Thomas Gloag held on to take stage two of the Junior Tour of Wales on a sizzling day in in the Brecon Beacons.
By his own admission Gloag of VC Londres, attacked “ridiculously early” at the bottom of the climb up the Rhigos but managed to hold off the chasers long enough to cross the line winning the stage, and taking the King of the Mountains jersey going into stage three.
The stage win was the second for the VC Londres team following on from Oscar Nilsson-Julienʼs win in yesterdayʼs time trial stage and puts the team in pole position in the Team Classification standings with two days still to ride in the latest leg of the British Cycling Junior Men’s Road Series.
Lewis Askey, Backstedt Cycling, added a fourth-place finish to his fourth place in stage one to lead the way in the general classification, just seven seconds clear of George Mills-Keeling, Cycle Club Bridgnorth RWG as the tour heads to Pembrey for stages 3 and 4.
With temperatures hitting the high 20ʼs, and with very little breeze to keep the riders cool, attacks started as soon as the race exited the neutralised zone in Crickhowel.
By the time the leading riders reached the first KOM at Bwlch a small number of riders had separated from the main peloton, going after the bonus sprint points.
A tough outing in the break but it's all worth it in the end @thomasgloag prevailed in the second stage of the @juniortourwales on another exciting day of action!#JuniorRoadSeries pic.twitter.com/x0dzS7dinY— British Cycling (@BritishCycling) August 25, 2019
Gloag rode off the front of the main group as they went over the top of the first KoM and rode solo for a couple of Kmʼs before being joined by Alfred George, Discovery Junior Cycling Club with the two working together to try for nearly 30km in an attempt to put some time into the main group.
As the race approached the 2nd KoM of the day, three riders lead by Askey bridged the gap with Askey putting in an aggressive attack up the Defynnog hill dropping the rest of the group and securing valuable points.
The head of the race fragmented again with around the third KoM at Crai reservoir with the group of 4 opening up around 90 seconds on a chasing group of 14 riders with the peloton a further two minutes behind.
The chasing peloton slowly closed down on the larger group and they were all back together by the time the bunch left the Beacons and headed up the penultimate climb at Coelbren.
With the race approaching the foot of the Rhigos Mountain it was Gloag, Askey, Cycling New Zealand rider Drew Christensen and George Mills-Keeling, Cycle Club Bridgnorth RWG that found themselves out in front and with an advantage of two minutes over the peloton.
With over 5 kilometres of climbing to the summit of the Rhigos still ahead of them Gloag decided to make a break for it, dropping the other three and pushing on to the top.
Despite their best efforts the chasing group couldnʼt close the gap on Gloag, taking the line just 11 seconds ahead of the sprinting trio behind. Christensen took 2nd place with Mills-Keeling third and Askey in fourth.
The group containing the yellow jersey of Nilsson-Julien eventually crossed the line 3:56 minutes behind the stage winner.
With a 20 lap, 35km/22 mile race on the new Pembrey National Closed Road Circuit, where the best natural bike handlers and circuit race specialists will have an advantage, followed by a 99km/62 mile road race from Pembrey to Carmarthen, deliberately designed to be very fast for the sprinters; all to come in tomorrowʼs racing, the general classification is still wide open.