McLean masters Transalp MTB stage race

first_img30 July 2014South Africa’s Andrew McLean and his Austrian teammate, Heinz Zorweg, claimed a dominant category victory and finished 20th overall at the 17th annual Bike Transalp international mountain bike stage race in Europe on the weekend.McLean teamed up with Zorweg for the seven-day 587km race from Oberammergau, Germany to Riva del Garda, Italy across the Alps mountain range.Led from start to finishCompeting in the Grand Master division (50 years and over), McLean and Zorweg led their age category from start to finish, claiming six stage wins in the process. But it’s their 20th place overall in a classy international field of full-time professional racers that impressed most.The race included a total of 19 227 metres of vertical ascent, making it one of the toughest climbing events in bicycle racing. Torrential rain on two stages made conditions even more challenging, while a stomach bug on day five reduced Zorweg to survival mode for the 100km leg with 2800 metres of climbing.‘That was tough!’“That was tough! There was a lot of climbing. Huge climbs compared to what we have in South Africa. We had hard rain, cold and heat throughout the event, so it was a real all-round challenge,” McLean said afterwards.“Heinz had two bad days, stage two, where he struggled with the cold and rain that we weren’t exactly prepared for in terms of clothing choice, and stage five, where he was ill. But he’s so tough and just kept soldiering on. He’s an incredible athlete.“I struggled a bit on some of the steep, technical descents. I wasn’t expecting such difficult downhill sections and had to go slow and walk some bits. The general skill level among riders in Europe is a lot higher than the level in South Africa, but it makes for a very complete mountain biking challenge,” he added.Dominant Absa Cape Epic winThe victory is the second long stage race win for McLean and Zorweg in 2014. The pair raced to a dominant Grand Masters Category title at the Absa Cape Epic in March, where they also placed a remarkable 15th overall.The German pairing of Jochen Kaess and Markus Kaufmann of Team Centurion Vaude, who briefly led the 2014 Absa Cape Epic before dropping to 10th place, won the Bike Transalp title overall for the second year in succession.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Gays parade their pride in Delhi’s heart

first_imgTheir faces were unmasked.And the pride was stronger than ever.The third edition of the gay pride parade – the first after consensual homosexual relationships were decriminalised in the country – in the Capital on Sunday was an unusual display of confidence by the lesbian-gaybisexual-transgender (LGTB) community.Clad in rainbow colours and dancing to the sound of drums, the gathering marched from Barakhamba Road to Jantar Mantar in Central Delhi with a different inclination.This time, they were celebrating their sexuality as against the previous years when they marched to assert their rights and protest against the criminalisation of samesex relationship.In July, last year, the Delhi High Court passed a landmark judgment revoking the controversial Section 377 of the Indian penal code that criminalised same-sex relationship.”I do not know or care about how social acceptance has changed after the high court verdict. But yes, I have changed. I feel more confident and I know that I am not doing anything wrong since the law of the land does not have a problem with it,” said Pooja (18), a student who wished to be identified just by her first name.”The judgment was a clarion call and asserted what we have been fighting for years now. But, I am a little disappointed by the turnout at the parade. I expected more to turn up to celebrate the anniversary,” said Vineet Trikha (30), a communication trainee who was there at the parade.The strongest evidence of the (slow but sure) change in the attitude of society towards the LGTB community was the presence of family members at the parade.advertisementWhile some made a proud proclamation of their support to their homosexual members of the family, others chose to stay on the sidelines and do the same tacitly.”My grandson is gay and he has the right to live his life the way he wants. I am an educated woman and I absolutely have no problem with it,” said Rani Sharma (65), who accompanied her grandson Sambhav Kumar Sharma to the parade and sported a placard making proud proclamation of his sexuality.”There was an initial shock. But he is a good boy and we have eventually come to accept this. Though our relatives still don’t know, I am here to support my child and his participation in the parade. I wasn’t here last year and I’ve come at my wife’s behest,” said a 45-year-old father on condition of anonymity.last_img read more

Overthetop video revenues in Asia Pacific are se

first_imgOver-the-top video revenues in Asia Pacific are set to triple between 2016 and 2022, driven largely by growth in China, according to Digital TV Research.The Asia Pacific OTT TV and Video Forecasts report claims that OTT revenues from TV episodes and movies will climb from US$8.27 billion in 2016 to US$24.4 billion in 2022 – with a nearly US$3 billion increase expected in 2017 alone.China is expected to be responsible for half the OTT revenues in the 22 countries covered in the report by 2022, up from just over a third of revenues in 2016.“China and Japan together will account for two-thirds of the region’s total revenues by 2022,” according to the research.The OTT market in Asia Pacific is roughly split between advertising-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) and subscription VOD (SVOD).“SVOD will be the leader in 2017 and 2018, but AVOD will regain the crown from 2019. China will supply 61% of the region’s AVOD revenues by 2022 – or US$7.27 billion,” said the report.Overall, Asia Pacific SVOD revenues are tipped to climb from US$3.39 billion in 2016 to $9.09 billion in 2022, with China set to overtake Japan to become the SVOD revenue leader this year.Digital TV Research estimates there will be 234 million SVOD subscribers in the region by 2022, up from 91 million in 2016.China is expected to have 139 million SVOD subscribers in 2022, equating to roughly 59% of the region’s total.India and Japan will together account for another 50 million, leaving the remaining 44 million subscribers to be divided among the remaining 19 countries.last_img read more