News: Get Connected Welsh Open Criterium

News: Get Connected Welsh Open Criterium


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Get Connected Welsh Open Criterium

Story posted July 2; An event press release

Kristian House returns to Abergavenny for Get Connected Welsh Open Criterium

Rapha Condor Sharp rider, Kristian House, will return to the scene of his greatest triumph on Friday week when he roars around Abergavenny as one of the Get Connected Welsh Open Town Centre Crits star entries. It may not be a National Road Race Championship course, which cyclists can ride in the Iron Mountain Sportif on the Saturday, but the tight circuit around the streets of Abergavenny that will be a big challenge for House and the other pros taking part.

2009 and Kristian House wins the biggest race of his career, the British RR title in Abergavenny.

That challenge will be even greater in 2010 as this year's Get Connected races are part of the British Cycling National Elite Circuit Series and 30-year-old House is part of a Rapha Condor Sharp team which is flying right now. Enduro Racing's Ian Wilkinson leads the series after two rounds, having secured victories in both at Dumfries, Scotland and Otley, Yorkshire. Rapha Condor Sharp meanwhile are a little behind on points but do have riders packing the next three places with House and team-mate Graham Briggs in joint second and Dean Downing, fourth.

While House did not manage to defend his National Road Race Championship crown last Sunday when Cardiff's Geraint Thomas took the title, the Manchester-based rider says he was not too upset at having to hand the multi-coloured jersey to Thomas in Pendle, Lancashire.

"I'm not disappointed in the slightest," said House. "I did what I could on the day given the course and the preparation I had. I knew I could not compete with the field on the climbs and I had to ride to my strengths. But with him (Thomas) riding the Tour de France when it starts next week, it will be great to see him wearing the British Championships jersey around the course." House said he had a great year after beating Thomas and some of the country's other big names, like Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish, over the line in Abergavenny 12 months ago. Now though, it is a priority to get Elite Circuit Series points at the Get Connected Crits.

"The crits are bike racing, at the end of the day, and that's what I love doing. It does not matter if it is a road race or crits but I do love to ride crits on a tight course."

The Get Connected event, which also includes Traders and Youth races as part of the build-up programme towards the main competition, has a mixture of both twists, turns and straights which tests the riders all round abilities. Points in the Elite Series will be vital at Abergavenny and if Wilkinson gains too much of a lead, he could be away and clear in the race for the title.

There are 60 points to each event winner, with 52 for second and ranging down to one point for 20th place. Extra points are also awarded for the first four to cross the line on two sprint laps. Meanwhile, the fun will start beforehand with the youngsters riding the circuit and the Traders Race, backed this year by local company FR Ball, which proved enormous fun at last year's Get Connected Welsh Open. Fifteen teams have risen to the challenge from all around Abergavenny and entered the competition.