30 April 2014The sixth edition of the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike stage race is set to be the best yet in the history of the event, which has been accorded UCI status by world cycling’s governing body.The event’s elevated status means it will attract more big-name professionals when it takes place from 12 to 18 October. As a UCI-graded race, standards relating to the racing end of the field, including the amount of prize money amount and depth, as well the awarding of UCI rankings points to top finishers, is assured.DistanceCovering 550 kilometres in seven days and taking in three different eco-regions of South Africa’s Western Cape province – the Great Karoo, the Klein Karoo and the Garden Route – the event includes the richest single stage in all of mountain bike racing.Although the route for the 2014 edition of the race is set to be announced by the end of next month only, it will still include the event’s trademark mountaintop finish of stage two, the Queen Stage, which will see the riders ascend the formidable, majestic Swartberg Pass.Equal prize moneyThis will be the first year that the first women’s team to the summit finish will receive the same prize money as the men.Bridge, the event’s title sponsor, has committed a total of R250 000 (about $25 000) to the stage, with the first men’s and women’s teams each receiving R125 000 (about $12 500).‘Absolutely delighted’“I’m absolutely delighted about the news of the equal prize money on the big mountain-top finish stage,” said Swiss marathon champion, Ariane Kleinhans, who, with RECM teammate Anika Langvad, won the event’s Queen Stage and the women’s race overall in 2013, said in a statement.“It is a demonstration of the organisers’ respect towards us ladies’ performances and their motivation to increase female participation in our great sport. Equal prize money will attract more top riders to the race and push us to a higher level. Us ladies will definitely do our best to make it an exciting race,” she added.‘Even more rider-focusedCarel Herholdt of Dryland Event Management, the company that founded and manages the event, commented: “Each year we fine-tune the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek to be even more rider-focused,” said Carel Herholdt of Dryland Event Management, the company that founded and manages the event.“At the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek, our focus is on quality, not quantity. Our stages aren’t long just for the sake it. They’re designed to offer as much reward as they offer challenges. They’re real mountain-biking routes that include some of the Karoo and Klein Karoo’s greatest natural spectacles.”SAinfo reporter
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday kickstarted a drive to enrol nearly one crore new members into the party in the run up to the upcoming Assembly elections in October. Senior leaders present during the launch said the party is set to rule for the next 25 years with a strong member base and would receive 50% votes in Maharashtra in the next elections. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the party once strengthened would go on to scrap Article 370, which gives special powers to Kashmir, within the next five years. Other senior BJP leaders present on the occasion said they had already achieved 25 lakh of the the one crore target in a previous drive launched before the Lok Sabha polls. About 18 lakh of those members have already been verified. “The total voters for Lok Sabha polls were 5.5 crore. If we register 1 crore families, we will secure half of State’s vote share (2.5 crore). Our ambition to achieve the 50% target of vote share will give us a sound base for the future,” said Mr Fadnavis said adding that Kashmir is an integral part of the India and about time it is fully made part of the country. Former cabinet minister and senior BJP leader Suresh Prabhu said the party is set to rule the country for the next 25 years. Mr. Fadnavis used the occasion to enlist the achievements of his government, including Metro works worth ₹1.10 lakh crores and development of Dharavi slums. “I request all workers to participate in this induction drive with full heart. Amitbhai Shah (party president) has also directed workers to participate in a plantation drive and other measures to help party secure a second term in Maharashtra ,” Mr Fadnavis said. “We will come back to power again in Maharashtra and win by a record margin,” he asserted.