News: Junior Tour of Wales


The Junior Tour of Wales gets underway on Saturday 27 August and the 36th edition is set to be the longest and toughest edition in the history of the race.

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News: Junior Tour of Wales

The Junior Tour of Wales gets underway on Saturday 27 August and the 36th edition is set to be the longest and toughest edition in the history of the race.

The riders will take on almost 200 miles of racing over the three days, split over five stages. The race has new ultra-fast descents, more flat roads and new climbs, including the legendary Rhigos Mountain, to allow every type of rider to make their mark, and to give the strongest of them the arena to fight for victory.

As the final round of the National Junior Road Series, the riders have had a whole year to build their form. With such a competitive crop of junior riders, the race is wide open. Picking a winner is almost impossible, as there are so many strong teams.

VCUK-PH-MAS Cycling has set this year’s Junior Road Series alight, with Robert Scott currently leading the standings. After winning a stage and wearing the Best Young Rider jersey at last year’s Junior Tour, he will be after more this year. The squad also have talented first year junior Tom Pidcock, fourth in the Junior Road Series standings, and, in Adam Hartley, a rider who can time trial as well as he can climb.

HMT Academy with JLT Condor’s Max Williamson was 2nd last year, losing by just one second, the closest margin in the race’s history. He will be motivated to go one better, and will have a quality team behind him. Alfie Moses was 2nd in last year’s King of the Mountain’s competition, while Williamson and team-mate Elliot Redfern were on form at the Vuelta Pamplona in August, taking the overall win and the King of the Mountains.

Etienne Georgi won stage 5 last year, taking him to a 4th place overall finish. With another great season under his wheels he looks well set – but might first have to establish the ascendancy in his own team. Charlie Meredith won last month’s Junior Tour of Ireland, and has set his mind on the Irish-Welsh double last achieved by the talented Eddie Dunbar in 2014.

Wales’ Peter Kibble was one of last year’s stand-out competitors. After crashing on stage 2, he picked himself up and remounted to finish 8th. Whilst still recovering, not only did he start the following morning, he finished the race a stunning 6th overall, deservedly taking the Most Combative Rider award in the process. He has courage and commitment to spare and has been carefully building his form, his consistency giving him the lead of the Junior Road Series earlier in the year. With a very strong team, including first years James and Sam Tillett, and sprinter Will Roberts, Wales have the ability to target all four jerseys.

VC Londres’ Ethan Hayter was another of last year’s stars. Riding on his own in 2015, he was at the front of the race throughout, wearing the blue jersey of best young rider for three of the five stages. This year he has been racing extensively in Europe, and has strong team around him, including British Junior Champion Jake Vaughan. … continued after advert


The British domestic entry this year is the strongest ever, but there is still room for international talent. The NRPT – team from Ireland returns with a powerful squad, including 2015 stage winner Adam Stenson and Alexis Roche, brother of Team Sky’s Nicholas, and son of Tour de France winner Stephen. They also include Irish Junior Road Champion Jake Gray and Junior TT Champ Ben Walsh, so will definitely be a force to be reckoned with.

Munster Academy also return with a fresh group of juniors. After winning the Yellow Jersey with Eddie Dunbar in 2014, and the King of the Mountains with Daragh O’Mahony last year, they have an enviable record at the Junior Tour. The Spanish Beste Alde La Tostadora squad boasts two climbers in Euken Ertzilla and Peru Baranano who’ll be keen to test their legs against the best.

With so many having ridden well in the Junior Series, and the series itself wide open with nine riders still having a mathematical chance to win, the competition will be fierce and unrelenting. Whoever takes the final Yellow Jersey will truly be a worthy winner.

The Junior Tour of Wales gets underway at 10.30am on Saturday 27 August, with a time trial between Brynmawr and Blaenavon. The Mayor of Blaenau Gwent, Cllr Barrie Sutton, will then wave the riders away from Brynmawr’s Market Square at 3.00pm for the beginning of stage 2. The riders take on a 60 mile route around Crickhowell, Brecon, Libanus, Defynnog, past Dan yr Ogof Caves, through Glynneath and all the way to the summit of the Rhigos Mountain – the race’s first ever visit to the legendary climb.

Sunday 28 August sees the riders take on 11 challenging, windswept laps of the circuit at Parc Bryn Bach, before an afternoon stage around Abergavenny, Mitcheltroy and Raglan that is designed for the sprint specialists.

The race concludes on Monday 29 August with a trip round the Brecon Beacons National Park. Starting from Brynmawr at 10.30am, the riders will race past Merthyr Tydfil, Hirwaun, Penderyn, Storey Arms and Libanus before rounding the Brecon Bypass and heading toward Abergavenny. They will then tackle the fearsome climb of the Tumble Mountain, where the final showdown for the yellow jersey will unfold.



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