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University Cycling Team light up the Manchester Velodrome in BUCS outing Jazz Jones


he squad of 10 CURCT riders assembled at Manchester velodrome for a full weekend of BUCs track racing. The weekend kicked off with girls Sophie Lankford and Jade Payne competing the flying 200m with Sophie putting in an exceptional time qualifying her for the second round. Next we had the mens sprint event, with our two sprint boys Lewis Oliva and Tom Scammel both entered we knew this was going to be an exciting event and they did not disappoint. Tom put out an incredible time earning him second fastest qualifying time behind Lewis who not only qualifies first but also DESTROYED the BUCs record with the fastest 200m time ever achieved at this event! Next we had the womens 500m with Jazz Jones, Jade and Sophie all producing cracking performances with a new P.B for Jazz. Ben Millar and Ollie Blagden then represented the CURCT team in the mens individual pursuit, with Jenny Holden and Sophie competing in the ladies event, all narrowly missing out on qualifying for the next round in a strong field of very decent riders. Tom then competed again in the kilo event with teammate Geoff Smart also taking part, both of whom displayed

remarkable power with Tom’s time fast enough to earn him a podium spot taking third place and getting our first team points. The second day sore even more success for the CURCT team with Lewis and Tom both dominating all the minor sprint finals to come head to head in the final race for gold. The boys gave us an exciting final with Lewis’ power and track experience giving him a slight edge over Tom to get Lewis Gold and Tom Silver. Lewis also wowed the crowds again in this race by putting out another incredibly fast time with the even the event commentator ‘fan-boying’ Lewis. Later in the day saw the Cardiff team compete in the bunch races which have been known previousl for bring brutal and dangerous due to the sheer volume of riders on the track. Joe Locket successfully made it through to the final round of the mens Elimination race competing against a tough group of experienced riders to finish just outside the top ten – very strong performance by Joe. Girls Jenny and Jazz represented CURCT in the women’s Elimination race with 11th and 13th place finishes respectively in a large bunch, Jenny also competed alongside Sophie in the points race with both riders taking sprint points and finishing

strongly. Our men’s captain Ben Millar was our representation from Cardiff in the men’s points race, after putting in two heroic sprint efforts he was unfortunately caught up in a crash which meant he was unable to finish. The prize giving was awash with Cardiff colours, Tom took his place on the podium for the kilo then stood alongside Lewis for the sprint presentations when the two Cardiff boys were awarded gold and silver. Stunning perfor-

mances from these two athletes along with good overall results from the rest of the mens team put our Cardiff men in second place overall. The team of 10 riders competed against larger squads with more experience to come home with medals round their necks and grins of their faces. Congratulations to the whole team, the club are very proud of what they have achieved already this year and are looking forward to seeing what else they are capable of.

Bale nominated for UEFA Team of the Year but ankle surgery puts him out for three months Dan Heard

Bale’s inclusion in the list only adds to the stellar year he is having.


areth Bale has been ruled out for three months after suffering an ankle injury in Real Madrid’s 2-1 Champions League group win at Sporting Lisbon last Wednesday. The Whitchurch born superstar requires surgery on the ankle which will rule him out of El Clasico. The news fell just days after he, along fellow Welsh teammates, Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen were nominated for UEFA’s Team of the Year following on from an outstanding summer the Welsh team had in France during Euro 2016. The trio sit alongside the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar. Leicester City’s title winners Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante, now at Chelsea, also feature after playing their part in helping the five thousand to one shots lift the Premier League trophy in May. What makes the inclusion of Bale, Ramsey and Allen even more remarkable is that there isn’t a single English player amongst the nominees, with Foxes striker Jamie Vardy, who scored against Wales in their group game with England at the Euro’s, and last season’s top scorer, Tottenham’s Harry Kane, both missing out. Bale’s inclusion in the list only adds to the stellar year he is having so far, after also being included on the shortlist for the most illustrious individual honour in football, the Ballon D’Or, alongside Real Madrid club mate

Ronaldo. Since his eighty five million pound move to the Santiago Bernabeu in 2013, he has scored the winner in the final of the Copa Del Rey, lifted the Champions League on two occasions and, in all honesty, been the most recognisable face of Welsh football on a global stage. He scored three outstanding goals in consecutive group games at the Euro’s, including sublime free-kicks against Slovakia and England, and is now only two goals away from equalling the all-time scoring record for Wales of twenty eight, currently held by former Liverpool ace Ian Rush. After enduring a tough second season with Madrid, he has shone once again this year to become a real fans’ favourite. Though injuries have curtailed his season with Arsenal so far, former Wales skipper Ramsey gets no less than he deserves in his inclusion on the list. Alongside Allen, he was the heartbeat of Wales’ midfield throughout their successful qualifying campaign and into the Euro’s, scoring a brilliant solo goal against Russia in the group that sent his side on their way to clinching top spot. Though perhaps not as skilful as his Emirates team mates Mesut Ozil or Alexis Sanchez, he continues to be a vital part of the Gunners first team plans, having matured from the youngster with raw potential signed from Cardiff in 2008 and coming back from his horrific

leg-break against Stoke City two years later, into a leader both on and off the pitch. If there is one of the three going through a purple patch though, it’s Allen. Since joining Stoke in the summer from Liverpool, he has gone on to score six goals already this season, his

best ever league tally. For Wales meanwhile, he was named in the team of the tournament in France for his displays, and scored a belting volley in the draw with Austria last month. It’s turning into a real golden period for Welsh footballers.

Gair Rhydd 1088 - 28th November 2016  
Gair Rhydd 1088 - 28th November 2016