Month: July 2021

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Nearly a third (31%) of respondents said they were more likely to get around by bike if more cycle lanes were separated from traffic on busy roads. Over a third (33%) said the dangers to cyclists discourage them from hopping on their bikes more.

In a separate YouGov poll of 959 adults in nine major UK cities, 54% said they support additional investment in making local cycling routes safer, even if it meant decreased spending for the benefit of other road users.

Politicians, in particular, should pay attention to the results: in the larger poll, 27% said they would have a more positive opinion of an electoral candidate who campaigned for cycling – a sentiment echoed by 47% of respondents in the second survey.

“Being able to get about by bike has become a serious issue for the British voter; candidates looking for success in the coming general election would do right to recognise this,” said Claire Francis, Head of Campaigns at active travel charity Sustrans, which commissioned the main survey.

“Despite these new figures, the Infrastructure Bill, which the government hopes to make law by March, is set to deliver the biggest shake up to the roads network in a generation, yet has no strategy for cycling,” Francis adds.

“We must change the Infrastructure Bill’s narrow focus on motor traffic and invest in cycling to extend travel choice, to ease congestion, improve our health and our environment.”

The poll results have already sparked some debate on Twitter…

@F0LL0W_F0LL0W @sustrans 28,000 people die from air pollution in UK every year. Much of it from vehicles

— Matthew☺Richard☻Ford (@MatthewRhyd) January 21, 2015

@David_Cameron @Ed_Miliband No “guaranteed” funding levels for #Cycling in #InfrastructureBill = NO VOTE for you! #Obesity costs #NHS £5bn/y

— In Oxford (@Oxford_Life) January 21, 2015

Earlier this week, British Cycling, Sustrans and a handful of other sustainable transport organisations issued a joint statement calling for the inclusion of a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy in the Infrastructure Bill.

“It is not without irony that this falls so soon after the latest 12-year study from Cambridge University found that inactivity is killing twice as many people as obesity,” the statement read in part.

“This is combined with the fact that inactivity costs the UK economy £20 billion every year, with one in six deaths linked to physical inactivity. We must act now and make cycling and walking easier to do every day.”

The Infrastructure Bill will be voted on by Parliament on Monday (26 January).

(Images: Jonny Gawler)


Should cycling be included in the Infrastructure Bill? Let us know in the comments below!

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By Tncse

220 Awards 2015 shortlist up

July 29, 2021 | News | No Comments

Here they are – the nominees for this year’s 220 awards, as chosen by you, our readers!


With twenty categories and thousands of votes cast, we had a bumper haul of strong contenders to trawl through this year.

Many congrats to all those shortlisted – we’ll be announcing the winners at the 220 Triathlon Show, being held at Sandown Park in Surrey from 27 February to 1 March.

Elite male triathlete of the year
Club of the year

Alistair Brownlee
Leeds & Bradford Tri Club

Jonny Brownlee
One Triathlon RDS

Javier Gomez

Elite female triathlete of the year

Race of the year (under 500 entries)

Mirinda Carfrae
Ilkley Triathlon

Gwen Jorgensen
Jenson Button Tri

Jodie Stimpson
Ocean Lava Tri

Duathlete of the year

Race of the year (over 500 entries)

Lucy Gossage
Long Course Weekend

Emma Pooley

Phil Wylie

Men’s age-grouper of the year

Triathlon wetsuit brand of the year

Ewan Brown

Neil Eddy

Tom Stead

Women’s age-grouper of the year

Bike brand of the year

Kayleigh Adams

Nikki Bartlett

Jane Hansom

Male paratriathlete of the year

Shoe brand of the year

Dave Ellis

Phil Hogg

Andy Lewis

Female paratriathlete of the year

Innovative product of the year

Faye McClelland
Garmin 920XT

Melissa Reid
Huub Archimedes 2

Lauren Steadman
Polar V800

Youth triathlete of the year

Triathlon retailer of the year

Marc Austin

Sophie Coldwell
The Triathlon Shop

Ben Dijkstra
Sigma Sports

International triathlete of the year

Online retailer of the year

Mirinda Carfrae
A1 Multisport

Javier Gomez
Chain Reaction Cycles

Sebastian Kienle

Coach of the year

Outstanding contribution of the year

Judith Brand
Brownlee brothers

Simon Ward
Tim Don

John Wood

Jasmine Flatters
Iain Hamilton
Sheila Horsman


Don’t forget to book your ticket for the 220 Triathlon Show, see you there!

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By Tncse

For fans jaded by overt professionalism in sport, decisions made without a business motive, or, at least, one that will not pay instant dividends, are not merely refreshing, but strike at the heart of what makes it so captivating.


In the summer of 2012, Michelle Dillon was at a crossroads in her career. The former Commonwealth Games 10,000m runner and sixth-place finisher in the Athens’ Olympic triathlon had been coaching an elite group of London 2012 hopefuls including Will Clarke, Jodie Stimpson and her own husband, Stuart Hayes.

Once the chase for selection and the crescendo of Hyde Park had petered out, it was time for all to take new directions and for Dillon to consider her options. The truth for multisport coaches is that financial rewards lie with schooling large groups of trusting amateurs. Most professionals don’t earn all that much, meaning coach earns a percentage of not a lot for a role that can demand undivided attention – particularly if the athlete in question has never attempted the sport before.

So when Emma Pallant came knocking, a successful junior runner, plagued with injuries and not sure where to turn having hobbled away from a 5,000m trials race and her quest for the London Games, the most cost-effective decision would have been a polite ‘No’.

That it wasn’t says a few things: Dillon has strength of character; a hunger to still be involved with elite sport; and, most pertinently, that in this runner from Farnham, who could be a little firebrand at times, she saw an image of her younger self and a kinship could blossom. Project Pallant was underway and it wasn’t to be the smoothest ride.

“After London, I made the decision I wouldn’t go for a big group of elite triathletes, having done four years of it,” Dillon says. “I receive quite a lot of emails from up and coming athletes, but not many put the light on like Emma’s. I come from the same high-level running background having competed in the world cross-country as a junior and 1994 Commonwealth Games at 21, and I could appreciate where she was with the injuries.

“Something said: ‘Let’s do this’”

“It was why I switched to triathlon. I thought she probably couldn’t swim, wouldn’t have a clue how to ride a bike and would be starting from scratch. But something said: ‘Let’s do this’.

“Stu’s mum told me to give her a call. We got on really well. It was a ‘your journey will be my journey’ approach and in two years we’ve developed a good relationship. I’m so glad I made that decision.”

“What struck me was how passionate she was,” Pallant recalls. “Most people I told I wanted to be a world-class triathlete would laugh, but Michelle took it seriously. I’d only known her two months and she was lending me her bike, Speedo wetsuit and trisuit.”

Born in Surrey, the successful Aldershot, Farnham & District athletics club, where veteran coach Mick Woods presides, would capture a large chunk of Pallant’s youth. “I’ve never really known life without sport,” she says. “I was hyperactive as a kid and have an amazing mum who would take me to every sports club. Mick said if I wanted to be the best at one sport I would have to focus my attention and I’ve always liked the idea of being the best.

“Success breeds success and if you a have couple of strong runners forming good friendships, like myself and Steph Twell, the social life integrates with the running. It was fun growing up in the club.”

Pallant was rarely headed at Under-11 and Under-13 level, even clashing with 2013 triathlon world champion Non Stanford on occasion. “I think we were pretty level paced,” she recalls. “Although as she’s Welsh, I’d have the advantage of a stronger backing team for the relays.”

Under Kelly’s wing

When stress fractures and knee injuries began chipping away at that competitive edge, the invitation to join up with Athens’ double-gold medallist Kelly Holmes instilled fresh confidence and opportunities to gain experience shadowing more senior athletes.

“We went to Berlin for the World Championship in 2009 and Delhi for the Commonwealth Games the following year,” she says of the same On Camp with Kelly initiative that mentored Stanford and world 1,500m silver medallist Hannah England. “I achieved the qualifying time for Delhi but then got injured. We still went to the athletes’ village, ate with them and saw how the Games operated, so when we did make a championships we could concentrate on the racing.”

Sadly, it didn’t come to fruition. Pallant had stepped up to the 5,000m by 2012 figuring she could cut back on the gym weights, race with a lighter frame and not put so much impact through her knees. The plan was to achieve an Olympic slot through the European Championships, but when she dropped out of the trials race, the knee flaring up once more, the dream was over.

“I was devastated,” Pallant says. “Kelly found me and told me that mentally I needed a fresh goal there and then. The London Triathlon was in two months and it gave me a focus for swim and bike training.”

Running her own physiotherapy clinic, Pallant had treated and become friendly with Katie Hewison (who recently retired from international triathlon), and knuckled down to some tri training. Swims with Hewison were mixed with spin bike work and sessions with the running club, but Pallant felt if she was to make a serious stab at multisport a more concrete strategy was required. Cue spotting a Team Dillon hoodie on a club night.

“One of my mum’s friends does triathlon and told me that Michelle Dillon had done what I wanted to do – gone from a runner to a triathlete,” Pallant explains. “If I was serious, no one would know more about the transition than Michelle.”

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Nagging injuries and a fresh challenge are probably the leading two reasons most individuals take up triathlon; Pallant’s ambition to achieve greatest on the world stage was a third.

“As a runner, going on to medal in distance races against Kenyans and Ethiopians would have been very difficult,” she says. “I was looking at being one of Europe’s best. But the best in the world? That was a lot harder.”

Whether she has chosen an easier path remains to be seen. Certainly she’s picked a time to switch when the depth in British women’s multisport has never been greater. In Stanford, Helen Jenkins, Jodie Stimpson and Vicky Holland, the UK has two world champions, and the reigning Commonwealth gold and bronze medallists. If everybody is fit and firing – it’s a halcyon era. 

But all that lay ahead. Before she even stepped on to the pontoon to challenge these women, Pallant would need to acclimatise to the increased training load. “The biggest shock for Emma was when we went to the Gold Coast,” Dillon says. “The first day she hammered it out the door.” “And 10 minutes later I was crawling home.” Pallant remembers.

“Poor Emma arrived as a pure, skinny runner, with not much muscle from riding or swimming and a host of problems,” Dillon continues. “I massaged her every night to get the lumps and knots out of her quads, stretched out her hip flexors, and she learnt to run again.”

“Before I went I considered myself a runner,” Pallant says. “Now the sessions were so much longer and I really didn’t have much endurance.”

“Emma had a lot of stomach problems as well,” Dillon says. “Eating the wrong things at the wrong time, she’d spend half a long run in the bushes. If we didn’t sort it out she was never going to make an elite athlete. It’s been a two-year process.”

“I’d picked up bad habits from so many different diets,” Pallant agrees. “I cannot put my finger on what exactly was wrong. I’d work a lot and keep busy and couldn’t switch off. It required a lifestyle change to concentrate on what and when I’m eating and to start hydrating properly during exercise. Living with Michelle and Stu, I’m seeing how it should be done and have the self-control to put it into practice in my own life.”

Little Miss Bump

Despite the problems domestic success came quickly. Pallant was sixth in that debut race in London, almost six minutes down on winner Daniela Ryf despite posting the fastest run split by over two minutes, and the following year would be crowned British champion over a sprint distance race in Liverpool.

The international circuit was a tougher challenge, though, and included a couple of DNFs including the World Series Grand Final in London, plus a disqualification in Holland for racking her bike in someone else’s spot and then not stopping for the penalty.

“I didn’t know what a penalty box was,” she explains, compounding a reputation as a somewhat incident-prone individual that has earned the nickname Little Miss Bump. “I’ve been hit in the head with rounders’ bats, fallen off bikes, and run into lampposts and car doors.

“As an Under-13 I was in Marrakech for the World Youth Championships and went to get a henna tattoo, with the idea of pretending it was a permanent one. I asked for ‘GB’, was misunderstood, and became the wally walking round having been branded TB! It was only dye but I had a reaction to it. My mum wasn’t impressed. Thankfully, Team Dillon has a bit of a safety angel in Safety Stu who protects me.”

“She’s had to do it really,” Michelle explains. “We had to work on a lot of technical things: drafting in the swim, being under pressure in transition. And racing in open water with 60 other women is completely different from training with a handful.

“We’ve always taken at least one positive from each race. How far Emma is behind in the swim plays a big part in how it pans out and we’ve seen the time deficit coming down. She biked herself back into the pack in Cozumel [where she eventually finished seventh, 28 seconds behind Olympic champion Nicola Spirig] and held the gap at 45 seconds in her last race in Columbia. At the beginning of the year it would have been three minutes.”

“I’ve got so much to learn but sometimes there is a limit to what Michelle and Stuart can teach me,” Pallant explains. “Stu can tell me not to over-gear, but it’s only when I try running off the bike that I really find out the effects. Then there are the logistics of travel, race briefings, where you swim and cycle abroad, and even putting the bike together. It’s a lot to think about.”

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If Pallant is to reach the next level, she’ll have to defy a school of thought that ITU racing is beyond anyone who hasn’t spent a childhood following the black line in the pool.

“Everyone says it’s about improving the swim,” Dillon says. “But that’s a small thing compared to where she’s come from in the past two years. We first had to iron out the other problems, the habits formed from her running background. Now we finish every session, even if we have to crawl round. It’s a change of mentality.”

The scale of Pallant’s task is underlined by not being in receipt of lottery funding, nor was she in 2014. British Triathlon will tell you she hasn’t hit the required standards in specific races, which is true, but they do have discretion for those with potential.

The reality is that without her swimming being of the front-pack calibre demanded to break into medal contention – or make her useful as a support athlete (domestique or pilot) – means she isn’t yet a useful team player. It’s why Lutterworth’s Lucy Hall got the nod in 2012, because she can swim fast – too fast at times – and pull up the Team GB ‘runners’.

What also hasn’t helped is Pallant’s decision to race in the neutral ITU suit in 2014 as she contemplated an offer to switch allegiance to Turkey, who are looking to import talent as has been seen in middle distance racing on the track.  While the financial and single-minded drive could be understood, it’s not so palatable for fans, and it wasn’t either for British Triathlon, who refused to sanction the switch, meaning an extended period in limbo would need serving. 

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“Turkey are hoping to develop triathlon and at one point I had a chat with them,” Pallant says. “I thought I could help in a way. I’m now back for GB. [Former chief executive] Zara Hyde Peters has left British Triathlon and I feel that after chatting with Brendan [Purcell, British Triathlon’s performance director], there is a place for me. I think you don’t always have to be part of a team to inspire other athletes. Performances can connect.”

Pallant’s return to wearing the Union flag coincides with the start of the Olympic selection process and while making the Rio Olympics might be a long shot, neither the triathlete nor coach is giving up.

The indomitable spirit is admirable and who is to say it won’t fall into place. Other than the robust Stimpson, injuries have beset Britain’s best. Stanford missed the entirety of 2014, Jenkins must have felt she’d crossed the path of a black cat after picking up injuries ahead of the last two major championships. Holland was running into her best-ever shape last summer, but now battles a plantar fasciitis problem that won’t see her return until May at the earliest. Those are Britain’s leading four, beneath that a breakthrough should not be ruled out. 

“If my swim gets faster, I can be up in these races,” Pallant says. “I finished the year not fussed about running. It’s all about the rectangular blue wet thing. Then I’m aiming for Rio qualification, and doing everything I can to be the best triathlete I can be.”

Bring on 2015

The ITU World Series has been extended to 10 races, starting in March in Abu Dhabi and continuing to Chicago in September for the Grand Final. The latter is one of just two races the British selection policy for the Games concerns itself with, the other being the Rio test event in August. There will be an opportunity to make an impression along the way and given how stringent the policy is, it is quite possible that no women triathlete will secure an automatic spot in 2015, which will buy Pallant more time for a one-off early 2016 showdown. 

“Ideally we’d love to focus on the whole series,” Dillon says. “But that’s a lot of travelling. Being weaker on the swim, Em needs access to the pool a lot and a lot of travel will compromise her swimming.”

Many readers will be familiar with SwimSmooth, who have partnered with British Triathlon, and Pallant is travelling to Perth over the winter for tuition from head coach Paul Newsome. Confidence is mounting but there is still an awful lot to learn. Not making the front pack in elite ITU racing can effectively mean being out of a two-hour race within the first 20 minutes.

“Paul called my style Kicktastic,” Pallant says. “I’m ok with steady swimming, but the minute the pressure is on in a race, I let my legs go, which throws my timing out.”

“Emma is not afraid of hard work,” Dillon explains. “She needs to be stronger at the front end and drop the kick slightly and emerge V-shaped from winter having swum 50km a week.”

If the plan works, allowing Pallant to more regularly make the front pack, the excitement will be palpable. “When she gets into a race, she won’t have to bike so hard and will see how much easier it is,” Dillon says. “It’s then the big performances will come.“

“In my running days I’d pull the plug in a race because I was used to winning,” Pallant says. “Triathlon has taught me I always have to fight. If no-one in the bike pack is working, I won’t be in the race if I just sit up as well. Now I come out of every race having given 100%, controlling the controllables. If my swim is not up to it, it will be a tough day, but every day should be a tough day and that’s what makes me value the sport.”


(Images: Romilly Lockyer)

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By Tncse

Triathlon coach Brett Sutton has announced that Australian athlete Rebecca Preston is joining his superstar squad after a long hiatus, in a bid to wrap up her tri career on a high.


Preston was at her peak in 2006 and 2007, when she claimed back-to-back victories at Ironman Switzerland. She also placed fifth in Kona in 2007, and has won IM Austria, UK and 70.3 Antwerp.

“Within her first year as a professional triathlete Beck won her first Ironman event on debut at the distance. She went on to be one of the best Ironman racers in the world and had a unbelievable three season streak,” Brett Sutton wrote on the Trisutto website.

4 x Ironman Winner @rebeccapreston rejoins the squad for 2015 #excited

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— Brett Sutton (@trisutto) January 20, 2015

Preston eventually moved back to Australia to resume a career in teaching, but has been racing as an age-grouper throughout the last 18 months.

“We’ve kept in touch and in 2014 had a talk about finishing off her career as it started – with an Ironman win,” writes Sutton. “She has the weapons to do so. As of January 1, 2015 Beck rejoined the squad and we are now building the machine to once again terrorise Ironman podiums around the world.”

Preston will be joining a number of high profile athletes on Sutton’s squad, including Swiss athletes Daniela Ryf (winner of last year’s 70.3 Worlds) and Nicola Spirig (gold medal winner at the 2012 London Olympics), last year’s Alpe d’Huez Triathlon winner Todd Skipworth (AUS) and Britain’s Ritchie Nicholls, winner of the 70.3 European champs in 2013.


Can Preston claim an M-dot title this year? Let us know in the comments below!

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By Tncse

Cumbria will again play host to the country’s biggest outdoors festival this year, taking place on 14 -17 May. Keswick Mountain Festival will offer an exciting smorgasbord of adventure-themed activities, live performances and high-profile speakers, including Alistair Brownlee.


Brownlee, arguably Britain’s top triathlete and certainly one of the world’s best, will be giving a 90-minute talk (in conversation with the BBC’s Tom Fordyce) on Friday, 15 May. This is one of the festival’s main highlights and all you triathletes can bet tickets will sell out.

Brownlee’s talk will surely inspire you and get you pumped for the next day’s two noob-friendly triathlons – Short (400m swim/20km bike/5km trail run) and Long (800m swim/35km bike/10km trail run). Both options make KMF a great opportunity to add to your race list, whether you’re looking for a fun first-ever triathlon, easing back into the sport or wanting to complete one as part of your training for a longer, more competitive event. Swim socks, gloves and neoprene hats are allowed in the swim leg in Derwentwater, though do note the weather is predicted to be 14 degrees!

Short triathlon entrants will cycle around Derwentwater and run on lakeside roads and forest trails. In the Long event, part of the bike leg weaves through the scenic Borrowdale Valley, while the trail run will take runners up to the popular Latrigg, which offers incredible views over the town.

You can also join individual competitions in swimming, biking and running, including a 70km sportive cycling event and a 50km trail ultramarathon for those looking for a challenge. And if you want to dip your hands into alternative outdoor activities, there are loads on offer, such as navigation training and catamaran sailing.

A new addition to the festival village on Crow Park is an ‘adventure hub’ where you will meet your group and leader if your activity starts and ends in the village. The festival village will also be the site of ‘taster activities’, food stands, exhibitor booths and in the evenings, live music headlined by the Peatbog Faeries and Seth Lakeman.

For full event details, visit

(Main image: Delly Carr)


Are you coming to hear Alistair’s talk at Keswick? Let us know in the comments below!

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By Tncse

These girls can – British females dominated the podium at Ironman 70.3 South Africa last weekend, with Jodie Swallow claiming her fifth win in a row, followed by Susie Cheetham and Parys Edwards.


Swallow swooped through the swim to take a commanding lead of 2mins over Emma Bilham (GBR) by T1, with Lucie Reed (CZE) a further nine seconds behind. Swallow was first onto the bike, followed by Bilham, Reed, Susie Cheetham (GBR) and Lynette Van Der Merwe (RSA). A second group headed out onto the bike that included Parys Edwards (GBR), Andrea Steyn (RSA) and Jeanni Seymour (RSA). 

With Swallow in such a commanding position the real question was would she break the course record. Although she made things look easy throughout the day, she admitted that it was one of the tougher races she’s had on the course.

Two lovely British saffas to share the podium with @susiehignett @parysedwardstri . pleasure x

— Jodie Swallow (@jodieswallow) January 25, 2015


Swallow finished in 4:30:53, breaking the course record by nearly four minutes to take her fifth consecutive Ironman 70.3 South Africa title. Susie Cheetham finished second nearly 11 minutes back in 4:41:48, while Parys Edward completed the British clean sweep in a time of 4:47:44.

Men’s race

In the men’s race, last year’s Ironman Wales winner Matt Trautman left the water with a tiny lead over fellow South Africans Kyle Buckingham and Stuart Marais. Two minutes back was Bart Aernouts (BEL), followed by Gerhard de Bruin (RSA) and Cyril Viennot (FRA).

The South African trio of Trautman, Buckingham and Marais headed out onto the bike with mere seconds separating them. The lead continued to change hands until the 4 km turnaround, when Trautman took a slight lead. Further back, Aernouts and Viennot made up some time, bridging the gap to just over a minute from the front three.

Trautman was first into T2 with a bike split of 2:46:10, the fastest of the day. Marais followed in second (2:46:12), while Aernouts (2:49:19) and Viennot (2:49:21) managed to get ahead of Buckingham (2:51:01) who slowed towards the end of the 90km ride.

Trautman and Marais continued their tussle on the run as the lead changed between them a few times. Going at an almost identical pace, and with no one giving an inch, an exciting finish was on the cards. Not until the 16km mark did Trautman move ahead, eventually winning by a minute and a half in 4:04:34, with Marais in second in 4:06:03. Bart Aernouts rounded out the top three in 4:11:36.

Men’s provisional Top 10 

1. Matt Trautman- 4:04:34 (RSA)
2. Stuart Marais- 4:06:03 (RSA)
3. Bart Aernouts- 4:11:36 (BEL)
4. Cyril Viennot- 4:14:28 (FRA)
5. Johannes Moldan- 4:15:57 (GER)
6. Kyle Buckingham- 4:16:04 (RSA)
7. Karol Dzalaj- 4:24:12 (SVK)
8. Cool Hannes- 4:28:55 (BEL)
9. Swen Sundberg- 4:30:57 GER)
10. Jeremy Morel- 4:38:18 (FRA)

Women’s provisional Top 10

1. Jody Swallow- 4:30:53 (GBR)
2. Susie Cheetham- 4:41:48 (GBR)
3. Parys Edwards- 4:47:44 (GBR)
4. Emma Bilham- 4:55:30 (SUI)
5. Jeani Seymour 5:02:02 (RSA)
6. Sarah Piampiano- 5:08:54 (USA)
7. Andrea Steyn- 5:20:03 (RSA)
8. Amy Forshaw- 5:24:42 (GBR)
9. Lynette Van der Merwe- 5:28:03 (RSA)
10. Linda Scattolin- 5:36:23 (ITA)

(Images: Craig Muller)


Were you racing Ironman 70.3 South Africa? Let us know in the comments!

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By Tncse

Un nouvel outil technologique pour les personnes malvoyantes ? Un couple d’Espagnols a mis au point des lunettes high-tech afin de permettre à leur fils de se débrouiller seul. Ces parents sont partis d’un constat simple : « Il n’y avait rien sur le marché. Les personnes avec une basse vision n’ont que les cannes et les chiens-guides pour les aider à se déplacer. Il n’y a rien de plus », a expliqué Jaume Puig, ingénieur électrique espagnol.

Avec son épouse médecin, Constanza Lucero, il a créé en 2017 la société Biel Glasses, qui porte le nom de leur fils, mais les lunettes ne sont au point que depuis cette année. L’innovation est exposée en ce moment au Salon mondial du mobile (MWC) à Barcelone.

Jusqu’ici aucune technologie n’existait

Après son deuxième anniversaire, les parents du petit garçon ont commencé à s’inquiéter de ses fréquentes chutes et de ses difficultés à monter les escaliers. Biel a fini par être diagnostiqué comme souffrant de vision basse, ou malvoyance, causée dans son cas par un problème du nerf optique, un problème bien plus répandu que la cécité et qui fait de chaque tâche quotidienne un défi.

La vision basse ne peut être corrigée ni par des lunettes ni par la chirurgie, et jusqu’ici aucune technologie n’existait pour aider les personnes atteintes.

Un mélange de 3D, IA et RA

L’appareil imaginé par Biel Glasses ressemble à un casque de réalité virtuelle ou de jeux vidéo. Il utilise la vision en 3D, l’intelligence artificielle et la réalité augmentée pour superposer du texte, des images ou de la vidéo par-dessus l’image réelle, afin que la personne puisse détecter des obstacles ou lire des panneaux dans la rue, par exemple.

« Nous nous sommes dit que nous pouvions utiliser ces technologies pour aider Biel à voir, tirer parti de la vision dont il dispose pour qu’il puisse être plus autonome, avant tout pour résoudre ses problèmes pour se déplacer », raconte Jaume Puig, 52 ans, sur le salon de Barcelone. « On ne peut pas le guérir, d’accord, mais on peut l’aider », a-t-il ajouté.

Vendues à 4.900 euros

Pour mettre au point l’appareil, un investissement de 900.000 euros a été nécessaire. Le couple a puisé 65.000 euros dans ses économies et a récolté le reste auprès d’institutions publiques et par du financement participatif. Le projet s’est fait en collaboration avec une équipe d’ingénieurs en informatique et de médecins, dont l’un des plus grands spécialistes espagnols de la basse vision.

Le produit, homologué par l’Union européenne, devrait être commercialisé cette année en Espagne et au Danemark. Les lunettes, qui doivent être adaptées sur mesure aux besoins de leur utilisateur, coûtent 4.900 euros. Jaume Puig, créateur de plusieurs autres jeunes pousses dans les hautes technologies, espère pouvoir intégrer aux futures versions une fonction d’activation par la voix et un système de navigation via Google Maps.

Strasbourg : L’inventeur du graffiti pour malvoyant va performer dans la ville avec Colors city
Thérapie génique : Un patient aveugle recouvre partiellement la vue

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Avant de s’engager sur vingt ans pour rembourser le crédit servant à financer son nouveau logement, mieux vaut avoir passé en revue toutes les conditions du contrat. En tête de liste, une attention toute particulière doit être apportée à l’ assurance emprunteur inévitablement proposée par la banque. Rappelons en effet que cette protection essentielle atteint en moyenne 30 % du coût total d’un emprunt immobilier.

Pour faire baisser la facture, il est judicieux de comparer les offres du marché et de recourir à la délégation d’assurance, autrement dit de souscrire cette couverture auprès d’un prestataire extérieur à la banque prêteuse. En pratique, ce n’est toutefois pas gagné.

Une méconnaissance complète du sujet

D’après une enquête réalisée en avril 2021 par l’UFC-Que Choisir auprès d’un millier d’emprunteurs, 8 sondés sur 10 déclarent ne pas connaître le coût de leur assurance emprunteur, sachant que 82 % des participants sont couverts par l’offre de groupe de leur banque. Pourtant, cette dernière est bien souvent plus coûteuse que les assurances individuelles commercialisées par les assureurs alternatifs. Pire, 35 % des personnes interrogées ignorent qu’elles ont le droit de choisir une protection assurantielle indépendante au moment de la signature du prêt ou en cours de contrat, et 77 % ne savent pas à quel moment cette délégation peut s’effectuer.

Mais est-ce vraiment étonnant quand 60 % des répondants citent leur banquier comme première source d’information en la matière ? Alors que la majorité des participants à l’enquête ignorent quelles économies ils peuvent réaliser en changeant d’assurance emprunteur, rappelons qu’en moyenne, elles peuvent atteindre 4.000 euros.

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Quand le sensationnalisme l’emporte sur la décence. Cette semaine, la vidéo d’une journaliste allemande est apparue sur les réseaux sociaux. On y voit la reporter Susanna Ohlen au milieu des dégâts causés par les inondations dans la ville de Bad Münstereifel, fortement touchée par les intempéries. Avec ses bottes aux pieds et son bob sur la tête, on distingue la journaliste se baisser pour prendre de la boue et la disposer sur ses vêtements, d’après les images amateurs postées sur Twitter.

Dans son reportage, la reporter, pelle à la main, appelle les téléspectateurs et téléspectatrices à venir en aide aux opérations de nettoyage de la ville. L’extrait de l’émission Guten Morgen Deutschland a depuis été supprimé du site Internet de la chaîne RTL.

« Je suis désolée »

Sur son compte Instagram, Susanna Ohlen a expliqué les raisons de son geste. « Après avoir déjà aidé de manière personnelle dans la région les jours précédents, je me sentais honteuse de me tenir devant la caméra avec des vêtements propres en face des autres travailleurs humanitaires. Par conséquent, sans y réfléchir, j’ai étalé de la boue sur mes vêtements. »

« En tant que journaliste, cela n’aurait jamais dû m’arriver. En tant que personne qui prend à cœur les souffrances de celles et ceux qui ont été affectés, cela m’est arrivé. Je suis désolée », a conclu la journaliste à la fin de son message.

Un acte qui s’oppose aux « principes du journalisme »

Après avoir tourné en boucle sur les réseaux sociaux, les images sont parvenues jusqu’à la direction de RTL, la chaîne allemande pour laquelle travaillait Susanna Ohlen. « Les actes de notre reporter contredisent clairement les principes du journalisme et nos propres normes. Par conséquent, nous l’avons mise à pied ce lundi », a indiqué une porte-parole de la chaîne ce jeudi.

Selon un dernier bilan, 180 personnes ont perdu la vie dans les inondations qui ont touché l’ouest de l’Allemagne la semaine dernière, et environ 150 sont toujours portées disparues ou injoignables.

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Il avait promis un recours « agressif et rapide », et il a tenu parole. Le nouvel avocat de Britney Spears, Mathew Rosengart, a officiellement demandé à la justice californienne, lundi, que le père de la chanteuse ne soit plus en charge de sa tutelle, et qu’il soit remplacé par un comptable professionnel.

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Alors que la Cour a estimé que la chanteuse américaine, qui n’a plus le contrôle de ses finances et de sa vie personnelle depuis 13 ans, était en mesure de choisir son propre avocat, « elle a également la capacité de nommer » la personne en charge de sa tutelle, écrit Rosengart.

Une fortune de 60 millions de dollars

Sur le conseil de son avocat, Britney Spears a donc choisi une option intermédiaire : écarter son père dans un premier temps avant de tenter, par la suite, de réclamer l’annulation de sa tutelle, un processus beaucoup plus complexe. Actuellement, Jamie Spears est le seul à la barre de la gestion des finances de sa fille après la démission de la firme spécialisée Bessemer Trust, qui s’est retirée à la suite du témoignage poignant de Britney Spears il y a un mois. Lundi, la juge a prolongé la tutrice Jodi Montgomery, en charge des décisions personnelles et médicales de la chanteuse, jusqu’au 8 octobre.

Pour gérer ses finances, Britney Spears veut embaucher Jason Rubin, un expert-comptable spécialiste des tutelles et des abus de faiblesse. Le recours déposé tacle la gestion de son père, qui s’est déclaré en faillite en 1998. Le patrimoine de Britney Spears est listé à 60 millions de dollars (2,7 millions en cash et 56, 4 millions en biens immobiliers et investissements), un chiffre qualifié par Forbes de « terriblement bas », alors que Taylor Swift ou Beyoncé valent environ 400 millions de dollars chacune.

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