A message from the council: “Thanks to a donation from Waikanae Garden Circle (WGC) the historic Mahara Place clock, which was in place before we started improvement works, will soon be refurbished and reinstalled. It was looking a little worse for wear so WGC kindly donated $500 towards fixing it up. The clock was one of several gifted to the District by Wellington Railway Station over 20 years ago.”
Tomorrow (July 31) is World Ranger Day, acknowledging the critical work of rangers on the front-line of conservation across the globe. For us, it’s a chance to celebrate the amazing things that our hard-working rangers do across Aotearoa all year round. Meet some of our dedicated rangers below and learn more about the work they…
Colombian Youngster Wins the Tour de France
The Champs Elysées never disappoints. —2017 Tour winner, Chris Froome
Magic in the French capital
By Roger Childs
18 years ago, I ran down the Champs–Elysées at 6 o’clock in the morning [we assume you were jogging, not escaping —Eds] and there was hardly anyone about. Yesterday there were more than 100,000 people cheering on the Tour de France riders completing their last stage on the famous Avenue.
Following the 10 laps of the Champs–Elysées, the finale of the gruelling, three week bike race was carried out with a combination of French flair, style and panache. There was:-
- the rousing playing of the magnificent Marseillaise
- the fly-past of jets streaming red, white and blue smoke
- the excitable commentator who loves drawing out the last syllable of the winners names
- the statuesque beauties leading riders on to the podium dressed à la mode in appropriate colour dresses to match the jerseys
- the clockwork presentations complete with wonderful trophies for the winners.
An incredible spectacle in this tough sporting event
The television coverage of the 21 stages of the Tour is a treat for the eyes. The executive producer observed that it is not just about the race but a showpiece for the French landscapes and heritage.
Cameras from helicopters make a meal of the visual splendour of tour filming and provide wonderful aerial perspectives of the plains and mountains, castles and cathedrals, villages and cities, peaks and passes, lakes and rivers, bridges and tunnels… not to mention the biking, caught up close by cameramen on motorbikes!
The winner was 22 year old Egan Bernal in 82 hours 57 minutes! –the first Columbian to take the prestigious Tour title. The sprinters’ green jersey went to Slovak Peter Sagan for a record seventh time, while the popular Frenchman, Romain Bardet, won the polka dot jersey for King of the Mountains.
In the general classification, based on overall time, last year’s winner Welshman Geraint Thomas – a team mate of Bernal — was second and Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk was third.
French hope fades in the mountains
Perhaps the unluckiest rider was Julian Alaphilippe. He was the great yellow hope to be the first French winner in 36 years. He picked up the yellow jersey on the fourth stage and battled gamely in the mountain stages to retain it. It was only on Stage 19 in the French Alps that he lost it to the young Columbian.
That stage was the first time this century that a leg in the Tour had to be cut short. On the high slopes of the final climb rain, hail and snow covered the narrow road and slips came off the steep slopes. An alert cameraman caught dramatic footage of a small landslide drifting across the road. Understandably the decision was made to abandon that final climb and take the bike riders’ times over the top of the previous climb.
Aliphilippe did have some consolation in receiving the trophy for the super combative rider.
Survival of the fittest
22 of the starters were forced to abandon for various reasons, mainly because of injuries sustained in the many crashes and pile-ups. However, more than 120 riders survived the circuitous and mountainous route of 3460 km from Brussels to Paris, including Kiwis George Bennett and Tom Scully, even though the former had two nasty crashes on Stage 18.
So the survivors had the joy of riding along the Champs–Elysées yesterday in front of in excess of 100,000 adoring fans, who had gathered from many nations to witness the climax of the most gruelling event in world sport.
Guy Burns, Deputy Chair of the Paraparaumu-Raumati Community Board, welcomes the news of Council’s improved credit rating outlook; up from A+ to AA.
“This jump is a direct result of KCDC abandoning (due to public pressure) its ridiculous ‘loans for investment’ plan. The scheme was to borrow money to invest in the financial market, this would have increased pressure on our high debt level.
“The improved credit rating is only one measurement of Council. Huge staff costs are a concern and an in-depth independent review of this expenditure is urgently needed.”
Abridged media release from the KCDC last week:
Independent financial rating agency Standard and Poor’s has today revised the Kāpiti Coast District Council’s credit rating outlook up two grades from A+ to AA.
The report confirms the Council’s budgetary performance is stronger than expected and continues to improve. It acknowledges the impact of strong financial management and focus on paying down debt.
The report says that Council’s liquidity coverage is exceptional due to its prefunding strategy and access to funds from the Local Government Funding Agency. It commends the management team’s efforts to continually improve the Council’s financial position.
The match was disappointing on a number of levels – the A.B.s just aren’t hitting their straps as they used to. —Christchurch based rugby guru, Richard Belton
By Roger Childs
A narrow win in Buenos Aries last week and draw against the Springboks last night at the Cake Tin have the All Blacks still searching for their brilliant best. Understandably in the lead-up to the World Cup in September, the coaches are experimenting with players in different combinations, knowing that few will remember rusty performances in July if the big prize is carried off in Japan later.
However, after struggling against the Pumas with plenty of dropped passes and a seeming inability to deal with the rushed defence, the fumbles and lack of attacking flair continued in the match against South Africa. The All Blacks looked to have it won with two minutes to go but the fat lady was still clearing her throat. Attacking down the right flank the shortest man on the field, replacement half back Herschel Jantjies, out-jumped Aaron Smith to score a brilliant try. The ever reliable goal kicker Handre Pollard converted to draw the game 16-16.
A game of two halves
You could see the backline starting to function with more ease and threat in the second half, though that could be down to Anton Lienert-Brown being on the park. –Japan-based rugby authority, Neil Smith
The Springboks had much the better of the first half and were deservedly ahead 6-0 with half time approaching. Then there was rare bit of All Black magic. Attacking down the right flank Sonny Bill Williams threw a long pass to Beauden Barrett close to the touch line and he drew the opposition to give Jack Goodhue a clear run-in for the try.
The second half saw the home team gain the upper hand, but the knock-out blow never came. Although the backline was running with more freedom and Dane Coles provided some spark on the left flank, the All Blacks couldn’t score a second try to put the game out of reach of the visitors.
Plenty to work on
This was a game where both sides defended well and there were few breaks. The All Blacks had the better of the lineouts and the usually reliable Springbok hooker, Malcolm Marx, tossed his first two throw-ins to the All Black forwards. In the scrums the home team gained a penalty from crumpling the South African scrum early in the second half, but later, with replacement props on, it was the All Blacks turn to get shoved back, twice.
The home team loose forwards had a mixed day and Kieran Read had yet to show his best form. At present Ardie Savea, who didn’t play last night, is our best man in the back of the scrum.
Sonny Bill Williams played his first game months and defended well before being replaced mid way through the second half. The jury is still out as whether he is better in the centres than the younger and faster quartet – Jack Goodhue, Anton Leinert-Brown, Brayden Ennor and Ngani Laumape. Beauden Barrett went well at full back – there is a touch of Christian Cullen in him when he plays at the back. Meanwhile Richie Mo’unga, after an early charge down which he recovered, settled in to have a solid match at first five and kicked two vital penalties in the second half.
Coping with the “rush defence” remains a worry. Half back T.J. Prenara must stop stepping before passing to get the ball out faster and the backs might benefit from standing deeper and running two lines.
The Wallabies await
There are two Bledisloe Cup tests coming up and the All Blacks will need to be at their best to hold this trophy for yet another year. On the basis of the performances in the first two 2019 tests there should be no complacency.
Hopefully the coaches will pick the strongest combination for the first game in Perth on 10 August.