Minister of State Joseph Harmon met with members of the State Asset Recovery Unit (SARU) to discussSARU Head, Dr Clive Thomas along with Minister of State Joseph Harmonmatters in relation to the Unit’s operation and the laying of the SARU Bill 2016 in the National Assembly.SARU has been operating illegally, Attorney General Basil Williams had admitted, as there is currently no legislation governing the operations being conducted by the Unit.The People’s Progressive Party/Civic Opposition had previously expressed concerns over the fact that SARU has been operating without legislation in place and that the Terms of Reference of its operations are still unknown to the public.Contacted for a comment from SARU Head, Dr Clive Thomas, Guyana Times was told that he was unavailable. During the recent meeting on Monday, SARU provided a report on all matters attracting its attention.SARU has been involved in a number of investigations, including that into Pradoville 2, Chinese Logging Company BaiShanLin, the National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited (NICIL), the granting of radio licences, among others.Meanwhile, SARU also discussed with the Minister the various challenges, progress was measured and plans/strategies were devised on the way forward.
Implementation of JRAFormer Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall, has filed contempt of court proceedings against his successor, Basil Williams, for refusing to comply with the High Court ruling which ordered that he activate the Judicial Review Act (JRA).The National Assembly had approved the Judicial Review Bill since October 2010, and it was assented to by the then President one month later. However, the Act, which allows Guyanese to seek legal remedies such as injunctions and compensation against any public official or any statutory agency, could not have been activated without the Civil Procedure Rules, which took effect in February 2017.There has since been no steps taken over the past year to implement the JudicialAttorney Anil NandlallReview Act. As such, Nandlall filed a lawsuit in May, asking the court to compel his successor to activate the law. Chief Justice Roxane George granted the request, ordering the Legal Affairs Minister to activate the Act by July 31, 2018.However, Williams, who contended that the JRA needed to be fine-tuned before implementation, turned to the Appeal Court to have the lower court ruling stayed. But Justice of Appeal Rafiq Khan last week dismissed the stay of execution application, saying that the Minister is trying to frustrate and obstruct the operationalisation of the Judicial Review Act. In addition, the State was ordered to pay $150,000 in court costs.Nandlall had since warned that if Williams continues to refuse to comply with the acting Chief Justice’s order, contempt of court proceedings would be filed against the Minister. Nandlall had also accused the Legal Affairs Minister of avoiding being served the order from the Appeal Court.In fact, in the contempt of court proceedings filed on Friday, Nandlall outlined in his grounds that since the Appeal Court decision, there have been three attempts by separate Court Marshalls to serve Williams with the order since last week’s ruling but on all occasions, they were unable to do so. In two instances, the Marshalls left the Order of Court with two employees at the Minister’s office, while on the other occasion, the court officer was told that AG Williams was in a meeting and that itLegal Affairs Minister Basil Williamswas impossible to serve him.“…The Respondent is obviously avoiding personal service and were he not avoiding personal service, this order of court would have been served upon him, personally… The Respondent has refused to comply with the said order of Chief Justice Roxane George… The Respondent’s conduct is in clear contempt of the said order of Chief Justice Roxane George and this honourable Court,” the court proceeding stated.To this end, Nandlall is asking the court for “…an order committing the Respondent to Georgetown Prisons, Camp Street, Georgetown for such period and on such terms and conditions as are just for failing to bring the Judicial Review Act Chapter 8:06, into force on or before the 31st day of July 2018, as ordered by the Honourable Madam Chief Justice Roxane George on the 28th day of May, 2018.”He is also asking for the Legal Affairs Minister be made to pay such costs as are just and to comply with any other order that the court considers necessary.This move by Nandlall comes one day after Government’s spokesperson, Minister of State Joseph Harmon, hinted that Government could be moving to a higher court to again stay the ruling which compels the Legal Affairs Minister to activate the Judicial Review Act (JRA).Harmon told reporters at the post-Cabinet press briefing on Thursday that the matter is currently before Legal Affairs Minister Basil Williams, who will then have to advise Cabinet before a decision is taken on the way forward.“There are various levels of courts, so it might very well be that the advice might be to take it to the next level. So there are various options that are there, but Cabinet will need to be advised by the Minister of Legal Affairs on the course of action to be taken,” Harmon said.The Minister of State has said the matter is expected to come up before Cabinet at its next meeting.
By Rupa SeenaraineIn the last few years, there have been continuous calls for eco-tourism to take centre stage in Guyana but the challenges faced by ranchers and eco-lodges in the savannah are far too many, especially the prevalence of fires that are deliberately set by locals.The Waikin RanchThe Waikin Ranch in Lethem, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice), entered the eco-tourism world just a few months ago but also suffered from one such fire. It has boundaries from the main Rupununi trail, the Ireng River, the Brazil border and the west and Pirara River and covers almost 33,000 acres of mostly rolling savannah plains and is a sanctuary to hundreds of wildlife.Speaking with Guyana Times during an interview, Owner of the Ranch, Victor Pires explained that these fires are deliberately set by residents from neighbouring communities to obtain food. After the flames are doused, they would return to collect the wild animals that were burnt. For the past year, there has been a noticeable increase in these deliberate fires.“What they normally set the fire for is to collect turtles. They will burn the turtles that are on the bush island or wherever and pick up cooked turtles and then they eat,” Pires explained.The aftermath of the savannah fireHe added, “The occurrences of fire are noticeably more. It’s higher this year than previous years. For one particular bush island, this is the third time in one year that it has been set alight. But when you have the heavy wind, the damage is tenfold”.Pires stated that he would have spent millions of dollars to develop the ranch and construct fences around the perimeter. Throughout the years, the wild animals were bashful, venturing into the bushes in the presence of humans. This grew to change after the population increased, resulting in human interactions with rare birds, reptiles and mammals.During the latter part of April, the flames lasted for three days due to high winds and were finally contained through combined efforts of several individuals. Pires stated that hundreds of trees were damaged along with the animals, making it the third fire in the area for the year.“That was a windy day and the fire just spread and got away. It was an inferno and I think we lost about 10 square miles of savannah and a kilometre and a half of fence. What we assume is that someone had to walk hundreds of metres after cross our fence to set this fire. Most of the animals live in the bush wherever there is greenery and protection,” the owner stated.Owner of Waikin Ranch, Victor PiresWhile this is the chief challenge, it is not the only one. The waters are often spiked with poison to extract fish until they are completely exploited.“There is a history of poisoning the water for fish, even when the ponds have already been fished and netted out. When they do these things, it doesn’t recover fast enough for the next season,” Victor explained.He added, “That same Pirara River used to have arapaima, the long-nose pink dolphin and many others because it’s part of the Amazon River but because of the heavy netting, it is not like that anymore. It is not just the Guyanese that does it, the Brazilians do so as well”.Co-owner, Francesca Pires expressed that it is very difficult to maintain these natural resources when they are constantly threatened by human actions. She stated that advocating for it to stop does not help the cause unless efforts are taken.“We want to focus more on conservation. Now that we’ve gone into tourism and we’ve placed so much investment into this ranch and the conservation, it’s just senseless and irresponsible for people to just casually set fires on someone’s lands. I mean, if you aren’t going to add value, desist from doing so,” she expressed.PreventionAccording to the ranchers, the only way to stop these fires is by prevention since fire units are miles away and cannot effectively extinguish such areas of land. It is even more challenging when the flames are influenced by high winds.“We can talk about conservation and we can talk about the green Guyana but we need to start putting some weight to that and not just lip service,” she stated.She stated that constant fires destroy the composition of the land which can result in barrenness in the near future. Adding to that, ranchers are mandated by law to construct fences around their properties but the cost to enclose thousands of acres of land is substantial and they are constantly destroyed during bushfires.It was mentioned that they are seeking to replant the area that was destroyed but this can only be done during the rainy season.Eco-tourism destinationLast March, Guyana was named number one “Best of Eco-tourism” destination in the world. The award was presented to Guyana at the ITB global travel trade fair in Berlin, Germany.The second annual “Best of Top 100” awards is a selection of the finest top 100 destinations selected by a panel of experts who review sustainability success stories submitted by destinations worldwide.The newly created “Best of Eco-tourism” category was added in 2019 and puts Guyana up against very well-known and experienced eco-tourism destinations, such as Sierra Gorda in Mexico, Tmatboey in Cambodia, and the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.
As of story publication time, there had been no comment from CUP-W, but each side in the dispute has a legal obligation, to give the other one 72 hour notice, before initiating any job action. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Despite concerns to the contrary, prior to the holiday weekend, Canada celebrated its 149th birthday without any notice of another postal service work stoppage.However, despite latest reports indicating efforts to reach a negotiated settlement are continuing there’s no indication an agreement is near at hand between Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.Spokesperson Jon Hamilton, has confirmed the Crown Corporation has rejected the latest settlement proposal from the union, which he argues would add up to more than one billion dollars in costs, which would go towards the customer.- Advertisement -That was a reference to the last contract settlement which followed a 2011 work stoppage when the post office locked out its employees after the union staged ten days of rotating strikes.It ended when the Conservative government intervened with back to work legislation but the collective agreement which followed expired on January 31st of this year.The two sides say currently the main unresolved issue, in talks which began last year, involves proposed changes to employee pension plans, and Mr. Hamilton says Canada Post must address its customer responsibility to remain competitive.Advertisement
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! IN Washington, President George W. Bush suffers repeated embarrassment over revelations that the dangers of Hurricane Katrina were predicted, but ignored. California leaders should take a lesson from his experience. Here, another predictable disaster is on the horizon, although this one is man-made. It’s pensions for public employees, which politicians have recklessly sweetened for years, knowing that the bill wouldn’t come for decades. The state’s unfunded liabilities for health and retirement costs are pegged at somewhere between $150 billion and $190 billion. And according to former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and other experts, those figures might be based on unrealistically rosy assumptions of future economic growth. A financial disaster is closing in, one that could bankrupt local governments, or at least cost taxpayers dearly. No one in Sacramento or L.A. City Hall can claim they weren’t warned. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant
At the weekend I had the pleasure of driving the Leaf, an all electric car from Nissan. The last time I tested an electric vehicle I wasn’t that impressed with it because of its very small range of around 60 miles. I came away thinking it would be grand in a city where the journey distance were short and access to recharging outlets would be plentiful. Advertisement With Nissan and their “all electric car” they have addressed the range issue and in the right conditions this car will achieve over twice the range of earlier electric cars with its state of the art powerful batteries.The sales executive at Inishowen motors Joe, a man from Meath gave me a very well informed pre-test drive talk on the Leaf. Me being a typical male, I wasn’t really listening to him. Thinking I knew all about these cars, sure it just would be like any other automatic car. Wrong.As I headed off in the Nissan, I was trying to think on what kind of people would buy an electric car? Are they really interested in the environment? Or do they think they will save loads of money on the ever increasing price of fuel?83% left of a full tank on the Nissan Leaf at the end of our Test Drive this week in Co. Donegal. Photo Brian McDaidMy leaf was 94% full to the brim. There wasn’t a sound of the electric motor in the car, all I could hear was the sound of the fan on the air conditioner so I switched it off as well just to see what’s it like to travel in complete silence. Advertisement It reminds me of a story told about the residents at the bottom of Convent Rd in Letterkenny years ago, who lived beside the towns old power generator. When the ESB arrived in Letterkenny as part of the rural electrification they took over the premises in Letterkenny as they connected Letterkenny up to the national power grid and removed the old generator at the site on the Convent Rd.One would think that the locals welcomed the silence when the big generators were turned off. It was the complete opposite and were unable to sleep at night because it was too quiet without the noise of the generator rumbling through the night.My journey down through the Bullock Park reminds me of flying, with every bump in the road feeling like a small pocket of turbulence in the air.I thought to look at the two headlight units sticking up on the front of the car that Nissan didn’t make a good job of them in the wind tunnel. I was to learn that their shape mimics the two wing mirrors further down the cars body, so the airflow is shaped like them before it hits them so to keep the aerodynamics at its most efficient.Even underneath the Nissan Leaf because it doesn’t have an exhaust system the floor panels of the car are also aerodynamic friendly.It’s not only the feeling of silence that makes you think you’re gliding above the ground, also the way you start to reconsider your journeys make you very similar to that of a captain of your flight. Onboard the Nissan Leaf the Sat Nav has relative information of your surrounding area of things you need to know.The four public power outlets in Letterkeny on the sat nav of our Nissan Leaf which also indicate if the points are in use by another customer or not. Photo Brian McDaidHeading into Letterkenny, the map on the dash shows you not only where the public refueling power supplies are located but also will show you if someone is using them so you can plan which one to go to.Our Nissan Leaf pictured at one of the E car Charge Points in Letterkenny which is supplied by the ESB. Photo Brian Mc DaidTry as I might on the day that I had the car out I couldn’t flatten the batteries quick enough to take it to one of the power points and fill it up. I used only 14% of the battery in three hours running around Letterkenny in the heaviest of Friday evening traffic jams.I suppose what’s confusing about an electric car compared to its petrol or diesel cousins is that the bigger the traffic jam the more it’s benefit you will have in the leaf, because it’s not sitting idling burning up fuel when the traffic is stopped, so it’s ideal for Letterkenny in its present state. Home Comforts Once you realise that the Nissan Leaf is far better than you ever imagined it to be as far as the range of the battery which will be exactly what it says on the tin, not like some petrol or diesel cars that I have drove which will give you a very high end of range fuel tank reading one minute the to turn to a flashing orange petrol light the next minute.The Leaf is looking at the bigger picture all the time.From the comfort of your phone in your home or at your desk at work you could charge , your car , plan your journey , even on a cold frosty morning you could defrost and heat your car from the comfort of your phone. On ordinary cars the engine has to heat up before the heating system in your car has a source to heat and clear the interior of a family car.In the Leaf this is all done electrically. If you add to that the comfort of heated seats and heated steering wheel on the Leaf that we drove, the sheer comfort in this car on a frozen day in February was not a worry. On a warm sunny day that car also can be cooled from the comfort of the phone, through the car climate control system,The Electric Motor on the Nissan Leaf which is both powerful and efficient to suit the needs of every driver. Photo Brian McDaidNissan LEAF is the first mass-produced vehicle in the world to employ a heat-pump cabin heater.Petrol vehicles re-use engine exhaust heat to provide the warm air for the functions of the heater. An Electric Vehicle however, does not have this heat source to recycle and so uses its general power for cabin heating.Don’t ask me how this works bacause i haven’t a clue, but it does and work so well on the Nissan Leaf to heat the cabin of the car in no timeConventional air-conditioning systems used an electrical heater, but since the use of the heater directly relates to power consumption, actual driving range was significantly reduced.A heat-pump system, meanwhile, heats the cabin using the temperature difference between a refrigerant and the outside air, obtaining a heating effect other than consuming electricity, and making it possible to heat the car cabin with less power than conventionally.The Nissan Leaf has a couple of different driving modes all of which will cater for the different types of driver of this electric car. The powerful electric motor can match the best of the rest away from the traffic lights because the power is there right away, but full power on tap will use your supply up quicker.The car also has a ECO mode which will restrict the power and give your power supply more miles on the road. The car also can be set in a drive mode that can extract a recharge when the car is going down a hill , all in all Nissan have produced a great car to move away from burning fuel to get from A to B using the cleaner electricity of the future in the process.Happy motoring folks.DD Motoring: The electrifying Nissan Leaf was last modified: February 15th, 2017 by Brian McDaidShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:brian mc daidelectric carmotoringnissan leaf
A Ballybofey woman has been released on two separate bail bonds to appear at courts in Monaghan and Donegal.Sharon Sweeney of 64 Blue Cedars in Ballybofey was arrested on Friday morning at Ballybofey Garda Station after appearing by arrangement. Sweeney is facing five separate theft charges arising out of alleged incidents in Ballybofey and Ballybay, County Monaghan.Sweeney is to appear on April 25 at Carrickmacross District Court and on June 18 at Letterkenny District Court.Judge Paul Kelly granted bail and Sweeney was released on her own bond of €100.Ballybofey woman on five theft charges released on bail was last modified: April 14th, 2018 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BallybayBallybofeyCarrickmacross District CourtJudge Paul KellyLetterkenny District CourtSharon Sweeney
BETTY HOLMESON SATURDAY as part of an awareness raising programme surrounding head, neck and mouth cancers, 10 members of Dublin Dental University Hospital’s bike club, the ‘Molar Rollers’, will cycle the 149 miles / 240 km from Dublin to Letterkenny in aid of Donegal Action for Cancer Care.The 10 members of The “Molar Rollers” will leave tomorrow morning from Dublin Dental Hospital.On their journey they will stop overnight in Monaghan and continue their journey to Donegal on Sunday arriving at the Mount Errigal Hotel Letterkenny at approx. 4pm. “It is a very busy weekend in Donegal but DACC hope that people will come out to welcome the 10 cyclists when they arrive at the Mount Errigal Hotel,” said Betty Holmes from DACC.“Please let’s ensure they get a true Donegal welcome remembering that they through their own work & voluntary cycles support Donegal cancer patients,” she added.Such is the importance of raising awareness surrounding head, neck and mouth cancers, members of Dublin Dental University Hospital’s bike club, ‘Molar Rollers’, wish to ensure that Donegal is included.The “Molar Rollers” have supported DACC in the past having made a donation of €5000 a few years back. DACC felt encouraged to continue with their voluntary work for Donegal cancer patients when their work was recognised by the Dublin Dental University Hospital & the Molar Rollers. By funding such projects, the Dublin Dental University Hospital hopes to reduce the incidence of oral cancer by promoting its early detection, diagnosis and treatment. In addition to raising professional and public awareness of cancer issues, the team also hopes to influence health-policy makers to continue to improve the delivery of cancer services in Ireland.Mouth, head and neck cancers are largely preventable as the two major risk factors are consumption of tobacco and alcohol. Early diagnosis and treatment could save lives and people are being actively encouraged to contact their dentist or doctor if they have any concerns in this regard, whether now or in the future.The money raised by the Molar Rollers is of great benefit to the head, neck and mouth cancer causes and is used to fund a variety projects, which will be assessed by a board of trustees chaired by Mr John Hammond who will, in turn, agree and monitor the distribution of funds All dentists at Dublin Dental University Hospital are trained to detect mouth cancer through an examination of the oral cavity – in fact the vast majority of patients with potentially malignant lesions are referred to the hospital by dentist and doctors alike.Mouth, head and neck cancers are largely preventable as the two major risk factors are consumption of tobacco and alcohol. Early diagnosis and treatment could save lives and people are being actively encouraged to contact their dentist or doctor if they have any concerns in this regard, whether now or in the future.Please come out and welcome the “Molar Rollers” Donations to this great effort can be made on http://www.mycharity.ie/charity_fundraiser_list.php?charityID=709MOLAR ROLLERS HIT THE ROAD FOR DONEGAL ACTION FOR CANCER CARE was last modified: May 30th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Google Inc. took a step toward challenging Microsoft Corp.’s dominance of computer software with the announcement Tuesday of a collaboration agreement with Sun Microsystems Inc. The move could lead to Google offering next-generation word processing, spreadsheet and collaboration tools that would take on Microsoft’s industry-leading Office suite of software. As part of the agreement, Sun will offer Google’s search toolbar with downloads of its free Java software, which is required to run a variety of Web-based applications and works with multiple operating systems. The two companies, which did not disclose terms of the deal, said they also agreed “to explore opportunities to promote” other Sun technologies, including the freely available OpenOffice. The deal could boost the fortunes of programs that work on multiple operating systems, eating into Microsoft’s profits from its dominant Windows computing environments. Increasingly, many of the applications that computer users value most – such as news and weather tickers – run as Web services independent of the operating systems on their computers. Java is a backbone of those Web services, along with Microsoft’s .NET architecture. Since it was launched a decade ago, Java has been used to power Web-based applications, stand-alone programs, cell phones and other gadgets across a variety of computer operating systems. Under the deal, the Google Toolbar will be offered to users as they download the Java Runtime Environment. Eventually, the Java component could be offered to users who download the free toolbar, which provides quick access to Google search, spell checking and a blocker for pop-up ads. Schmidt said the deal opens the possibility of additional collaboration. “Google and Java are two of the most widely recognized technology brands because they provide users with online tools that enhance their lives on a day-to-day basis,” he said. “We look forward to exploring other areas of collaboration.” Though Sun is best known as a server maker – Schmidt and McNealy hinted that Google might be buying Sun hardware – it also develops the Solaris operating system and Java. A key component of Sun’s decade-old Java, its application-running platform, was the source of one of many rifts between Microsoft and Sun over the years. Sun first sued the world’s top software maker in 1997, saying the Redmond, Wash., company rewrote elements of Java specific to Windows. Later, Microsoft said it would yank Java entirely from its ubiquitous software. The wrangling ended in spring 2004, when the companies surprised the world with a $1.95 billion settlement and 10-year collaboration agreement. On Tuesday, McNealy declined to comment on how the Google partnership might impact its deal with Microsoft. Both Sun and Google share the common root of Stanford University. Sun was founded at Stanford in the 1980s, while Google got its start there in the 1990s. Schmidt was a 14-year Sun employee before leaving for Novell Inc. And one of Sun’s co-founders, Andy Bechtolsheim, gave Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin $100,000 in 1998 to incorporate their young search company. Venture capitalist John Doerr sits on the boards of both companies. “It’s a natural for these two companies to work well together,” McNealy said. Though Sun has only recently started to show signs of recovery following the tech bust of 2000-01, Google’s fortunes have steadily risen. Though best known as an Internet search engine, it now offers free e-mail, maps, instant messaging and video. Last week, Google announced it would bid on a project to provide Wi-Fi to San Francisco. Shares of Sun rose 3 cents, to $4.22, in Tuesday trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market, while Google lost $5.23, or 1.6 percent, dropping to $313.45. Shares of Microsoft lost 56 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $24.94. AP Business Writers Michael Liedtke in San Francisco and Allison Linn in Seattle contributed to this report. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 OpenOffice, an offshoot of Sun’s StarOffice, is a leading challenger to Microsoft’s ubiquitous Office suite, a major cash cow for the world’s largest software company. Both offer a word processor and spreadsheet among other applications. “OpenOffice is already an alternative, but if Google gets involved in supporting it, that could be the thing that puts it over the top,” said Forrester Research analyst John R. Rymer. Neither Sun CEO Scott McNealy nor Eric Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, would offer details on when or how Google might distribute Sun’s software. Both said the Google toolbar option for Java downloads is just a first step in a significant agreement. “You can speculate all day long about all the different ways we can go and work together,” McNealy said. “They’re all legitimate speculation. We only want to talk about what we’re talking about here now … we expect more.” Microsoft did not immediately comment.
18 December 2013South African cycling enjoyed an excellent year in 2013. Daryl Impey became the first South African in the 100 year history of the Tour de France to pull on the famous yellow jersey, while South African educated Chris Froome won the Tour. In mountain biking, Greg Minnaar won a third downhill World Championship title, this time in his home town of Pietermaritzburg.Tour de France yellow jerseyDaryl Impey, riding for Oreca-GreenEdge, showed up strongly in the opening week of the Tour de France, helping his team-mate Simon Gerrans into the famous yellow jersey. Then, on 4 July in Montpellier, where Robbie Hunter had won a stage of the Tour de France six years earlier, Impey’s hard work to lead out Matt Goss was rewarded when he took over the race lead from Gerrans.“If you told me that I would experience this moment in my life, I would tell you you were lying,” Impey said in an interview after the stage.“It’s a dream come true, a magical moment. It’s a big day for South African and African cycling. This is a special day.”Impey held the jersey for two days before Chris Froome won the eighth stage and with it the yellow jersey, which he did not relinquish the rest of the way to Paris.Tour de France championWith Froome not only having been educated in South Africa, but also having begun his professional cycling career in the country, it was another big moment for South African cycling.Robbie Hunter retired from professional cycling in 2013, but not before he had won the inaugural Mzansi Tour. He showed his class and experience to take the overall victory by almost six minutes, thanks mostly to a solo breakaway on the second stage.UCI MTB Masters World ChampionshipsThe UCI MTB and Trials World Championships, which were preceded by the UCI MTB Masters World Championships were held on the African continent for the first time when Pietermaritzburg served as the host city in August and September.South African competitors shone in the Masters World Champs, claiming 10 gold, eight silver and 10 bronze medals.Nico Pfitzenmaier, Paul Furbank and Linus Van Onselen won gold in their age groups in the cross-country, while Nedene Cahill, Geneveive Weber and Natalie Bergstrom did the trick in the women’s competition.In the downhill, Chris Nixon, Myles Kelsey and course designer Nigel Hicks came away with gold medals, while Rike Olivier added a further gold in the women’s downhill.UCI MTB World ChampionshipsThe UCI MTB and Trials World Champs followed on from the Masters Worlds and there was intense pressure on Greg Minnaar, in his home town, to defend the title. In three previous World Cup events at the Cascades MTB Park, he had twice won and finished second on the other occasions, so the expectations were huge that he could win the sought after rainbow-striped jersey in front of a patriotic South African crowd.While riders from other countries picked up medals in the cross-country, trials and cross-country eliminator events, there was still a feeling among South African fans that their time would come on the final day of competition, when Minnaar would blast down the mountain in the downhill. He did not disappoint.Wild celebrationsGoing down third last, Minnaar led at the first split, but by the second split he trailed Australia’s Mick Hannah. With a massive crowd urging him on, he powered to the finish, sustaining a puncture, but keeping his head down, to better Hannah’s leading time by four-tenths of a second. The crowd erupted in cheers, but there were still two riders to come down the hill. Neither could match Minnaar and a wild celebration followed as the result he and his supporters had so wanted was achieved.Minnaar’s third World Championship title matched his three overall World Cup titles and confirmed his standing as one of the all-time greats of the sport.Burry Stander’s passingOn a sad note, South Africa should have had a strong challenger for the men’s cross-country title, but Burry Stander, second in the World Cup in Pietermaritzburg in 2012, was tragically killed in an accident while training early in January. His loss stunned the South African and international mountain biking communities.The former under-23 world champion was a much-loved and respected figure and his passing was observed by the establishment of a commemorative garden at the Cascades MTB Park in his remembrance, which was officially opened during the World Championships.Following Stander’s passing, his Team Specialized team-mate and Olympic cross- country champion Jaroslav Kulhavy teamed up with the South African’s regular Absa Cape Epic partner Christoph Sauser to win the Epic in Stander’s memory.World Championships silver medalAt the end of September, at the UCI World Championships in Florence, Louis Meintjies starred in the under-23 road race. He claimed the silver medal, finishing just three seconds behind the winner, and clear of the chasing peleton.Meintjies races professionally with Team MTN-Qhubeka, the first ever Professional Continental cycling team from South Africa, which made a big splash in its first season in those ranks.Memorable winMost memorably, Gerald Ciolek scored the team’s biggest win of the season in March when he overcame snow and rain to capture the Milan-San Remo Classic ahead of Peter Sagan and Fabian Cancellara. That victory announced MTN-Qhubeka as a team to be respected.“When Gerald won the Milan-San Remo, we were on the front page of La Gazzetta della Sport, Italy’s biggest sports newspaper. We were on the front page of Het Nieuwsblad in Belgium. We were in the Korean Times in Korea. It was phenomenal,” Team Principal Douglas Ryder said in an interview with SAinfo.South African-based Team Bonitas made history when they appointed Luthando Kaka their team captain in August, making him the first black South African to lead a professional cycling team.Ashleigh Moolman PasioAshleigh Moolman Pasio flew the women’s flag high. She achieved a first ever podium finish for a South African road cyclist in the UCI World Cup at the prestigious La Fleche Wallonne Feminine in Belgium, won the Boels Rental Hills Classic in The Netherlands, and finished a career high eighth in the Giro d’Italia Femminile, recognised as the toughest women’s stage race in the world.At home, early in the year, she confirmed her dominance by winning national titles in both the road race and time trial. Towards the end of the year she repeated the feat at the African Continental Championships.Para-cyclingSouth African para-cyclists excelled at World Cup events and at the Para-cycling Road World Championships in Canada, where Ernst van Dyk won two silver medals. Other top performers during the World Cup season included T1 tricyclist George Rex, C4 cyclist Roxy Burns and H2 cyclist Justine Asher.