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Tough, technical and beautiful MTB Marathon Worlds course awaits

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Pietermaritzburg – The buzz ahead of the 2014 UCI MTB Marathon World Championships continues to build in KwaZulu-Natal’s capital as course designer Nick Floros and his team make the final tweaks to the widely anticipated route for of the global showcase.

Floros and his team are hard at work as they look to wrap things up ahead of the SA MTB Marathon Championships on 7 and 8 June, which will serve as an ideal dry-run for the internationally renowned designer’s creation.

“We’ve been working on the course a lot over the past couple of weeks as we look to get things into shape ahead of SA Champs. We are trying our hardest to ensure the full Worlds course is what is used at SA Champs,” explained Floros.

“This has been one of the toughest courses I’ve had to put together because it goes through so many different properties however it really will be a fantastic course with such great diversity, features and views!” he added.

Starting and finishing at Cascades MTB Park, the course is split into two sections. A 74km first loop and a 21km second loop.

The global spectacle’s men’s race will see participants tackle both loops while the women’s title will be decided over the first 74km only.

“This is a World Championships and so the standard of the course is obviously at this sort of technical level,” said Floros.

“The 95km route includes 3300m of climbing in total and the nature of the climbing, being short and sharp, tends to eat into your legs.

“Those who aren’t right on top of their game may be okay in the first loop but they’ll really struggle in the 21km loop!” he warned.

The 74km loop takes riders through numerous different ecosystems with the game reserve stretches already being of particular interest.

“The first sector of the 74km loop is a 7km stretch through Cascades’ forests and will see riders tackle some forest track, a couple of shortish stretches of single track and one or two sharp climbs before they head up to feed/tech zone one

“The forest track allows riders to overtake before they head into the single track stretches while the climbs will see riders jostling for position.

A visit to Queen Elizabeth Park is riders’ first game experience of the route before the tough climb up to the Mount Verde estate.

“The first climb isn’t steep but the steady gradient will be a good challenge,” said Floros. “The second feed/tech zone is inside Mount Verde before a playful descent should entertain the guys and girls a bit.”

“After feed/tech zone three riders head towards Hilton College where the Hilton College Nature Reserve trails offer some typical South African game trail riding.

“We’ve had to do very little to these trails as they are used daily by the animals of the reserve!”

Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve represents yet another standout feature of the course with spectacular views and a potentially race-defining climb on the cards.

“Riders will climb for 20 to 25 minutes on a wide open road so there’s nothing technical about it but it will definitely allow the bigger guys to get into a bit of a rhythm!

The return journey towards Cascades contours along Otto’s Bluff before some single track, farm roads and forest track return riders to Mt. Verde.

“The views from Mount Verde of the city of Pietermaritzburg, Albert Falls Dam and the Greytown/New Hanover area are incredible!

“Riders then head through the start gate of the World Cup downhill course, do a loop of the Hilltop trail before heading past the Umgeni Water waterworks, onto Warwick Road and through the final feed/tech zone of the first loop.

A dash down through Cascades’ forests will be fast and furious, particularly for the women who then head for the finish line at the bottom of the hill.

For the men, once through the start/finish arch, the second loop has a strong cross country feel to it with numerous descents, none longer than 1000 metres, and frequent short, sharp climbs.

“English Road single track – from last year’s Masters World Champs – Forgotten Trail, Muzzlehouts, Fast and Fluffy single track, Bandits Bend, Vandals Valley and Growing Parks are just some of the many features of this short, testing second loop.

“A final 1.5km stretch of road then heads into a short single track section and the finish straight where it will be flat out the whole way until the finish line!” added Floros.

The UCI MTB Marathon World Championships takes place at the Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on29 June 2014. More information can be found at www.mtbworldchamps.co.za 

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I heart Market moves to Ballito’s Sugar Rush Park

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In time for the Festive Season KZN’s much-loved I heart Market makes a new permanent home up the North Coast at popular family entertainment venue – Sugar Rush Park in Ballito – with the season dates confirmed for 3, 10, 17 December 2022 and 7 January 2023 from 08:30 to 14:00.

Situated next to Collisheen Estate, Sugar Rush Park is a hive of family-friendly activities. It serves as an activity hub and the base for Holla Trails – a network of biking, running or walking trails that go through the sugar cane fields.

Sugar Rush Park, also has a restaurant -Food Fundi, a kids’ play area, mini-train, the Ndlondlo reptile park, The Jump Park, the Tree Trails obstacle course and Park Run every Saturday morning.

Anna Savage, the market’s owner /manager explains the move, “The I heart Market is a local business hub, and our business is based on the success of small business enterprises. We have an obligation to provide the best sales opportunity for our traders and at the same time create a relaxed, fun day out for everyone.”

“As a result, we have made a  bold decision to move to Ballito, as we needed to find a venue that could provide us with the security of a long-term lease, and a vibrant well-kept venue that has additional family-friendly activities that our customers can enjoy. We have found the perfect venue at Sugar Rush Park. We realize that this move is a big jump in terms of location and that it may be far for some of our regular customers. But we can guarantee a great day out to those who can travel north, and make  a day of it by taking advantage of the other activities available.”

The I heart Market has a reputation for supporting artisanal crafters, artists, and traders, offering fine, handmade goods that include jewellery, accessories, leather goods, ceramics, visual arts, décor, clothing, deli foods bakery goods including breads, pastries, cookies and cakes, and a delicious range of eat in foods. Echoing the market’s name, the goods on offer are made with love, dedication to the craft, and personal integrity.

“Sugar Rush Park is excited to welcome the I heart Market to our activity hub. Celebrating and supporting small creative local businesses is vital to the local economy and has a special role to play post covid.  We invite our customers and Ballito locals to support this initiative and enjoy the fine products.” Nick Jordan, partner at Sugar Rush.

According to Anna Savage, the market will continue to trade throughout the year on the first Saturday of every month. There is secure parking and entrance is free.

For more information, or to enquire about possible trading contact info@iheartmkt.com

 

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Best University in South Africa

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Best University in South Africa According to Center for World University Rankings

The best university in South Africa for 2012-2022 was declared by The Center for World University Rankings (CWUR). CWUR publishes the only academic ranking of global universities that assesses the quality of education, alumni employment, quality of faculty, and research performance without relying on surveys and university data submissions.

Top 12 South African Universities

National Rank World Rank University Quality of Education Rank Alumni Employment Rank Research Performance Rank Overall Score
1 269 UCT 180 260 252 77.3
2 292 Wits 190 98 329 76.9
3 435 Stellies 187 455 74.9
4 483 UKZN 491 375 480 74.3
5 580 UP Tuks 778 548 73.3
6 674 UJ 1035 642 72.5
7 924 NWU 879 70.7
8 1163 UFS 1107 69.3
9 1239 UWC 1175 68.9
10 1313 Rhodes 375 900 1269 68.5
11 1416 UNISA 955 1351 68.1
12 1631 NMU 1279 1559 67.1

Center for World University Rankings Methodology

CWUR uses seven objective and robust indicators grouped into four areas to rank the world’s universities:

  1. Quality of Education, measured by the number of a university’s alumni who have won major academic distinctions relative to the university’s size (25%)
  2. Alumni Employment, measured by the number of a university’s alumni who have held top executive positions at the world’s largest companies relative to the university’s size (25%)
  3. Quality of Faculty, measured by the number of faculty members who have won major academic distinctions (10%)
  4. Research Performance:
    1. Research Output, measured by the total number of research papers (10%)
    2. High-Quality Publications, measured by the number of research papers appearing in top-tier journals (10%)
    3. Influence, measured by the number of research papers appearing in highly-influential journals (10%)
    4. Citations, measured by the number of highly-cited research papers (10%)

Article shared from CWUR Website

Best University in South Africa’s Websites:

UCT – University of Cape Town

University Websites:

UCT – University of Cape Town
Wits – University of Witwatersrand
Stellies – Stellenbosch University
UKZN – University of KwaZulu-Natal
UP Tuks – University of Pretoria
UJ – University of Johannesburg
NWU – North-West University
UFS – University of Free State
UWC – University of Western Cape
Rhodes – Rhodes University
UNISA – University of South Africa
NMU – Nelson Mandela University

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Introducing Salta Sibaya

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The Devmco Group have worked on their latest innovation that aims to transform the Sibaya Coastal Precinct’s landscape from normal to extraordinary with a never-before-seen seaside neighbourhood, Salta Sibaya, which proudly sits above Umdloti and forms part of the precinct holistic development plan.

Salta Sibaya will set the precedent for how South Africans will live in the future within a vibrant mixed-use development. The developers pushed the boundaries in providing a bespoke retail and commercial element that is within walking distance of homes. As the future home to Spar, Tops, Woolworths and Pump Track, Salta Sibaya will have a myriad of shopping experiences on its doorstep.

The new central business district, with a culmination of some of South Africa’s much-loved brands finding their home in the dynamic commercial sector.

“When we embarked on this project, our vision was to take the Sibaya lifestyle to the next level by creating a dynamic mixed-use development, where residents live moments away from their workplace allowing them to spend more time on life’s pleasures; braais with family, trail walks throughout the conservancy and estate while enjoying breath-taking views. Salta Sibaya gives you a variety of residential opportunities, with a choice of spacious, pet-friendly, freestanding coastal homes starting from R2.95 million, perfect for those who wish to semigrate to KZN,” shares Devmco Group Director, Charles Thompson.

Choose a double storey or single-story piece of land and build your coastal family home or invest in one of the turn-key home designs.
The homes range between 2-bedroom homes from R2 950 000, 3-bedroom homes from R3 300 000, and 4-bedroom homes from R3 900 000.

For more information, visit www.saltasibaya.co.za

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