VETERAN cyclist Junior Niles continued his dominance of cycling on the local scene when he won the feature 35-lap race of the 12th annual Laparkan Holdings sponsored 11-race cycle programme which was organised by cycling coach Hassan Mohammed,and staged around the outer circuit of the National Park yesterday.Niles, who along with Mark Harris, Brighton John and Paul Cho-Wee-Nam,broke from the group after two laps and established a sizeable lead.However,after the 20th lap, John dropped back while Harris, Cho-Wee-Nam and Niles continued to lead.John,before being outpaced, had captured one of the eight prime prizes that were up on offer for the eventWith six laps remaining in the fast-paced event, Cho-Wee-Nam, Harris and Niles were mixed with the stragglers and stayed with them until there were two laps remaining.They then surged ahead of the chasing pack and while heading for the finish, Niles outsprinted his rivals and was never really challenged.Harris,who finished second and Cho-Wee-Nam who settled for third,both put in creditable performances.Niles,who won one of the prime prizes,clocked one hour,18 minutes and 53.81 seconds in winning the race.Cho-Wee-Nam and Harris won two prime prizes each.In the race for the other top three places, Hamzah Eastman outsprinted Shaquille Agard to take fourth.Agard finished in fifth while Kemuel Moses came sixth.In other results from the day’s activity, John was the first to cross the finish line in the 10-lap race for juveniles. Second was Jaheel Jackson while finishing third was Raphael Leung.The three-lap race for mountain bikers was won by Oziah McAulley,ahead of Stephon Gobin, while John Niles won the two-lap race for BMX boys and Girls 6-9 years old.Jeremiah Harrison was the winner of the BMX boys three-lap race. Second was Shay Sue-Hang and finishing third was Zab James.Theran Garbarran won the three-lap race for boys and girls 12-14 years old, while Kennard Lovell was the winner of the five-lap race for veterans over 50 years of age. Second was Linden Blackman.Lennox Jackman won the five-lap race for veterans under 50 years of age,ahead of Junior Niles and ralph Williams,respectively.Prior to making the presentation of prizes to the respective winners, Human Resources Manager of Laparkan Holdings Limited,Lynette Shiwlochan,thanked cycling coach Hassan Mohamed for organizing the event and also congratulated the participants.Shiwlochan,who has been the company’s Human Resources manager for the past three years, expressed Laparkhan’s commitment to sponsoring the programme for years to come.Mohamed thanked the company for staying on board and noted that all the participants were winners, even though some may not have secured podium places.
Gary Neville’s future as Valencia manager hung in the balance after his side were beaten 1-0 by fellow strugglers Real Betis, suffering a fourth league defeat in nine matches.Ruben Castro scored the only goal of the game on 49 minutes by pouncing on more slack defending from Valencia, who had Jose Luis Gaya sent off with five minutes remaining and then had a headed goal from Shkrodan Mustafi ruled out in stoppage time.Neville’s side are now just four points above the relegation zone, only five points better off than when he took the reins of the team two months ago.Betis had been suffering a similar results crisis before the game, failing to win a league game since November, but they join Valencia on 25 points thanks to their first victory under interim coach Juan Merino.Neville made four changes to the team humbled 7-0 by Barcelona and opted for a 4-2-3-1 shape with Alvaro Negredo as the lone striker, while 22-year-old Wilfried Zahibo lined up in a holding midfield role alongside Dani Parejo.Valencia were far more organised as a result, but struggled to create much. Their only attempts in the first half were poorly executed effort from Mustafi, who attempted to flick the ball towards the goal with his heel following a free-kick, and a distance effort from Parejo which went well wide. The visitors did concede plenty of fouls, though, picking up four bookings before the break. They were also fortunate to make it into the break level, as Betis finished the first half strongly.Norwich reject Ricky Van Wolfswinkel had the best chance of the half, getting through into the area but shooting straight into the arms of Mat Ryan.Valencia had their first proper chance early in the second half, with Negredo released on the left hand side of the area and pulling his shot wide of the far post.Then Betis attacked and made no mistake. Castro began the move in the final third and a flick by Charly Musonda helped it on to Van Wolfswinkel, whose low cross bypassed Aymen Abdennour and Castro swooped to tap in. Valencia almost equalised immediately. Andre Gomes drove the team forward and slipped a pass to Denis Cheryshev, who cut it back to Negredo by the penalty spot, but Juan Manuel Vargas slid in to block the shot on the goalline.Betis had further chances to stretch their lead, Alfred N’Diaye headed over the bar and then Vargas had a free-kick deflected wide. They looked to have finally got a second when substitute Jorge Molina leaped to head a free-kick into the far corner, but the goal was chalked off for a foul.After breathing a sigh of relief at a disallowed goal, Valencia were then cursing their own bad luck as Mustafi was harshly ruled offside as he headed in from a free-kick. They could still have equalised in stoppage time even though they were a man down when Rodrigo was put through, but his shot was saved by Antonio Adan, leaving Neville on the brink.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoyFMSports. Our hashtag is #JoySports