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Cyclist Manon Lloyd in Women’s Tour

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CARMARTHEN cyclist Manon Lloyd is currently taking part in the Women’s Tour, which will reach its grand finale in Carmarthenshire on Saturday, June 15.

The tour started on Monday, June 10, with Manon crossing the line in 8oth place, but only 14 seconds behind the first stage winner.

The second stage will see riders around the Kent Cyclopark. Riders will also pass through Blenheim Palace, Warwick and Llandrindod Wells before heading to Carmarthenshire.

Manon, from Carmarthen, is hoping the strength of a home crowd will spur her on as she competes against the best female cyclists in the world as part of her team Drops.

A former member of Towy Riders, the 22-year-old started her track racing career on the historic Carmarthen Velodrome, where she will cross the line to start Stage Six of the UK’s biggest road race.

Dubbed one of the most challenging stages of the race, the 96 cyclists will compete against each other in a series of sprints and climbs taking in the breath-taking Black Mountains, and descending through the Amman and Gwendraeth Valleys before reaching the finishing line at Pembrey Country Park.

Thousands of people are expected to come out and line the route to cheer on the cyclists and give them and our visitors a warm Carmarthenshire welcome.

Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, hopes the crowds will make their voices heard to help Manon make the most of her home advantage.

“This will be a very special race for Manon,” he said. “She has cycled all over the world competing for Great Britain, and to be selected by her team to race the Women’s Tour is just fantastic.

“Manon is proud of her roots in Carmarthenshire, her family live and farm near Kidwelly, and she always speaks fondly of her time with Towy Riders at our great Velodrome in Carmarthen.

“I know she’s taken advantage of coming home to train and familiarise herself with the Stage Six route which takes in some of our most wonderful scenery and goes through many of our communities.

“I really hope people will come out to cheer her on.”

Although helping her team win the Women’s Tour will be a challenge for Manon, she’s no stranger to taking the winner’s podium.

In 2014 she took first place in the team pursuit and points race at the European Junior Track Championships.

In 2016 she took two golds with her team (Madison) at the UCI Track World Cup, followed by a first in the team pursuit at the European U23 Track Championships, and bronze in another team pursuit at the European Track Championships.

In 2017 she took a mixture of third, second and third place positions, as well as silver and bronze medals, at European, National and World Track Championships.

In 2018 she was part of Team GB for the Commonwealth Games in Australia’s Gold Coast.

The OVO Energy Women’s Tour comes to Carmarthenshire for the first time, hot on the heels of the county’s successful hosting of the men’s Tour of Britain race last September.

The full route and information about road closures, local events and ways to get involved, can be found on the council’s websitewww.carmarthenshire.gov.wales.

Follow updates on social media using #OVOWT #CycleCarms and lend your support to Manon using #TeamManon on @CarmsCouncil and @manonlloyd96

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Sport

Cottage Inn 5K returns

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FOR the second time, runners of all ages and abilities headed to The Cottage Inn Pub, Carmarthen Road on the outskirts of Llandeilo on Friday Evening (Sept 6) for an event which was first introduced 12 months ago in 2018.

Thanks to the great feedback from those in attendance at the debut event in September last year, here it was making a welcome return in the road running calendar once again!

The Cottage Inn Junior Mile & 5K distances was a road running race held to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support with a donation also made to the Llandeilo Mayor Fund.

After starting across the field from the Cottage Inn pub itself, the course took runners on an out-and-back loop around the quiet country lanes of the area.

Once the morning rain had cleared away, the evening sunshine in West Wales saw a total of 101 finish the 5K whilst 41 children got involved in the Junior Mile with a number of parents and guardians running alongside little ones.

All finishers who completed the course collected their finishers’ medal, welcomed home with a round of applause by parents, friends and club mates. In addition, the first three boys and girls in the junior mile and the first three men and women in the 5K were presented with a trophy.

This all happened before runners and spectators socialised afterwards, enjoying some burgers, hot dogs and drinks in each other’s company.

Club vests were out on show from the local clubs of Llanelli AC, Amman Valley Harriers, Carmarthen Harriers, Trots and Sarn Helen. Junior mile children were representing Ysgol Llangadog, Ysgol Bro Dinefwr, Ysgol Llangynnwr, Llandeilo CP, Ysgol Llandybie, Ysgol Brynaman, Ysgol Teilo Sant, Ysgol Ffairfach, Ysgol Gymraeg Rhydaman, Ysgol Nantgaredig and Ysgol Parcyrhun. Several Unattached athletes also got involved at their first appearance at a running event on Friday evening.

Two course records were broken in 2019 and both in the male categories. Macsen Toogood took nine seconds off his own time recorded in 2018 of 5 minutes 7 seconds, whilst David Keenan’s winning time of 16:59 in the 5K was sixteen seconds faster than 12 months ago.

Junior Mile – Boys: 1 Macsen Toogood (Ysgol Bro Dinefwr/Carmarthen Harriers) 00:05:07; 2 William Coles (Ysgol Llangadog/Carmarthen Harriers) 00:05:25; 3 Charlie Price (Ysgol Bro Dinefwr/Carmarthen Harriers) 00:05:47

Junior Mile – Girls: 1 Esme Lynock (Ysgol Llangadog/Carmarthen Harriers) 00:06:17; 2 Grace Toogood (Ysgol Teilo Sant/Carmarthen Harriers) 00:06:43; 3 Fflur Jones (Ysgol Llangadog) 00:07:18

5K – Men: 1 David Keenan (Llanelli AC) 00:16:59; 2 Matt Yelland (Amman Valley Harriers) 00:18:59; 3 Andy Mccall (Amman Valley Harriers) 00:19:00

5K – Women: 1 Wendy Price (Carmarthen Harriers) 00:20:09; 2 Elizabeth Tremlett (Carmarthen Harriers) 00:20:30; 3 Noami Williams (Amman Valley Harriers) 00:22:48

The event by now is annual and it is expected to attract big numbers when 2020 comes around.

Organised superbly and efficiently by Amman Valley Harriers’ Clara Davies, she thanked all the volunteers, runners and supporters alike who turned out to support the event and help raise money for a great cause.

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Sport

Borderers hold on to beat Pembroke

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Pembroke 24-25 Whitland

A LATE missed conversion saw Whitland take the spoils from an entertaining Pembrokeshire-derby with Pembroke on Saturday (Sept 14).

Pembroke drew 25-25 in Aberystwyth in their first game in League 1 West the previous week and they knew they would face another tough test against a strong Whitland pack.

The home side started the better of the two as they pulled their opponents around the park before scoring their first try of the game.

19-year-old Tom Harding-Jones picked up the ball from the backs and beat a couple of defenders to touch down. Toby Smith added the extras for a 7-0 lead.

They scored again soon after as Harding-Jones took a long pass from Smith before diving over in the corner. Smith missed the conversion.

Whitland were then given a penalty try as Pembroke were adjudged to have collapsed a driving maul, bringing the score back to 12-7.

Pembroke lost Lloyd Davies to a yellow card as a result of that and shortly before the break Whitland scored again through Jac Howells to bring the scores level.

It remained level at half time but Whitland went ahead early in the second half when Nico Setaro scored a penalty.

Pembroke then hit back as Sean Dalling went over on the right hand side and Smith then converted to make it 19-15 to the home side.

The Borderers then went ahead with an unconverted try that was scored by Marc Jones.

The home side then began to dominate as they looked to retake the lead but a loose pass saw Whitland kick ahead and it was Gino Setaro who won the race to the ball to touch down and increase their lead. The conversion was missed and the score remained 19-25.

With time running out Jordan Evans, on as a second half sub, picked up the ball from the scrum and ran 15 metres to score.

Smith faced a difficult conversion from out wide and was just unable to get the ball through.

It meant the score stayed at 24-25 and try as they might they were unable to find a late score which would have won the game.

Whitland held on for a thrilling win but Pembroke were left ‘gutted’ that they didn’t quite pick up the win.

Despite the result, Pembroke Head Coach Geraint Lewis was pleased with his squad which featured a number of young players adding that they had competed well with two good sides in their opening games of the season.

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Sport

Kia’ kit out Calsonic U16s

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GRAVELLS KIA KIDWELLY has gifted branded kit to a local football team, Calsonic Kansei U16s, as part of Kia Motors (UK) Ltd’s nationwide ‘Gift of Kit’ initiative which aims to support local grassroots football teams across the UK.

The new kit aims to help local players stand out on the pitch and since the initiative started, Kia has seen fantastic results for the local teams with 121 dealerships providing over 3,470 sets of kit to 129 football clubs and 127 cricket clubs across the nation.

Wyn Edwards, one of the coaches of Calsonic U16s commented; “We can’t thank Gravells Kia Kidwelly enough for helping this newly formed team feel professional in their new kit. We are hoping it will inspire them to perform well this season.”

Jonathan Gravell, General Manager of the Gravells Group said: “We are thrilled to be supporting Calsonic U16s. Playing in their new kit will be a great boost to them and their supporters. As a local business, we are passionate about giving back to our community and we look forward to seeing how the team performs.”

For more information about Kia’s ‘Gift of Kit’ initiative and to find out how you can get involved with future projects, please visit www.kiagiftofkit.co.uk/club.

You can also stop by Gravells Kidwelly SA17 4TF or call the team on 01554 890436 to find out what’s coming up in your area.

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