AD200910707039846AR
AD200910707039846AR

Confident Sastre fears no one



MONACO // Carlos Sastre, the defending Tour de France champion, says he does not care whether Lance Armstrong is in the peloton or not ahead of today's race start in Monaco. Sastre was a surprise winner last year after a brilliant solo effort on L'Alpe d'Huez and has every confidence he can defend his crown. But even if that means having to beat seven-time Tour winner Armstrong, the Spaniard is non-plussed.

"I really don't care who is in the field, whether it's Lance Armstrong, Alberto Contador, Cadel Evans, the Schleck brothers, whoever," he said. "All that matters is that I have to beat them all and be the best. Come Paris, nothing else is important." Sastre faces a difficult defence. Since last year's race, he has switched teams, joining Cervelo, who are making their Tour debut. A year ago, he was riding for the strongest team in the field, CSC (now Saxo Bank) and had the likes of Andy and Frank Schleck, Stuart O'Grady, Kurt-Asle Arvesen and Jens Voigt as strong support riders in the mountains.

His Cervelo team look far weaker, on paper at least, but Sastre believes he has the experience and ability to become the first rider to defend a Tour title since Armstrong. "Saxo Bank are a very strong team, maybe the strongest there is along with Astana [Armstrong's team]," said Sastre. "But I have the mental strength of knowing that I can win the Tour, and not many people in the peloton can say that.

"On the toughest days in the mountains, I will just say to myself 'you can do this Carlos' and I'm confident I'll have the legs to beat them all." Sastre appears to have the form. In May, he finished an impressive fourth in the Giro d'Italia - just four minutes behind race winner Denis Menchov - but looked to be riding within himself. The 34-year-old played down Menchov's Tour chances saying he "looked to have put too much into the Giro" and warned that his biggest threat would come from a fellow Madrid resident. "Apart from me of course, Alberto Contador is the man to beat," he said.

"He's spent his whole season building for this one race and he's a formidable rider. He won the Giro and the Vuelta last season and he'll be particularly strong in the mountains, where this race will for sure be won." Sastre will set off last from the blocks in the opening time trial today with the No 1 jersey as defending champion for the first of the race's 3,500 kilometres. And he said the race would, like 2008, once more be decided in the mountains but not until the penultimate stage up Mont Ventoux. "It will be a very tight race and I think there will still be maybe four or five riders possible of winning the Tour as late as Ventoux," he said. "I'm sure I'll be one of them."

@Email:mmajendie@thenational.ae

Representing UAE overseas

If Catherine Richards debuts for Wales in the Six Nations, she will be the latest to have made it from the UAE to the top tier of the international game in the oval ball codes.

Seren Gough-Walters (Wales rugby league)
Born in Dubai, raised in Sharjah, and once an immigration officer at the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi, she debuted for Wales in rugby league in 2021.

Sophie Shams (England sevens)
With an Emirati father and English mother, Shams excelled at rugby at school in Dubai, and went on to represent England on the sevens circuit.

Fiona Reidy (Ireland)
Made her Test rugby bow for Ireland against England in 2015, having played for four years in the capital with Abu Dhabi Harlequins previously.

THE SPECS

GMC Sierra Denali 1500

Engine: 6.2-litre V8

Transmission: 10-speed automatic

Power: 420hp

Torque: 623Nm

Price: Dh232,500

Mountain Boy

Director: Zainab Shaheen

Starring: Naser Al Messabi

Rating: 3/5

Where to buy and try:

Nutritional yeast

DesertCart

Organic Foods & Café

Bulletproof coffee

Wild & The Moon

Amasake

Comptoir 102

DesertCart

Organic Foods & Café

Charcoal drinks and dishes

Various juice bars, including Comptoir 102

Bridgewater Tavern

3 Fils

Jackfruit

Supermarkets across the UAE

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE. 

Read part four: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part three: the age of the electric vehicle begins

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

25 Days to Aden

Author: Michael Knights

Pages: 256

Available: January 26

Why it pays to compare

A comparison of sending Dh20,000 from the UAE using two different routes at the same time - the first direct from a UAE bank to a bank in Germany, and the second from the same UAE bank via an online platform to Germany - found key differences in cost and speed. The transfers were both initiated on January 30.

Route 1: bank transfer

The UAE bank charged Dh152.25 for the Dh20,000 transfer. On top of that, their exchange rate margin added a difference of around Dh415, compared with the mid-market rate.

Total cost: Dh567.25 - around 2.9 per cent of the total amount

Total received: €4,670.30 

Route 2: online platform

The UAE bank’s charge for sending Dh20,000 to a UK dirham-denominated account was Dh2.10. The exchange rate margin cost was Dh60, plus a Dh12 fee.

Total cost: Dh74.10, around 0.4 per cent of the transaction

Total received: €4,756

The UAE bank transfer was far quicker – around two to three working days, while the online platform took around four to five days, but was considerably cheaper. In the online platform transfer, the funds were also exposed to currency risk during the period it took for them to arrive.

Profile of Bitex UAE

Date of launch: November 2018

Founder: Monark Modi

Based: Business Bay, Dubai

Sector: Financial services

Size: Eight employees

Investors: Self-funded to date with $1m of personal savings

Cracks in the Wall

Ben White, Pluto Press 

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

SPECS

Engine: 4-litre V8 twin-turbo
Power: 630hp
Torque: 850Nm
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic automatic
Price: From Dh599,000
On sale: Now

Specs

Power train: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and synchronous electric motor
Max power: 800hp
Max torque: 950Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed auto
Battery: 25.7kWh lithium-ion
0-100km/h: 3.4sec
0-200km/h: 11.4sec
Top speed: 312km/h
Max electric-only range: 60km (claimed)
On sale: Q3
Price: From Dh1.2m (estimate)

THE BIO

Favourite car: Koenigsegg Agera RS or Renault Trezor concept car.

Favourite book: I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes or Red Notice by Bill Browder.

Biggest inspiration: My husband Nik. He really got me through a lot with his positivity.

Favourite holiday destination: Being at home in Australia, as I travel all over the world for work. It’s great to just hang out with my husband and family.

 

 

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

RESULT

Bayer Leverkusen 2 Bayern Munich 4
Leverkusen:
 Alario (9'), Wirtz (89')
Bayern: Coman (27'), Goretzka (42'), Gnabry (45'), Lewandowski (66')

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

THE 12 BREAKAWAY CLUBS

England

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur

Italy
AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus

Spain
Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid

How Alia's experiment will help humans get to Mars

Alia’s winning experiment examined how genes might change under the stresses caused by being in space, such as cosmic radiation and microgravity.

Her samples were placed in a machine on board the International Space Station. called a miniPCR thermal cycler, which can copy DNA multiple times.

After the samples were examined on return to Earth, scientists were able to successfully detect changes caused by being in space in the way DNA transmits instructions through proteins and other molecules in living organisms.

Although Alia’s samples were taken from nematode worms, the results have much bigger long term applications, especially for human space flight and long term missions, such as to Mars.

It also means that the first DNA experiments using human genomes can now be carried out on the ISS.

 

Know your cyber adversaries

Cryptojacking: Compromises a device or network to mine cryptocurrencies without an organisation's knowledge.

Distributed denial-of-service: Floods systems, servers or networks with information, effectively blocking them.

Man-in-the-middle attack: Intercepts two-way communication to obtain information, spy on participants or alter the outcome.

Malware: Installs itself in a network when a user clicks on a compromised link or email attachment.

Phishing: Aims to secure personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.

Ransomware: Encrypts user data, denying access and demands a payment to decrypt it.

Spyware: Collects information without the user's knowledge, which is then passed on to bad actors.

Trojans: Create a backdoor into systems, which becomes a point of entry for an attack.

Viruses: Infect applications in a system and replicate themselves as they go, just like their biological counterparts.

Worms: Send copies of themselves to other users or contacts. They don't attack the system, but they overload it.

Zero-day exploit: Exploits a vulnerability in software before a fix is found.

Top tips

Create and maintain a strong bond between yourself and your child, through sensitivity, responsiveness, touch, talk and play. “The bond you have with your kids is the blueprint for the relationships they will have later on in life,” says Dr Sarah Rasmi, a psychologist.
Set a good example. Practise what you preach, so if you want to raise kind children, they need to see you being kind and hear you explaining to them what kindness is. So, “narrate your behaviour”.
Praise the positive rather than focusing on the negative. Catch them when they’re being good and acknowledge it.
Show empathy towards your child’s needs as well as your own. Take care of yourself so that you can be calm, loving and respectful, rather than angry and frustrated.
Be open to communication, goal-setting and problem-solving, says Dr Thoraiya Kanafani. “It is important to recognise that there is a fine line between positive parenting and becoming parents who overanalyse their children and provide more emotional context than what is in the child’s emotional development to understand.”

Our legal consultants

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

Second Test, Day 2:

South Africa 335 & 75/1 (22.0 ov)
England 205
South Africa lead by 205 runs with 9 wickets remaining

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).
Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

ALRAWABI SCHOOL FOR GIRLS

Creator: Tima Shomali

Starring: Tara Abboud, Kira Yaghnam, Tara Atalla

Rating: 4/5


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