Junior World Cyclo-Cross Champion Ben Tulett of South East Region, added the Junior Tour of Wales to his collection after claiming top spot in the GC on a brutal final day’s racing in the Blaenau Gwent mountains, while Archie Ryan took the final stage.
The event has previously been won by Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas and two-time monument winner Dan Martin and Tulett is keen to emulate the duo.
He said: “It’s great and I’m really proud to be able to follow in the footsteps of a couple of my heroes, Geraint Thomas and Dan Martin, in winning this event. I aspire to be like them one day.”
Starting the day just two seconds behind Leo Hayter in the GC, Tulett knew he needed to stay close to the yellow jersey if he was to have any chance of overcoming the gap.
The first real moves in the race started as the group turned off the A465 and started heading out into the moors, a group of ten riders broke away as the race exited Penderyn and the first sprint.
The riders had to cope with brutal conditions including strong cross winds and squally rain showers in the open moorland.
Despite the conditions a few riders jumped off the peloton and bridged over to the breakaway eventually bringing them back to a group going into the second half of the race.
With five miles to go Ben Healy of Zappi Racing Team decided to forge an attack, knowing he was well down on the GC after losing time in stage two.
As the race neared the foot of The Tumble three more riders, Mason Hollyman of Zappi, Tulett and Ryan of NRPT – Chill.ie chased down Healy and decided to attack the infamous climb.
Tulett had been led to the base of the climb by Ethan Vernon, who had secured the green sprint jersey, and now had a small advantage over Leo Hayter in the race for the GC.
It was Ryan who made the telling attack half way up the final climb, dropping Hollyman and pushing on to claim the stage victory by eight seconds from Tulett in second.
Despite a gutsy effort from Hayter, pushing hard all the way up the climb to finish in fourth place, he couldn’t close the 21-second gap on Tulett to retain the yellow jersey he had worn since the opening stage.
Afterwards Ryan described winning the stage as amazing, adding: “I’ve been surprised by how good I felt throughout the race.”
Ryan’s win was all the more impressive given that he was kept off his bike for six weeks by a double knee injury suffered March.
Harrison Wood of Mid Devon CC held on to the King of the Mountains jersey, with Tulett also taking the Best Young Rider Classification.