Junior Tour Wales; Wins for Hannay and Towers on Final Day

The final stage of the Junior Tour of Wales was as expected, a thrilling stage as Lucas Towers (Cero/Cycle Division) went on the attack and took a strong teammate (Jack Brough) and overall winner Tyler Hannay with him

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Junior Tour Wales; Wins for Hannay and Towers on Final Day

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The final stage of the Junior Tour of Wales was as expected, a thrilling stage as Lucas Towers (Cero/Cycle Division) went on the attack and took a strong teammate (Jack Brough) with him as well as the overall winner, Tyler Hannay. Lucas finished the stage off with a glorious win and he and Jack along with James Satoor, won the team award. It was quite a race for the Cero wheels/Cycle Division team as well as for Tyler Hannay.

Lucas Towers (Cero Wheels/Cycle Division) wins the queen stage of the Junior Tour of Wales ahead of the overall winner Tyler Hannay from the Isle of Man. Photo: PhotoSport International uk usa asia.

The Isle of Man’s Tyler Hannay won the prestigious Junior Tour of Wales on Monday after escaping in a chase group with Lucas Towers (Cero Wheels/Cycle Division) and was then able to go with Lucas again when he attacked on the Tumble before Lucas went on to win the stage just ahead of Tyler. Overall, Tyler finished 27 seconds ahead of Jack Brough (Cero Wheels/Cycle Division) who was also part of the key move on stage 4 and 28 seconds ahead of Lucas Towers (Cero Wheels/Cycle Division).

Going back to the first stage, a time trial, Tyler was 4th. The time trial had been won by British road race champion Max Poole who finished well clear of everyone. Tyler however was only a second off second place in the time trial and it was on this stage he’d made most of his gains on his nearest rivals on the final overall; Brough (20 secs) and Towers (28 secs).

Tyler Hannay on the move on stage 2

Stage 2 saw Tyler and the GC contenders finish in the main bunch only seconds behind the break of three, with the stage won by Griff Lewis. On stage 3, two of the favourites for the overall after winning gold medals at the recent European Track championships, Josh Charlton & Josh Tarling took ten seconds out of their rivals but it was another bunch sprint for third keeping the GC tight.

Stage 4 was always going to be the decider, finishing up the iconic climb of the Tumble near Abergavenny in Wales. An early break of around four riders went up the road  in the first 10km including a trade teammate of Lucas and Jack in the form of Kieran Riley (Scotland). The four (Joseph Smith, Rory Knowles, Owen Lightfoot, Kieran Riley) opened up a big gap on the peloton, three minutes at one stage.

It was at this point, stage winner Lucas Towers (Cero Wheels/Cycle Division) started thinking if they don’t start ‘riding’ their race will be done as there were some good riders up the road.

Lucas takes up the story. “We got to the first climb and I kind of wanted to get something going and get across to the break so I went on the first climb and Tyler Hannay came with me. On a drag that followed, when we were out of sight of the bunch, others came across so the break was pretty perfect with Tyler and my teammate Jack Brough in the group.” Other riders in the move were Lukas Nerurkar and Murray Lawson.

The riders in the chase group says Lucas were ripping through taking turns and going really well and on the second climb they rode that pretty consistently to keep the group together. They continued riding until they caught the break with 25km to go. They then only had one challenge left – the mighty Tumble, a climb that has featured in the Tour of Britain and British Road Race championships as well this Junior classic.

It was always going to be the Tumble that was the key climb and at the bottom, only seven riders remained out front. The strategy for Lucas after he’d done the recce on Saturday was to go from the bottom of the Tumble and keep the pace high but then his dad Jonny got a message from Julian Winn (KoM in the Tour of Britain and Welsh legend), who told them to wait until the cattle grid before Lucas attacked.

“We got to the cattle grid and I thought I’d better hit them now and then it was just me and Tyler and I won the sprint to take the stage” explained Lucas talking to me whilst his dad Jonny drove him home. Asked how he felt winning the Queen stage in such a prestigious race, he says “I was buzzing; so pleased because this was one of two main targets at the start of the year.”

The first target was a stage race in Spain where he was riding well but crashed on the first stage when he was brought down, so the Junior Tour Wales was his next big target. “I’ve had good legs all weekend so I’m really happy to come away with the stage win. It was really cool to be on the podium with Jack (Brough) .”

“I knew I was going well and I knew too that he was going well, so it was cool for it all to come together and be on the podium together.”

The results of the Cero Wheels/Cycle Division team to win the Team award (Lucas/Jack & James Satoor) ahead of some very powerful squads continues the great tradition the team has had over the years with many a star rider in both the mens and womens teams. That says Lucas is really cool especially as the team never went looking for ‘good riders’.

“We just put together a good local team to go out there and win some races this year and repeat what’s been done over the years with the team.”

Lucas of course could not have won that final stage without a decent bike under him and after his last one was destroyed in the Spanish crash, Lucas took the groupset (Dura Ace) and the Cero Wheels of course and had them fitted to the Cannondale SuperSixEvo which are in plentiful supply in the Cycle Division shop. “The bike was perfect and is great all round race bike. It’s pretty light (required for winning mountain stages as Lucas did) and pretty aero too.”

The final word had to go to Lucas thanking his parents Jonny and Samantha. When I arrived, Lucas was there with his mother Samantha who had taken him down there for the recce and first two stages and believe me, even from the West Midlands, that’s a long drive. Jonny then arrived after he’d successfully been racing in the North East on his motorbike on the Sunday. So when he arrived, Samantha left to make the long trip back to pick up the talented Drops rider Alice Towers arriving back from an Italian stage race in Italy whilst Jonny looked after Lucas.

“I definitely could not have done this with the help of my mum and dad” Lucas says. Jonny then added it was definitely worth the effort to be there when Lucas won. “We’ve had some ups and downs (crashes etc) but this win makes up for the times when you are picking him up from the road with blood all over him. This is the payback for all of that”.

Lucas now has a season in Spain to look forward to in 2022 and his stage win the Junior Tour of Wales was vindication that he for sure has the talent to ride with the best.



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