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Kalahari Ferrari hoisting Botswana flag high in dramatic Dakar Rally

Branch impressive start of Dakar 2020

With much anticipation and hope pegged on Botswana’s motorsport sensational Ross Branch since the beginning of the Saud Arabia instalment of Dakar Rally, his ride has been wheeling with a lot of drama which shows to be channeling and beckoning to a promising climax.

On Stage 1 of the expected to be a grueling ride on the Saudi desert sand dunes, Branch clutched to his handlebars of his bike leading the Bas Dakar KTM Racing Team looking ahead to finish 752km terrain. Branch on stage one finish 14th with a time of 3 hours 30 minutes and 31 seconds. The Botswana rider was number 18 on overall and was just 8 minutes 15 seconds behind the winner United Kingdom’s Toby Price. Branch, dubbed Kalahari Ferrari after making headlines last year in his maiden appearance by finishing at position 13 before being crowned the fastest Dakar Rookie at Peru, got into the second stage hoisting the Botswana flag high up with hope.

Branch on Stage 2 took on a 367 kilometer lap and emerged victorious with a time of 3 hours 39 minutes and 10 seconds, just 1 minute and 24 seconds ahead of United Kingdom’s Sam Sunderland.The plot thickened when Stage 3 unfolded with yet a dramatic ride. The 427 kilometer lap came with a close to tragedy incident when after racing for 88 kilometers Branch’s back wheel stumbled on a rock throwing out his body out of the bike to the sand. Branch’s bike navigation tower was destroyed while he was left with a shoulder injury.

In a turn of events, Kalahari Ferrari was given assistance by rival Pablo Quintanilla from Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing. In a sportsmanship behavior manner, Quintanilla helped Branch to get back to his bike. Branch dusted himself off and galloped his bike for the remaining 339km finishing at position 46.
“Had to try and find my way for over 400km and just so happy to have managed to finish the stage. Big thank you to Pablo Quintanilla for helping me back to my bike! Been cleared by the medics and thankful to be moving on to Stage 4 tomorrow,” he shared on his Facebook page Tuesday this week.

After a disappointing Stage 3 with some falling short of writing him off, on Stage 4 which was 672 kilometer, Branch put on some impressive run shedding down his huge deficit coming from number 46 to position 3. Branch made a time of 4 hours 25 minutes and 46 seconds in his near superhuman effort. “It was a tough day on the shoulder (injury), I didn’t enjoy much of the route as it was little bit tough half way through to try and navigate but I was really surprised to get into top 10 as I was hoping to get into top 20 but am happy though,” he shared with his fans on his Facebook page on Wednesday.

Though the Stage 4 of the competition was considerably longer than the previous day’s Stage, which meant more time in the saddle for all competitors in the Bike Category due to rocky condition on the terrain of Saudi Arabia as the stage was mainly dominated by massive rock formations, glowing golden in the desert light and smoothed into strange shapes by wind-blown grains of sand.

 

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BAD WEEK FOR MANCHESTER CITY

6th February 2023

After falling to close the gap on Arsenal by losing to a record breaking goal by Kane at the Tottenham stadium.Manchester City now find themselves being charged by the Premier League with more than 100 breaches of its financial rules following a four-year investigation.

According to BBC , it has referred the club to an independent commission over alleged rule breaches between 2009 and 2018 , and also that Man-city has not been co-operating since the investigation which started in 2018 .

BBC further states that The commission can impose punishment including a fine , points deduction and expelling the club from the Premier league.

The alleged breaches include ,  breaching rules for requiring full details of manager remuneration,from 2009-2010, to 2012-2013 seasons when Roberto Mancini was in charge . Also player remuneration between 2010-2011 and 2015-2016.

The Premier league stated that City breached rules related to UEFA regulations , including Financial Fair Play , from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018 ,as well as Premier League rules on profitability and sustainability from 2014-2016 to 2017-2018

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Mason Greenwood attempted rape charges dropped

2nd February 2023

Charges of attempted rape and assault have been dropped against Manchester United footballer Mason Greenwood who was arrested in January 2022 after the allegations emerged.

The 21-year-old was arrested in January last year amid allegations surrounding images and videos that emerged online.

He was later charged with attempted rape, controlling and coercive behaviour and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The Crown Prosecution Service said the charges were discontinued after a key witness withdrew their involvement.

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Raphael Varane announces retirement from international football after 10 years of service.

2nd February 2023

The Manchester United defender will now focus on his club career having made 93 caps for France, appearing at three world cups and on European championship. The Les Bleus won the World cup in 2018 and Raphael Varane started all but one of France’s matches in Qatar as they finished as runners up to Argentina

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