Still not having been home to my warm and comfy bed since days before the trip away to Belgium, on the August bank holiday me and three team mates were tackling the Junior Tour Of Wales.
After traveling down to Wales straight after returning from two weeks in Belgium, i would be staying in the caravan up until the start of the junior tour. I would be able to ride some of the parcours that we would be tackling over this lead up time which was invaluable when coming into the race.
The first day would feature a tough time trial in the morning and a hilly 45 mile stage in the avo. The TT was pretty tough, taking in the supposedly easier side of the infamous tumble. I had checked out the course a couple of times previously so i knew what to expect. After a long warm up, i attacked the TT. Legs burning and lungs exploding i posted a 13.01 which put me in 22nd after the stage. Not too shabby i thought.
Stage 2 was more to my liking! After a discussion over some crunchy nut cornflakes, with Pete, we decided to try and get me and Josh into a break. Only I made it into this break with 5 others which quickly gained a large gap. Not long after, Chris Lawless from Maxgear bridged across making it two from Maxgear and Haribo-Sports Cover. With around 15 miles to go we were caught by a small group of chasers. We rode hard throughout the 45 mile stage carrying a gap in excess of 3 minutes at the bottom of the climb of Llangynidr with me picking up some strong placings in the green jersey sprints to end up 2nd in the classement.
At the base of the 3 mile climb i took the last sprint of the day but was soon shelled out of the driving break on the lower slopes. Thanks to Mark Barry in the Haribo car, i regained a rhythm to finish up 10 th on the stage. Placing me 10th overall in the tour looking forward to day 2.
Day 2 of the tour was to present us with two super flat stages, not to my liking. Spinning the 14 up and down dual-carriageways at 35 mph for most of the day and two punctures in the mornings events. Both stages today won by Sam Lowe in bunch finishes. I lost a few seconds with the puncture and on the second stage even if it was a bunch finish!?
Day 3 had to be one of the toughest days of this season. Still lying top 20 on GC i wanted to hold this to the finish, although it wasn't what i had been aiming for. From the off, me and Josh were fighting to get a break going. We got away pretty much straight off and gained up to 20 seconds. This was short lived and we were brought back. I was then suffering all the way up to the moors of Pendyrn in the grim Welsh weather when i was blown out of the back. I soon lost minutes and was glad to see Mr Knights in a lay by to pick me up. I was distraught at not finishing one of my big target races. Although this day wasn't all to bad as my team mate James Knox won the last Tumble stage.
Thanks for reading,