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Sports tycoons ride into battle for Evans

Sports tycoons ride into battle for Evans

Business
The two biggest sports retailers on the high street have joined the battle for control of Evans Cycles, one of Britain's biggest bike retailers. Sky News has learnt that JD Sports Fashion and Sports Direct International both tabled indicative offers for Evans last week, pitting them against Halfords and a number of financial investors.News of JD Sports' and Sports Direct's interest highlights an unexpectedly fierce contest to buy Evans, which has racked up losses of more than £8m in the last two years.A takeover of the bike specialist is likely, however, to be at a knockdown valuation as its owner, the private equity firm ECI Partners, seeks a buyer capable of meeting its ongoing funding requirements.Evans is said to need more than £10m in fresh capital to see it ...
Rangers 1-1 Osijek (Agg 2-1): Gers ride luck to continue Europa League progress

Rangers 1-1 Osijek (Agg 2-1): Gers ride luck to continue Europa League progress

Sports
report Nikola Katic scored a crucial second-half goal to help Steven Gerrard's side through Nikola Katic helped kill off Croatian compatriots Osijek as his second-half goal was enough to see Rangers through with a 1-1 Europa League draw at Ibrox. The centre-half headed home from close range eight minutes into the second half as the Light Blues extended the lead given to them by Alfredo Morelos’ first-leg strike. It wasn’t plain sailing for Gerrard’s side Borna Barisic became the first player to net against Steven Gerrard’s Gers with his last minute strike, but the hosts clung on for a 2-1 aggregate win to set up a meeting with Slovenians Maribor in the third qualifying round. With only a slender lead from last weekR...
Rover test: What's it like to ride a rocket to Mars?

Rover test: What's it like to ride a rocket to Mars?

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your device So, if you spend a billion euros on a space mission, you better be sure it can survive the rocket ride off Earth. This video shows a model of Europe's upcoming Mars rover being shaken to simulate the violent first few minutes of flight on leaving the launch pad. ExoMars, as it is known, is a joint project with Russia to put a mobile laboratory on the surface of the Red Planet in 2021. The hi-tech rover will look for signs of past or present life. Europe's Mars rover takes shape Curiosity sees Mars methane swing The vehicle pictured being put through a shake test at Airbus in Toulouse, France, is what is called a Structural Thermal Model, or STM. It is a near-exact copy of the rover that will eventu...
Exclusive ride on first self-driving motorbike

Exclusive ride on first self-driving motorbike

Technology
Sky News has been given an exclusive ride on the first self-driving motorbike. The BMW C1 can steer, control its speed and keep itself upright without any human intervention.It is the first step towards a fully autonomous machine that could whisk passengers through city traffic far more safely.Engineer Torquil Ross-Martin has set up a company, AutoRd Limited, to develop the bike.He said the on-board computer reacts far more quickly than a brain to dangerous situations, such as a gust of wind or an obstruction."A computer can do a better job than a human can because it is always concentrating."When commuting you are not necessarily completely focussed on what you are doing."You are thinking about what you are going to do when you get to the office or whether you are running ...
Mars Opportunity: Rover 'should ride out storm'

Mars Opportunity: Rover 'should ride out storm'

Science
The American space agency says it is concerned but hopeful that its veteran robot rover on Mars can survive a big dust storm on the planet. The 15-year-old vehicle, known as Opportunity, has gone into an emergency mode because there is not enough sunlight reaching its solar panels to power onboard systems. All contact was lost at the weekend.The only function likely running off the batteries currently is a clock.The expectation is that the robot is using this timepiece to wake itself periodically to check whether skies have cleared."It is concerning; this team has a very strong bond with the rover," said John Callas, the Opportunity project manager at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory."We anthropomorphise this rover; we have a tig...