Fred Wright(VC Londres) secured the overall in the 36th running of the 3 day Junior Tour of Wales over the bank holiday weekend. The 1st year Junior also took the best young rider title. Wright didn’t have the best start on the tour with a disappointing 31st in the opening time trial on the 7.5KMs climb up the Tumble mountain, over 90 seconds adrift of the stage winner Rob Scott(VCUK PH-MAS). The VCUK team placed 3 riders in the top 5, Tom Pidcock and Adam Hartley taking 3rd and 4th respectively. The trio were split by Wright’s team mate Ethan Hayter who took second quickest on the climb.
With Scott heading up the Junior Road Series it was a perfect start and with 2nd place Charlie Meredith(Giant CC HALO-Films) rounding up the top 5, the tour would prove to be anything but routine.
A new stage 2 saw the race finish atop Pen y Cymoedd and it was Peter Kibble who timed his jump perfectly to claim a home victory in the rain. Mark Donovan(Beste Alde) took a fine 2nd whilst Dan Scarffe(IOM Cycling) held off the main field for 3rd. Rob Scott finished in the bunch retaining the overall going into the 2nd day. Kibble’s win moved him into 2nd overall, 14 seconds off the yellow jersey and Hayter took 3rd, 1 second behind.
Day 2 and the 3rd stage saw the race start on a wet, muddy 3Kms circuit at Park Bryn Bach, the circuit which has been used for many years always sees a number of attacks throughout the race and this edition proved to be the status quo. An early attack by Matt Draper(Velocity Globalbikes) and the VC Londres pair of Ethan Hayter and Fred Wright. 2 of the trio crashing on the slippy corner before the finish straight, Draper’s race all but over with a damaged bike and Wright having to dust himself down, attack over, but it was Tom Pidcock who set the race on fire with a handful of laps remaining, the precocious Yorkshire rider was unstoppable and took a fine solo victory almost a minute to the good of the main field and moved up to 4th overall, Hayter still in 2nd whilst kibble lost time but remained in 3rd.
The penultimate 87KMS stage between Abergavenny and Hardwick would prove to be the turning point of the tour. Billy Robinson(Squadra RT) outsprinted Fred Wright and Eugene Cross(SSLL RT) to take, arguably, his biggest win to date, the main field rolling across the line some 10 seconds back, the tours main protagonists safely in the bunch and Scott taking his lead into the final day and the Queen stage to the Tumble Mountain but a complaint of unsafe riding against Scott and Pidcock saw a 1 minute and 3 minute time penalty handed out overnight to the VCUK riders respectively, demoting Scott to 8th overall and losing the yellow to Hayter and Pidcock down to 48th.
The final stage from Brynmawr to the summit of Tumble Mountain resonated with the news of the VCUK rider’s penalties but there was a race to be won and from the flag there would be attacks throughout the stage but it was Pidcock, who once again set the race on fire, jumping off the front of the chase group to close on the leaders by over a minute then to ride through just as the race hit the foot of the steep ascent up the Tumble, crossing the line on the back wheel some 30 seconds ahead of 2nd place Fred Wright and Mark Donovan who took third. Wrights efforts on the climb securing the Tour victory from team mate Hayter by 33 seconds. Jake Stewart took 3rd overall. Charlie Meredith finished 5th and secured the series from Scott by 1 point.
1.Fred Wright VC Londres 7.26.43
2. Ethan Hayter VC Londres @0.33
3. Jake Stewart Swinnerton Cycles @1.00
4. Peter Kibble Wales @1.02
5. Charlie Meredith Giant CC Halo Films @1.06
Charlie Quarterman VC Londres
Matt Walls Velocity Globalbikes
Fred Wright VC Londres
Gallery link below
Ryan Coulton(Pro Vision SJ Academy) took the overall victory in Rnd 2 of the British Cycling Junior Road Race Series after a hard 2 days around the Mendip Hills. With winter like weather on day 1 which saw many riders climb off because of the effects of hypothermia the victory was all the more special for the 2nd year junior
1. Ryan Coulton (Pro Vision SJ Academy) 4.29.02
2. Charlie Quarterman (Zappi’s Racing Team) at 43sec
3. Charlie Meredith (Giant CC- HALO Films) at 1.37
4. Cameron Orr (SRAM Development) at same time
5. Ben Hardy (Windmill Wheels CC) at 1.43
The opening stage would prove to dictate the overall outcome of the weekend. As the flag dropped for the start proper the rain started to fall but it would be later in the stage that would change the day for many.
Matt Fratesi(Severn RC) took the KOM jersey on the first climb of the day up the tough drag at Burrington Combe, taking the race towards the first of 7 times around the Rifleman’s circuit. Although a small group went away on the opening lap it would be the 2nd time around that the race woke up. A group of some 15 riders attacked the group and soon opened up a 90 second gap. The group which included Owen Dudley(IOM Cycling), Rob Scott(VCUK), Grant Martin(Spokes RT), James Jenkins(Eastern Region) and Eugene Cross(SSLL RT) were working well together and it looked as though they could go the distance. The main field were beginning to splinter with the pace and by the 3rd lap the race was split into 4 groups, the lead group keeping the pace high and the peloton not looking to respond. But with the cold starting to take the energy out of the front group the gap began to drop to the main field and with 3 laps remaining the race was back together. The catch was the trigger for attacks, Owen Line went alone as the race hit the sweeping bend onto the Chedder Road, Speedflex RT’s Conor Davies went to join to leader and the pair got a useful gap over the main field. Hargroves’ Harry Yates went to chase the 2 leaders and the race began to split into a number of groups. The final 2 laps would prove too much for many riders, again the bitter cold took many by surprise and would have to climb off in search of warm team cars. It was a group of 10 that took the final lap ahead of what was left of the field and hitting the final bend into the finish straight into a brisk headwind it would be Line who had the legs to claim the win.
1. Owen Line (Pro Vision Cycling Academy) 2.25.47
2. Dylan Thomas (VC Meudon)
3. Ryan Coulton (Pro Vision Cycling Academy)
4. Charlie Quarterman (Zappis RT)
5. Tim Jones (Spokes RT)
Adam Hartley(VCUK PH-MAS) took a solo win on the tough Mendip circuit that proved so different from the opening stage. 3 major climbs would decide the outcome of the day. The opening Burrington Combe climb drag saw the bunch stay together until the final few metres when Matt Fratesi(Severn RC jumped off the front to take the points and secure the overall KOM competition. Cameron Orr(Sram Development), Cameron Biddle(Solihull CC), Harry Yates(Hargroves Cycles) and Jacob Vaugan(VC Londres) took the remainder of the points. As the course flattened out over the top of the climb and headed out towards Chedder the race began to ignite, a group of 6 rode away and would ultimately decide the structure of the day. Hartley, Coulton, Pat Christopher(Zappi’s RT) Charles Page(Corley Cycles), George Greenhalgh(Identity RT) and Matthew Cox(Giant CC-HALO) rode well together to keep the bunch at some 2.1/2 minutes.
The second time around the course saw the field tackle the vicious climb up Rhodyate Hill, the lead group were now 5 as Christopher getting dropped as the race took the sharp left through the small village of Blagdon and began the ascent, past the feed to the 2nd KOM which was taken by Matthew Cox. The climb saw the race split apart, with riders struggling up the sharp ascent. A crash coming into Blagdon saw Cameron Biddle and Kieron Howarth hit the floor, the pair jumped back on but were too far back to have anymore input to the race, Biddle taking 3rd in the first climb saw his chances to challenge for the KOM now gone.
As the race took to the final circuit, a group of some 13 started to try and reel the leaders in, Charlie Quaterman, Rob Scott and Peter Kibble heading the chasers got to within 1.45 to them but the gap was too great to close. Hartley, Coulton and Cox, hit the foot of the final climb of Harptree Hill leading up to the finish, Coulton knew he had enough time to take the overall and was happy to take second while Hartley took his biggest victory to date, crossing the line 17 seconds ahead of the PRO Vision rider. Cox completed the podium a few seconds adrift.
1. Adam Hartley (VCUK PH MAS CT) 2.02.58
2. Ryan Coulton (Pro Vision SJ Academy) at 17sec
3. Matthew Cox ( Giant CC-HALO Films) at 26sec
4. Charlie Quarterman (Zappi’s Racing Team) at 1.00
5. Owen Dudley (IOM Cycling Academy) at 1.51
Joe Nally took a fine win in the opening round of the 2016 British Cycling Junior Road Race Series today on a challenging 67 miles course around Boughrood in Powys. The Hardie-Bikes 1st Year junior held off the favourites to take a solo win on the long drag to the finish line at Llyswen. Owen Dudley(IOM Cycling Academy) rolled across the line to take second while Speedflex’s Conor Davies had to be content with third.
It was Owen Dudley(IOM Cycling) who made the opening move of the race, jumping away almost as the flag dropped for race proper, the tight, twisty lanes through the village of Cwmbach and Boughrood allowing the Manx rider to sneak away, Matt Draper(Velocity Globalbike) also took his chance and bridged the gap to Davies and the pair were away. A chase group of three(Matt Radford(Wolverhampton Wheelers), Conor Davies and Theo Hartley(DFL In-Gear) took to chase the lead pair down but the gap remained at some fifteen seconds. The main bunch looked to be content to sit and peg the chasers at some twenty seconds.
There was no real change for the first half of the race, small attacks went off the main bunch, James Tillet(Wales) and Gabriel Fowden(Eastern Region) tried to move across to the chasing three but to no avail and were soon swallowed up by the main field.
With the race approaching half distance, a group of twelve went to chase the lead pair down, crossing the Llyswen Bridge across the River Wye they looked to organising well, the main field splintering into small groups and as the race approached Boughrood once again the lead had changed. A new group of four had taken the lead,Will Roberts & James Tillet(Wales), Morgan Hughes(Pro Vision SJ Academy) and Jonathan Wong(Salt Ayre Cog Set) were heading up the race from a chasing pair of Joe Lineham(RP Vision RT) and Owen Lyons. The quartet looked as though they may stay away for the final few laps but it speed got the better of Wong and he dropped off the pace on the finish climb.
Tillet and Hughes upped the pace on the penultimate lap but a flurry of small attacks soon had the bunch back together until the bell when Stephen Dent(SpokesRT) jumped away, Hughes responded and chased the new leader down, the main field being lead up the hill by Hargroves Cycles Harry Yates, the lead tooing and froing until Nally made a play through the s-bends at Boughrood, the 1st year junior almost being allowed to have his few minutes off the front but sensing a win was possible he hit the bottom of the finish climb alone and was able to hold enough time to cross the line 14 seconds ahead of Dudley.
1. Joe Nally www.Hardie-Bikes.com 2.52.35
2. Owen Dudley IOM Cycling Academy @0.14
3. Conor Davies Speedflex RT @0.18
4. Reece Wood Velocity Globalbike same
5. Jamie Ridehaigh Speedflex RT same
6. Den Hardy Windmill Wheels CC same
7. Anthony Anderson Team Corley same
8. James Jenkins Eastern Region same
9. Ryan Coulton Pro Vision SJ same
10 Gabriel Fowden Eastern Region same
Rory Townsend took a fine solo victory at the 51st Perfs Pedal earlier today at Southwick. As expected it was Townsend’s team, Pedal Heaven who all but dominated the season opener over the 74Kms course taking the first four spots.
Fine weather for once blessed the race which gave for some aggressive riding from the flag, although the race had to be slowed on the opening lap to allow an ambulance to pass the bunch on the tight Boarhunt lanes.
It was Townsend’s team mate Joe fry who attacked on the climb on the second lap splitting the race into two smallish groups and for the bulk of the race the day was all but done. The lead group was almost a Pedal Heaven training run, the group setting a quick pace, the chase group unable to make any inroads to the leaders.
The last lap saw Grant Ferguson pop off the front, whilst Townsend punctured, but a sharp wheel change allowed him to hook back up, Ferguson was reeled back but the win was going to come from a man in green. Townsend jumped away on the finishing circuit. With the front group mainly his team mates, no one was going to be allowed to chase the lone leader down and Townsend held the gap to take the win. Team Mates Mitch Webber and Tom Mazzone completed the Pedal Heaven podium.
1. Rory Townsend Pedal Heaven
2. Mitch Webber Pedal Heaven
3. Tom Mazzone Pedal Heaven
4. Lloyd Chapman Pedal Heaven
5. Alex Murison Private member
Edvald Boasson Hagen of MTN Qhubeka became the first rider to win the modern Aviva Tour of Britain twice when he successfully defended his 13 second lead on the final stage, an 86.8km circuit race around some of central London's iconic landmarks.
The Norwegian sprinted to fifth on the stage, which was upgraded to fourth when Andre Greipel was relegated for impeding Elia Viviani in the final sprint up Regent Street St James, handing the Italian his third stage win of the week.
Viviani's victories in Wrexham, Floors Castle and now London also mean he is only the fifth rider to win three stages in one edition of the race, and joins Mark Cavendish as one of only two riders to win Tour of Britain stages in England, Scotland and Wales.
Speaking afterwards he told TeamSky.com "After yesterday I saw I had good speed in the legs after a really hard week, so we thought we could win today.
"(Ben) Swifty and Andy (Fenn) put me in a perfect position for the last corner. We saw the road go up and I knew we couldn't start the sprint too early. When I saw Greipel go I went directly on his left-hand side. He came across a little bit, a little bit and that edged me towards the barriers. I'm disappointed because it is better to win without this. He is a big champion and I've never seen him do this before. But we won in London and that is the main thing."
"This week has been really good with lots of stages over 200 kilometres," he added. "It has given me a very good base for the worlds and I am really confident. I think the Tour of Britain is the perfect roads for the worlds this year."
After the stage Greipel insisted the incident was accidental: "I didn't see Viviani coming. I was just concentrating on my sprint and suddenly he was next to me. The final straight wasn't that wide, I had to look for space to overtake. Everybody was on the limit on the final corner. I didn't do anything for purpose that's for sure. That's sprinting.”
Boasson Hagen's fourth place on the day was more than enough to see him win the Aviva Yellow Jersey outright thirteen seconds ahead of Team Sky's Wout Poels with young British rider Owain Doull capping an outstanding week's work by moving up to third place overall thanks to a time bonus, the best result of his road career to date.
Doull also claimed the Chain Reaction Cycles Points jersey, having finished in the top ten on all but one stage (the finish at Hartside where he came 11th) and the Premier Inn Best British Rider award.
Boasson Hagen, who won three stages in 2008 and four in 2009, didn't take a stage victory in 2015, but arguably his overall victory was all the more impressive, having to fight off a determined effort from Team Sky, working for the in-form Poels.
"I am very happy with that win," said Boasson Hagen who joined MTN Qhubeka at the start of this season from Team Sky. "The object today was simply to defend the jersey and my team did a great job all day. Team WIGGINS took it out very fast at the start looking for the intermediate Sprint and seconds for their rider and it was very hard but then the race settled down a little. I always like to race to win. I had my chances with Sky but perhaps I get more chances with MTN Qhubeka. I think perhaps this year it was harder to win the GC than back in 2009, the course was tougher and Sky were very strong.”
Boasson Hagen now goes onto the World Championships in Richmond Virginia where he will be riding primarily for Alexander Kristoff although on this form he clearly represents a viable Plan B. Both Greipel and Viviani have also expressed their hopes of taking the title and it could yet be that the Aviva Tour of Britain again acts as ideal build up for the eventual champion, as it did last year with Michel Kwiatkowski.
With a new look circuit hosting 14-laps of racing, the early interest in the final stage centred mainly on Team WIGGINS trying to secure two vital seconds for Doull to move him from fourth place onto the podium in third ahead of Rasmus Guldhammer of Cult Energy Pro Cycling.
For a team consisting of Great Britain's best team pursuiters that was a pleasing scenario and provided a fine spectacle for a large crowd as Team WIGGINS went to the front half way around the first lap and bossed the race for the first three laps right up to the first intermediate YodelDirect Sprint.
A huge turn on lap three from Sir Bradley Wiggins set Doull up nicely although Russ Downing, riding for Cult Energy did manage to infiltrate the Team WIGGINS train and take the line honours to deny Doull the full three seconds. Doull, however, comfortably collected two seconds for second place to move into third on the road, a position he was able to defend.
After the first sprint an eight man break went up the road which meant Cult had to chase in an attempt to get Guldhammer into the second YodelDirect Sprint. Ultimately it was in vain with the peloton unable to get on terms in time, last year's overall winner Dylan van Baarle taking both the second and third YodelDirect Sprints, on his way to finishing eighth overall.
Elsewhere Peter Williams of ONE Pro Cycling completed an excellent week's riding - both individually and in the team context – by taking both the SKODA King of the Mountains title and YodelDirect Sprints jersey, only the third time that feat has ever been achieved in Aviva Tour of Britain history
Williams, from Southport, had cinched the Skoda King of the Mountains title on Saturday when he took maximum points on the final climb of the day up Brantham Hill in Suffolk and started today's stage seven points up from Conor Dunne in the YodelDirect Sprints classification. With neither rider contesting the first sprint of the day Williams' lead became unassailable and the celebrations could start.
"It's a massive achievement for ONE Pro Cycling. This time last year it was just a few conversations and the ball had just started to role so it was a really new team. To come away with two leaders' jerseys on our Tour debut is a brilliant achievement.
"I feel like I've been in good form all year, the setup is like nothing I've ever experienced before and it helps get the best out of all the riders. It's a really good environment. Coming into the Tour of Britain we had prepared well and felt ready to come here and do something.”
For full results and standings, please click here.