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Carmarthenshire

Carmarthenshire hosts exciting Tour of Britain team time trial

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There’s just days to go before Carmarthenshire plays host to stage three of the 2021 Tour of Britain.

Hosted by Carmarthenshire County Council, Britain’s largest free sporting event will see some of the world’s best professional cyclists racing through the Tywi Valley in an exciting team time trial that forms stage three of the race.

World champion Mark Cavendish, hailed as the greatest sprinter of all time, and Tokyo 2020 Olympic medallist and six-time Tour de France stage winner Wout Van Aert are amongst those competing.

The event takes place on Tuesday afternoon, September 7, when teams will start the time trial at Ysgol Bro Dinefwr in Ffairfach, finishing at the iconic National Botanic Garden of Wales in Llanarthne, covering over 18km in just under 25 minutes.

The route has been marked with yellow advanced warning signs in the run up to The Tour.

On the day, a full road closure will be in place from 10.30am to 4pm and traffic management will be in place – a short stretch of the A476 from Ffairfach to the junction with the B4300 towards Llanarthne will be closed, and the B4300 will be closed all the way to the junction with the B4310 and on to the National Botanic Garden of Wales.

Spectators are being encouraged to plan their journey to their preferred viewing location in advance to avoid the road closures and take advantage of limited car parking facilities.

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There will be no parking available along the route on the day – vehicles obstructing the race will be towed away.

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Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “This is the third major professional road race we have hosted here in Carmarthenshire, which is cementing its reputation as the cycling capital of Wales.

“We look forward to seeing the best cyclists in the world – some fresh from the Tour de France and Tokyo Olympics – racing through the picturesque Tywi Valley.

“As well as be a spectacle to watch, we hope this will encourage more people to enjoy cycling for leisure and travel which is one of our priorities as a council, helping to get more people active.

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“People are welcome to watch the race along the route, but please take extra care as the race will travel through at high speed.  We want to make sure that you enjoy this event – respecting not just the riders, but the local communities and Covid-19 safety guidelines too.”

Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of the Council, added: “Bringing major events such as the Tour of Britain to Carmarthenshire provides a major boost to the local economy. Businesses and hospitality providers will benefit from not only on the day of the race, but with live televised coverage across the world we are able to showcase what Carmarthenshire has to offer, and that helps attract to visit and spend their time and money here.”

Lead image: Mathieu van der Poel of Corendon-Circus Cycling Team wins stage 4 of the 2019 Tour of Britain (Image Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

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Ammanford

Man who filmed rape on Ammanford victim’s phone changes plea mid trial

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A man who filmed himself raping an Ammanford woman on his victim’s phone has changed his plea to guilty midway through his trial.

Cameron Hassan, aged 31, of no fixed abode, attacked the woman, raping her as she slept on 21 August 2021.

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Hassan had been on trial at Swansea Crown Court after denying any wrongdoing. However, after the jury was shown the video of the attack and hearing the victim was going to give evidence yesterday (Tuesday, 10 May), Hassan changed his plea to guilty.

Investigating Officer DC Sophie Lambert from Dyfed Powys Police said the victim had shown great strength and determination throughout the investigation.

“I must commend her tremendous courage in coming forward and the tenacity shown throughout the investigation,” she said.

“We hope this case demonstrates that Dyfed-Powys Police acts on serious allegations such as rape and sexual assault with officers working tirelessly to secure justice for victims.

“If you are suffering because of similar abuse, please contact the police, or if you would rather speak to someone in confidence, New Pathways are an independent charity that will support you through every step of the investigation.”

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New Pathways can be contacted at 01685 379 310 or email enquiries@newpathways.org.uk

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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Carmarthenshire

Women’s Tour of Britain returns to Carmarthenshire

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The countdown is on before the world’s top women riders will race through Carmarthenshire as part of the Women’s Tour of Britain.

Some 108 cyclists will race through the County to the finishing line on top of the Black Mountain between Llangadog and Brynamman as part of the stage five event on Friday, June 10.

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The route will be starting from Pembrey Country Park at 10.45am and riders competing for the title will go through Pinged, Carway, Pontyberem, Horeb, Llansawel, and Llangadog.

A rolling road closure will take place along the 65-mile route which will come into action at 10.45am until 1.50pm.

Roads will be re-opened once the cyclists have passed through. A full road closure will be in place over the Black Mountain from 5am-5pm.

The event will be broadcast on ITV4 and across Europe with a helicopter camera crew following the race.

The Women’s Tour departs on Monday, June 6, and coincides with the final day of a four-day Bank Holiday weekend in the UK to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. The race will culminate with a prestigious finale six days later on Saturday, June 11.

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Pembrey Country Park previously hosted the Grand Départ of the men’s Tour of Britain as well as the overall finish of the Women’s Tour in 2019.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Chief Executive, Wendy Walters said: “We are thrilled that we have again been chosen to host this top cycling event. Previous years have brought an immediate economic boost to the tourism sector as well as providing a great deal of positive media coverage.”

(Lead image: Carmarthenshire Council)

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Dyfed Powys Police

Man banned from driving for 12 months for fishing offence

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A man from Merthyr Tydfil who travelled to the River Loughor, near Llanelli to fish using a barbaric and illegal method, has been banned from driving for 12 months as part of his sentence.

Vu Quang Tien pleaded guilty to an illegal fishing charge and also to a charge of obstruction of a Natural Resources Wales (NRW) Fisheries Enforcement Officer on 26 April at Swansea Magistrates Court.

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Mr Tien and two other anglers were witnessed by NRW Fisheries Enforcement Officers deliberately using the illegal foul hooking method of fishing – also known as snatching – at the river Loughor on 15 August 2021. NRW officers attended the site after several reports of illegal fishing were made to NRW’s 24/7 incident call centre by concerned members of the community.

When approached and questioned by NRW officers, Mr Tien and his accomplices showed significant hostility and reluctance to share identification documents which eventually had to be extracted by use of reasonable force.

All of Mr Tien’s fishing tackle and fish, along with his associates’ fishing tackle was seized by NRW Officers at the time of the incident. The district judge on the day at Swansea Magistrates Court gave permission to NRW to confiscate these items permanently from each of them.

The District Judge disqualified Mr Tien from driving for 12 months due to seriousness of the incident, and the premeditated and deliberate action of travelling such a distance to commit the offence.

He was also ordered to pay a total of £2,334 in fines, NRW costs and a victim surcharge.

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Mark Thomas, Fisheries Enforcement Officer for NRW, said: “We would like to again thank Dyfed Powys Police, the local communities and also the law-abiding anglers in the area for their continued support in reporting these illegal fishing activities.

“Foul hooking is a truly barbaric form of fishing carried out by a small minority of anglers in Wales, who have no regard for fish welfare.

“NRW and the Police take these incidents seriously as do the courts.

“Hopefully, the small minority of anglers who may in future, think of using any illegal fishing methods will take heed of the heavy fines and driving ban in this case issued by the courts.”

(Lead image: Natural Resources Wales)

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