this at the start of the season and started really well. I hope this run of form continues as it will help with our confidence in the forthcoming games.” last_img read more

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2 days agoLiverpool veteran Milner: We’re all delighted about Oxlade-Chamberlain return

first_imgLiverpool veteran Milner: We’re all delighted about Oxlade-Chamberlain returnby Freddie Taylor2 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveJames Milner says Liverpool are delighted about the return of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.The midfielder, who missed almost all of last season with injury, seems to be hitting his straps after a double in Wednesday’s 4-1 win over Genk.Speaking after the victory, Milner told BT Sport:”Everyone’s delighted for him. It’s the things that people don’t see behind the scenes, the hard work around the training ground.”He’s got a great strike and he’s good in those pockets. It’s great to have him back and he’s another option in that midfield, where there’s already great competition for places.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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Kirby Smart Responds To Jim Harbaugh’s “Barking Up The Wrong Tree” Tweet

first_imgA closeup of Kirby Smart in Georgia Bulldogs apparel.AUBURN, AL – NOVEMBER 11: Head coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs walks the field prior to facing the Auburn Tigers at Jordan Hare Stadium on November 11, 2017 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) kirby smart georgiaTwitter/@KirbySmartUGAAt this rate, Jim Harbaugh’s ongoing war of words with half of the college football world may last until next season. It looks like he’ll have to find another new sparring partner, however. Georgia’s Kirby Smart was critical of Michigan’s upcoming trip to IMG Academy, saying that he believes the NCAA will have to step in to stop it. That earned him a tweet from Harbaugh, who said that he was “barking up the wrong tree” with any assertion that Michigan is trying to break NCAA rules.And that is enough for Smart. When asked about Harbaugh’s response, he chose not to feed things any more. From Macon.com:“No reaction,” Smart said following an hour-long speech he gave at the Minority Coaches Association of Georgia’s football coaches conference. “To be honest with you, I’m focused on what we can do at the University of Georgia to get better. That’s the most important thing to me, getting better there.”That’s no fun, Kirby. Luckily, odds are Harbaugh will find someone else to get into it with soon enough. He’s very good at that.[Macon.com]last_img read more

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Kate Winslet returns to North Vancouver to satiate her Honeys Doughnuts cravings

first_img“I love Vancouver, I was so happy to be there and so sad to leave,” she had said on the TIFF red carpet. “Really, truly I pine for it.”READ MORE Twitter Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Login/Register With:center_img Advertisement Facebook Kate Winslet returned to North Vancouver’s Deep Cove to visit Honey’s Doughnuts. (Photo by HONEY’S DOUGHNUTS AND GOODIES) British screen star Kate Winslet just had to come back to Metro Vancouver for her true love: doughnuts.When Winslet was filming the romance-drama The Mountain Between Us in various locations around B.C. from December 2016 to February 24 of this year, she happened upon Honey’s Doughnuts located at 4373 Gallant Avenue in Metro Vancouver’s Deep Cove.At the Toronto International Film Festival in September, Winslet raved about how much she loved—nay, longed—for the doughnuts she had tried there.last_img read more

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Yukon watershed plan gets highcaliber thumbsup

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe final land use plan on Yukon’s Peel River watershed has been released.It recommends protection for 80 per cent of the last untouched wilderness area in North America.And as APTN National News reporter Shirley McLean reports, one of Canada’s most visible advocates for the wilderness is endorsing to protect the peel.last_img

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Ryan Madson And The Dodgers Are Faltering When It Matters Most

BOSTON — For the second-straight chilly night in Fenway Park, Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Ryan Madson faced one of baseball’s great psychological performance tests. And for the second-straight night, Madson failed.A pitcher, the defense, dictates the action in baseball, which makes the game unusual. Standing alone in the center of the infield, a pitcher can get in his own way — and he can single-handedly let a game get away. And for a second-straight World Series game, Madson checked both of these boxes as he couldn’t command the ball. With each miss outside the strike zone, the pressure and decibel levels increased in the cramped, 106-year-old ballpark.Madson inherited two base runners on Tuesday in Game 1 of the World Series and three on Wednesday in Game 2. All five scored. They were the decisive runs Tuesday and again Wednesday in Boston’s 4-2 victory. The Red Sox now enjoy a 2-0 lead in the series, which heads to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Friday.When Madson entered Wednesday with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, it was the most crucial point in the game. Leverage index is a stat designed to weight the importance of every plate appearance in a game as it relates to potential win expectancy swings, with an average plate appearance at a mark of 1.0. A plate appearance in a one-run game in the ninth inning has a greater leverage-index value than that of a one-run game in, say, the second inning. The leverage index of facing Steve Pearce with the bases loaded and two outs, leading by one run, was 4.17 — the highest of the game and second-highest of the series.Madson, who walked just 16 batters in 52⅔ regular-season innings, began his Game 2 outing by missing badly above the zone with his first two pitches against Pearce. The crowd roared. Red Sox fans began chanting his last name, perhaps sensing weakness. Wearing just a short-sleeve T-shirt under his game jersey, Madson jumped up and down at the back of the mound to try to warm himself in temperatures that had dipped into the low 40s, feeling colder with the wind chill. But he missed twice again above the zone to walk Pearce on five pitches, forcing in Christian Vazquez and tying the score at 2-2.“I really liked him against Pearce,” said Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts. “He’s done it time and time again for us.”Madson also entered, and faltered, in a high-leverage situation Tuesday. His first pitch in Game 1 was a wild pitch against Pearce, whom he walked on four pitches.“The ball is not going where I want it,” Madson said after the game. “It’s kind of a crapshoot with inherited runners. You can be good at it for a long time and then a bloop hit, or a walk like tonight, it’s not automatic. I don’t know if it’s mechanical or physical or emotional. There is a lot of elements going in there. You just have to regroup and start over again.”Among Dodgers pitchers, Madson has pitched four of the five highest-leverage situations through two games. The Dodgers’ best reliever, Kenley Jansen, hasn’t pitched in the series. While teams have been aggressive in employing relief pitchers this postseason, Roberts has not yet used his best reliever when there have clearly been crucial situations. Instead, a pitcher the Dodgers had claimed off waivers and traded for on Aug. 31 — who had a 5.28 ERA in Washington and a 6.48 mark in a limited sample in L.A. — got the call.1In a small sample of postseason work, Madson had been effective for Roberts entering the World Series. Madson also did strike out 13 batters in 8⅓ regular-season innings with the Dodgers .After walking Pearce on Wednesday, Madson missed with his first pitch to the following batter, J.D. Martinez, and then Madson threw a fastball that found the zone. But Martinez, hobbling on a right ankle he injured Tuesday, sliced it down the right-field line for a two-run single. Boston took a 4-2 lead that held as the final score. The leverage index of that plate appearance? 3.6. It marked the second-greatest leverage index of the game after the Pearce at bat.Madson told reporters before the game that the cold weather affected his grip in Game 1, referencing the sticky stuff that has become a sticky subject this season.“Grip is essential, obviously, in a breaking ball,” Madson said before Game 2. “And a lot of times with the cold weather, I’m not saying anybody uses anything, but if you use anything, a lot of times it’s not as effective in cold weather.“I didn’t use anything [Tuesday], but I didn’t throw any breaking balls. But [Wednesday], I’m going to make sure I’ve got what everybody uses, the essentials out there again. I didn’t think it was going to be as difficult as it was [Tuesday].”Whatever he did, Madson had a tough time again Wednesday.Interestingly, Madson’s four-seam fastball had an average spin rate of 2,289 rpms on Tuesday and 2,196 on Wednesday, and that pitch’s velocity was 95.5 mph on Tuesday and 94.8 on Wednesday — not far removed from his regular-season averages of 2,250 rpms and 95.9 mph. So while his command wavered, his underlying stuff was nearly the same.The Red Sox had no trouble with the cool conditions Wednesday as their relievers again dominated, averaging 98.4 mph on all fastballs. Starter David Price and the bullpen retired the final 16 Dodgers they faced.Price took another step toward shedding his reputation as a postseason choker after burying some of his postseason demons in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series — his first win in 12 career postseason starts. He did it by adopting a new plan, throwing his change-up at a career-high rate and shelving his cut fastball. He used a similar approach Wednesday and did not allow a hit through the first three innings. He often went in with his fastball and down and away with his changeup.He gave up two runs in the fourth but returned for a scoreless fifth — going where no starter had gone in Game 1 — and even posted a scoreless inning in the sixth.Price now has two postseason wins in his last two starts. A week ago, Price couldn’t win in the postseason. So there’s hope for Ryan Madson.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

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