Team News – Eastern Region in Junior Tour


Podium for the Eastern Region team at the NFTO Junior Tour of Wales last weekend

RST Cycle  Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Team News – Eastern Region in Junior Tour  | From Fergus Muir | Photos: Nathaniel Rosa

NOTE: Send your results as well as club, team & event news here

A highlight of the return of an Eastern Region team to the Junior Tour of Wales was Lewis Steven’s third place on the Abergavenney to Monmouth and back road race stage.

At the stage finish outside the Hardwick Restaurant south of Abergavenny, Gabrial Cullaigh and Fraser Martin took the first two places.

With about two km remaining, Stevens, from Newmarket, moved briskly to the front of the bunch and finding himself moving faster than the head of the field, decided to press on – and took third place, twelve seconds clear of the sprinting bunch, which contained Chris Jackson(44th) and Matt Clements (58th).

The three day, five stage event had started badly for the Eastern team when Theo Doncaster was unable to start and instead took on the task of team mechanic. After the first stage, George Evans, an individual entry from the Mid-Shropshire Wheelers joined up as fourth team member.

Day 1
Lewis Stevens was the fastest of the Eastern Region riders in the 7.5 km prologue time trial, finishing in 13 mins 19 secs, for 40th place 1:27 down on fastest man Matthew Gibson, a winner of a Pearl Izumi Tour Series round in 2014.

Stevens' third place

Riders climbed 300 feet straight from the start at Bryn-Mawr and after some fast descending turned sharp left in Blaenavon, home of the Big Pit mining museum, and faced an even bigger climb to finish on The Tumble. Matt Clements was next fastest Eastern rider in 13:46 while Chris Jackson recovered from pulling his wheel over to finish only 51 seconds slower.

In the afternoon, the 100-strong bunch had some neutralized miles to get accustomed to road-race mode before the race headed dead into the wind following the rolling road along the Usk Valley.

A break soon escaped and was not seen again until the finish. The bunch including the Eastern team remained mostly intact until the big climb to the finish on LLangynidr Mountain. Evans took 35th place, with Clements one place behind, 6:39 down on Winner Eddie Dunbar. Stevens was briefly dropped at the foot of the climb but overhauled many on the hill to finish 42nd with Jackson coming in 47 seconds later.
Day 2
Sunday started with the criterium stage on a 1.8 mile circuit in Brynbach Park near Tredegar. With the field lapping the circuit in just over four minutes and the lead car struggling to stay in front, there was a split into two groups, with the front group presently splitting a second time, with just Matt Clements of the Eastern Team in the front group.

Oliver Maxwell took the win with 15 seconds in hand over his chasers, with Clements in 31st place. Chris Jackson (40th) and George Evans (43rd) came in 1:14 down in the second group. Lewis Stevens (63rd), was in the third group taking a 3:19 set back, but bouncing back to take that third place in the 72 km afternoon stage.

The afternoon brought improving, indeed sunny weather, but the competitors had little time to admire the 40 mile views that opened up. This stage followed a mainly rolling lowland route almost to Monmouth and back. Within the first ten miles, a crash brought an end to George Evans’ race. Matt Clements was also bought down, but managed to regain the bunch, finishing in the bunch with the same time as Chris Jackson

Clements & Stevens

At the end of the second day, 86 riders remained in the race. Clements (27th) was the highest-placed Eastern rider, 8:11 down on overall leader Eddie Dunbar, while Stevens and Jackson were 47th and 50th respectively, 10:29 and 10:48 down.

Day 3
The final 58 mile stage was held in bleak conditions and took riders over the Taff/Usk watershed at Storey Arms (439 metres) and down Glyn Tarell on the A470 where Chris Jackson’s cycle computer registered a maximum of 47 miles per hour – and where four riders established a break that stuck.

The race charged down the Usk Valley, on the Crickhowell side this time, until in the vicinity of Abergavenney, a total of five more riders bridged the gap. The race then climbed up into the clouds to the final finish on The Tumble where Eddie Dunbar was 41 seconds clear of second placed Stephen Williams, with the field mostly finishing spread out over the next ten minutes.

Lewis Stevens (39th) was the first of the Eastern team, 3:59 down on Dunbar, with Clements 43rd at 4:17 and Jackson 45th at 4:31.

When the overall results were announced, Matt Clements, from Matching Tye in Essex, was best Eastern team member, 27th, 12:28 down on 2014 champion Dunbar. Stevens was 43rd at 14:28 and Jackson, from Walberswick in Suffolk, 46th at 15:19, all out of 100 starters of whom just 72 completed the race.

For more details and photos by Nathaniel Rosa see the Eastern Blog at

Send your results as well as club, team & event news here

Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK