By his own admission, the last ten weeks have been a nightmare for Elfyn Evans as he’s had to sit out three rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship as he recovers from a back injury. But the good news – for both him and rally fans – is that recent testing has gone well and he’s been passed fit for next month’s Wales Rally GB (3-6 October). The 30-year old Dolgellau ace was enjoying a good season before hurting his back after a heavy and awkward landing during July’s non-championship Rally Estonia. “I actually finished the rally – there was some pain but it was only after visiting a specialist on my return to the UK that the full extent of the injury was revealed,” said Evans. “They told me it was advisable not to keep driving for fear of making it worse.”
Elynor Backstedt claimed Great Britain’s second bronze medal of the UCI World Cycling Championships in Yorkshire on Monday morning. The 17-year-old Pontyclun cyclist finished third in the junior individual time trial despite almost crashing out when she skidded on an early bend in the slippery road conditions. Backstedt produced a brilliant ride to finish just 10.93 seconds second down on the winner Aigul Gareeva, of Russia, who also had a mishap when she overshot the final bend of the 13.7km course around Harrogate.
Leandro Bacuna has revealed he took some time off before Cardiff City’s victory over Middlesbrough as he reflected on the death of an international teammate. The Bluebirds midfielder was one of the stand-out performers for Neil Warnock’s side at the weekend and has been a growing influence for the team after a mixed campaign in the second-half of last season following his £4m move from Reading. Bacuna played against Derby County but was then given time off by manager Warnock following the player’s return from Haiti, where the Dutch-born Bacuna was on international duty for the Caribbean island of Curacao.
As Wales kick-off their World Cup campaign against Georgia in Japan, The Rugby Paper’s Peter Jackson recalls the Wales player who went to two tournaments and never finished on a losing side. Whatever happens in Japan over the next few weeks, nobody will get anywhere close to matching the World Cup record set by an invisible Welshman. Steve Ford remains the only player from any of the Six Nations to have winged his way into two World Cups and returned home undefeated. The fact that successive Welsh coaches at successive tournaments saw fit to keep the Cardiff carpet-fitter under wraps might have had something to do with it.
Sam Warburton believes memories to last a lifetime can be created by Wales over the next six weeks at the Rugby World Cup. But it’s not just out in Japan where Warren Gatland and his team are aiming to make their impact felt. Back here in Wales, the game is utilizing the global tournament in order to strengthen links between the sport and its next generation of followers. Former Wales and Lions captain Warburton – who retired through injury this time last year – has been assisting the Welsh Rugby Union in a plan to make sure the benefits of the World Cup are felt in schools across Wales.
Jason Pritchard has won the Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship for a second year in a row, beating arch-rival Damian Cole to the title by just one point after a thrilling final round on the Ford Parts Cheviot Stages Rally on Otterburn. Having won the British Historic Rally Championship three times (2015, ’16 and ’17) and the Asphalt title last year, Pritchard’s latest success is his fifth major rally title in as many years. Only Pritchard and Cole could win the Asphalt title as they entered the final event of the year – and so close were they that there was a strong possibility that it would go down to a tiebreak. Cole was ahead on points heading to the Northumberland military range, and increased his advantage by setting fastest time on the opening stage – meaning any tiebreak decision would go in his favour.
Vale of Glamorgan trainer Tim Vaughan had a double at Ludlow with AllTimeGold and Jefferson Davis (writes Brian Lee). The former, partnered by stable jockey Alan Johns, landed the two-mile handicap chase, while Jefferson Davis, ridden by champion jockey Richard Johnson, won the three-mile handicap chase. https://twitter.com/LudlowRaceClub/status/1130490332783751168 AllTimeGold, the 6-4 favourite, won by six... Read More
Llancarfan's Evan Williams and Bridgend's John Flint saddled winners at Wincanton and Worcester (writes Brian Lee). Williams saw his four-year-old Annsam land the maiden hurdle at Wincanton and dual purpose trainer John Flint took the handicap chase at Worcester with his nine-year-old Cillian's Well. Annsam, partnered by stable jockey Adam Wedge and a 5-1... Read More
Pink Eyed Pedro, owned, trained and bred by David Brace of the Dunraven Stud at Pyle, near Bridgend, ran out an easy 11-lengths winner of the Dunraven Bowl Novices' Hunter Chase at Chepstow (writes Brian Lee). The eight-year-old bay gelding gave sponsor Brace his first success in the race since it... Read More
Welsh rugby International Cory Hill has a share in a syndicate horse that has won three point-to-point races this season (writes Brian Lee). He saw his mare take the honours at South Pembrokeshire Hunt Point-To-Point Steeplechases, Lydstep. It was the first time Hill had watched five-year-old chestnut Highway Jewel race win when she... Read More
Lorcan Williams, who hails from West Wales, had four rides for legendary trainer Paul Nicholls at Fontwell and won on three of them (writes Brian Lee). After finishing a length runner-up on the top weighted Tomorrow Mystery to Magical Thomas in the opening Handicap Hurdle, the former point-to-point rider won the... Read More
Dual purpose trainer John Flint took the M&M Green Haulage Handicap Chase at Ffos Las (writes Brian Lee). His 10-year-old course and distance winner Lac Sacre finished 12 lengths ahead of the Evan Williams-trained Sutters Mill. Lac Sacre, a 9-1 chance, was partnered by Paddy Brennan. Earlier in the day, Williams' Flight To... Read More