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Cycling tour a resounding success!

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Tour of Pembrokeshire: 1,500 cyclists took part in the 2016 event

Tour of Pembrokeshire: 1,500 cyclists took part in the 2016 event

THE 2016 TOUR of Pembrokeshire took place at its new venue of Crug Glas near St Davids on the weekend of April 23-24.

The venue was not the only thing changing about the tour this year – there was the added combination of adjusted and optimised routes as well as new feeding stations en route.

The Tour of Pembrokeshire is an early-season sportive event which really encapsulates what it is like to cycle in Pembrokeshire.

The route includes endless quiet country roads, coastal views, daunting climbs and energysapping ups and downs.

With three different routes to choose from, the tour offers the opportunity for riders of almost any ability to test themselves against what Pembrokeshire has to offer.

In the past, the tour has attracted names such as Chris Boardman MBE, and regularly has many cycling publications attend to ride at the event.

The cycling weekend kicked off on the rather wet and grey Friday afternoon (Apr 22) where a large amount of the 1,500 cyclists made their way up to Crug Glas to register for the event and collect their rider number, timing chip and info pack.

Despite the grim weather, the atmosphere was buoyant as riders got into the mood for the challenge ahead, and sportive riders are well accustomed to imperfect weather conditions.

Saturday saw an early start both for the organisers of the event and the riders themselves, as cars began to arrive at Crug Glas at 5am.

There was a tangible atmosphere of anticipation and excitement as riders unloaded their bikes from their cars, got ready and enjoyed a hearty breakfast, which was prepared by Crug Glas and Will Evans and the team from Gwaun Valley Meats, to see them through the day.

As 7am approached, the 100- mile route cyclists had their timing chips scanned and began the route whilst the sun steadily rose over the beautiful Pembrokeshire countryside and music blared out whilst family and friends cheered.

Live bands, such as Fishguard and Goodwick orchestra, Samba Band, Honey Fungus and PUP, played at Feed Stations and the venue throughout the day.

Twinned with the bout of incredible weather, this made the day an unforgettable experience for both the riders and locals alike.

The route brought cyclists through Fishguard, Newport, St Dogmaels, Crymych, the Gwaun Valley, Bedd Morris, Puncheston, St Davids and then back up along the main road to Crug Glas.

Riders doing the 100-mile route had to face over 10,000 foot of uphill climbs.

Joshua Fiddy, Event Organiser, said: “This year we have been incredibly blessed to have some of the best weather the tour has ever experienced.

“This, along with the great new venue in Crug Glas, fantastic Feed Stations, live music from some of Pembrokeshire’s best bands, enthusiastic and dedicated staff and volunteers, great support from sponsors and obviously the riders themselves who turned up in the droves and gave it everything they had, made the 2016 Tour of Pembrokeshire one that will stand out in the minds of all involved for many years to come.

“It was a truly superb day that I am proud to have been a part of.”

The tour supported the Welsh Air Ambulance, Paul Sartori Foundation, RNLI and 2420 (Whitland and District) Squadron. They were grateful for the help of the volunteers from these organisations that worked so hard and enthusiastically on the day.

A host of riders who partook in the tour left their comments. Colin Wyatt said: “I just wanted to say thanks. It was the hardest and best sportive I have ever done.

“The atmosphere was more of a festival and was second to none. Credit too goes to the kind and courteous people of Pembrokeshire who were the most considerate drivers and spectators I have known.”

Richard Davies said: “This is probably the best event I’ve ridden. It was superb in every aspect, even the brutal hills. I had 112 miles in the bag by the time I got back to the B&B!”

The tour would like to give special thanks to their sponsors – Pembrokeshire Bikes, Fred Rees Skoda, Quality Cottages, Gwaun Valley Meats, Castle Hot Tubs and the many other businesses and organisations that helped to make the Tour of Pembrokeshire happen.

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Covid-19 vaccination venues and timeline announced for everyone locally over 50

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EVERY person in JCVI priority groups 5 to 9 will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination by 18 April, Hywel Dda University Health Board has confirmed.

While the health board’s vaccination programme has the capacity to offer a vaccine to everyone in groups 5 to 9 by the original target date of 4 April, the delivery plan has had to be adjusted based on confirmed vaccine deliveries.

Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire residents in priority groups 5 to 9 can expect to receive their vaccine as follows:

  • Group 5, people aged 65 – 69 years – delivered by GP practices between 15 February and 12 March
  • Group 6, people aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers – delivered by GP practices between 22 February and 4 April
  • Group 7, people aged 60 – 64 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 8 March
  • Group 8, people aged 55 – 59 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 22 March
  • Group 9, people aged 50 – 54 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 5 April

The health board currently has mass vaccination centres located in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Haverfordwest, Tenby, Carmarthen and Llanelli.

Group 6 is significantly the largest cohort to be vaccinated to date and we understand that many in this group will be anxious to receive a vaccine. Please do not contact your GP or the health board to ask about your appointment, you will be contacted directly when it is your turn and we thank you for your patience.

People in groups 7, 8 and 9 will receive a letter with an appointment date and time. Please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. The letter will include a phone number to contact the health board should you need to rearrange or cancel your appointment but please make every effort to keep your allocated appointment time.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “While  our programme has had to slow  due to supplies, we want to reassure everyone in groups 5 to 9 that our amazing teams of vaccinators and GP practices have the capability and flexibility to deliver our vaccine supplies as they arrive into the region.

“Vaccine supplies will start to increase again from mid-March, and we are confident that everyone living in our three counties in the top 9 priority groups will be offered a vaccine by mid-April.

“In Hywel Dda we have an older population compared to some other health boards and so over 50% of our adult population will have been offered a vaccine by milestone 2.

“To be able to say that as we approach the anniversary of the first national lockdown is nothing short of extraordinary.

“And again, I must say thank you to everyone living in our three counties who continue to come forward in substantial numbers for the vaccine. Uptake remains remarkably high and we hope to see this continue through groups 5 to 9 and into group 10.”

People are asked, wherever possible, to use their own private transport to attend an appointment. Lifts can be accepted from someone in their household or support bubble, but not from anyone else due to the risk of transmission of the virus.

The health board has put in place transport support for anyone who may have difficulty attending their vaccination appointment. If you have no other means of travel, please contact the health board on 0300 303 8322 and we will be happy to assist.

Everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 should have received an offer of a vaccination. If you have not been contacted, or have changed your mind, please contact your GP at the earliest opportunity. No one will be left behind.

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Nolton Haven: Man hospitalised after getting into difficulties in sea

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A MAN was taken to hospital after getting into difficulties in the sea off Nolton Haven on Friday.

Emergency services were alerted at 2.40pm on February 26 by a 999 call to the control centre.

The Little Haven RNLI lifeboat, Broad Haven Coastguard, an ambulance crew and a Coastguard rescue helicopter assisted police in the operation.

The male casualty was stabilised on the beach and shortly before 4.30pm, was then transported to Withybush Hospital.

A police spokesman told The Herald: “We were called to a male who had got into difficulties in the water at Nolton Haven shortly before 3pm.

“He was taken to hospital by ambulance.”

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Cyclist killed on A40 was serving police officer, force confirms

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A CYCLIST who died after a crash with a van on the A40 in Carmarthenshire was a serving police officer with Dyfed-Powys Police, the force has confirmed in a statement to Herald.Wales.

The driver of the van involved in the crash, which happened on Thursday (Feb 25) has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, it was confirmed on Friday (Feb 26).

Police are investigating the fatal collision, which caused the road to be closed for 12 hours, and are asking for any witnesses to come forward by calling 101.

37-year-old Lynwen Thomas, who is a former student at Ysgol Bro Myrddin, Croes-y-Ceiliog, Carmarthen, was a sergeant and a very well-respected member of Dyfed-Powys Police.

A spokesperson for the police said in a statement: “Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues, who have all been offered specialist support. We ask that family members are given the privacy they need at this difficult time.”

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