News: Jon Mould Can’t wait for British Champs in Wales


NEWPORT’S Jon Mould roared into the limelight of British and Welsh cycling during 2013 but wants to use it as a springboard for even greater things in 2014.

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Mould, racing for NFTO Pro Cycling team in 2014, hopes to be in the field for the British Cycling National Road Championships around Monmouthshire in June which is also expected to include many of the UK’s greatest current riders.


Winner in Sweden, Jon Mould (right)

And with that experience in his legs, it is onwards towards Glasgow where Mould should be part of the Welsh team that has every chance of claiming Commonwealth Games medals on both the track and road in late July and early August.

Mould’s first season in 2013 among the senior cycling world has been astonishing. It has seen him:
* Win a bronze medal on the track in November’s World Cup Scratch Race in Manchester
* Be recruited for new British road racing squad Team NFTO Pro Cycling
* Win the Madison, with partner George Atkins, and the Omnium at the National Track Championships
* Win a round of the Tour Series in Colchester.

Now, as he puts in the miles at the Wales National Velodrome in Newport ahead of the new year, the 22-year-old reflected on his amazing rise and looked ahead to mixing it with Britain’s best at the National Championships, where Sir Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish and Geraint Thomas will have their final opportunity to compete before they begin the Tour de France in Yorkshire the following week.


Jon riding for Wales on a Dolan Bike.

Mould said: “This year has been awesome. From way back in October 2012, when I got third in the Points Race in Cali (at the Track World Cup), it has just gone from there. I was with Team UK Youth at the time and the success we had, which was spread across the board between us all, meant it turned into an amazing year.”

“The Tour of Britain was pretty good with awesome support. The Welsh stage, and particularly Caerphilly Mountain, where we were being cheered all the way around, was great and then onto the London stage. It was a brilliant week.”

Mould has ridden four National Championships already in his career, mainly in the Junior category, but racing on Welsh soil will be just something else entirely, bigger even than the experience of riding with the continentals and senior big-name home stars in the Tour of Britain.

It is the third time that the National Championships have been staged in Monmouthshire. The Elite Men’s race was won by Tour de France stage winner David Millar in 2007 and Kristian House won in 2009 after a brilliant sprint through a packed-out Abergavenny.


Jon Mould (left) A British Champion with George Atkins

The 2009 extravaganza, which also included Wiggins and Froome in the men’s field before they each created history by winning the Tour de France, included the women’s road race, won for a tenth time by Welsh star Nicole Cooke, and the Junior Road Race which was taken England’s 2010 Commonwealth Games track silver medallist George Atkins.

Mould said: “I rode the Nationals this year in Glasgow over the Commonwealth Games course so that was quite nice to get on it and have a look at it. So it definitely should be a good race in Monmouthshire. I raced in Abergavenny as a junior (in 2009) and that was good enough so I am really looking forward to this year.”

“It will be home roads and racing against the big boys will be something else. This just shows how big racing is and how popular is has become to have it in Wales again. The best roads in Britain are the Welsh roads – I am sure the Yorkshire lads will disagree with that – but definitely, the Welsh roads are my favourite to ride on.”

The Championship weekend will also include the women’s National Road Championships that precede the Elite Men’s race on June 29 while, three days earlier, the stars will be out for the National Time Trial Championships through Monmouthshire. Mould added: “It will be an awesome weekend of racing for everyone.”

So would Mould fancy capping his year by claiming the National Jersey himself ahead of the Commonwealth Games? He said: “I would like to say I will win it. Realistically, I don’t know if it will happen but I will give it a good go.”

He spent three years in the Great Britain Cycling Team Academy and this was his first campaign away from that environment. So as he gears up for a trip to Mexico and another track World Cup in January before a season capped by the Nationals and the Commonwealth Games, he thinks Wales will be a real force in Glasgow, particularly on the track.

It will be Mould’s second Commonwealth Games, having ridden in Delhi 2010, and he added: “We have a really good team with Sam Harrison, Owain Doull and me on the track and on the road as well with Geraint with us. I think we could get a medal somewhere.”

Previous National Road Race Championships held in Wales

1996 (Host venue. Abergavenny)
1. Dave Rand, 2. Alan Naylor, 3. Geoff Cook

1997 (Host venue. Brynmawr)
1. Jeremy Hunt, 2. Mark Walsham. 3. Matt Stephens

2001 (Host venue. Cardiff)
1. Jeremy Hunt, 2. Rob Hayles, 3. John Tanner

2003 (Host venue. Celtic Manor Resort, Newport)
1. Roger Hammond, 2. Jeremy Hunt, 3. Jamie Alberts

2004 (Host venue. Celtic Manor Resort, Newport)
1. Roger Hammond, 2. Tom Southam, 3. Jeremy Hunt

2007 (Host venue. Abergavenny)
1. David Millar, 2. Daniel Lloyd, 3. Hamish Haynes

2009. (Host venue. Abergavenny)
1. Kristian House, 2. Daniel Lloyd, 3. Peter Kennaugh

The Abergavenny Festival of Cycling has become hugely popular on the national cycling calendar in the years since its revival by founder Bill Owen. The Festival grew out of the first professional cycling event in the town, promoted and organised by Bill in 1985. That was the Abergavenny Classic which grew to become the Grand Prix of Wales. To this day, the GPW remains the key race of the Festival weekend.

Back in 1985, the Abergavenny Classic saw many great international riders take part, many had been in the Tour de France and won stages of the legendary race. The Grand Prix of Wales ended in 1997 but, after promoting several major events in Wales, including the National Road Race Championships and a Women’s World Cup race, the latter which had never been done before in the UK, Bill decided the time was right to revive the GPW and combine it with the rise and promotion of cycling as a healthy activity.

Thus, the Festival of Cycling – which was a week-long series of events culminating in the GPW – began. The central core of the Festival was and has continued to be the Wales Open Criterium Town Centre Races on the Friday evening, a fast and furious event that brings Britain’s best domestic riders to the area, the Iron Mountain Sportif on the Saturday, which, in recent years, has combined with the Abergavenny Carnival, and the big road race of the weekend on the Sunday.

However, since the Festival was brought to the town in 2006, Bill and his team of volunteers and cycling enthusiasts from across Abergavenny, Gwent and Wales have been involved in some incredible events.

Tour de France stage winner and 2012 Olympic Games rider David Millar won the 2007 National Championships on a brilliant day in Monmouthshire, and two years later and for the first time, British Cycling held all three major domestic road races – the juniors, women’s elite and men’s elite – over one weekend and picked Abergavenny as the place to hold it.

That Festival of Cycling brought hundreds of thousands of pounds to the local economy with fans coming from across the UK to see major riders like 2008 Olympic Games and World champion Nicole Cooke, plus future legends to be in Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, multi-stage winner Mark Cavendish and Tour stars Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas.

It is a very difficult weekend to put on, and it takes a enormous amount of planning. But Bill, now retired from his job as a construction company owner, said the Festival of the spice of life. He said: “You have to have a purpose in life. You have to have a reason to get up in the morning. If it was just building work, then I couldn’t get too excited about that. There are headaches involved in putting something like this on but it does give a kick or something to actually make it happen.”

But now cycling is reaching such big heights in popularity that the area, backed by the Monmouthshire County Council, Abergavenny Town Council and many other groups and people, is striving to become Wales Capital of Cycling which will boost the Festival even further towards future success.



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