National junior road race champion Nathan Draper raced into the lead on day one of the Junior Tour of Wales, winning the first road stage as RST Racing Team dominated the opening exchanges of the final round of the British Cycling Junior Road Series.
Isle of Man-based Draper, who was third in the opening prologue time trial, won stage two by 11 seconds to lead overnight by 15 seconds from team-mate Joey Walker who had won the prologue.
Stage one prologue TT
A vicious opening time trial course saw Walker make the quickest time over a 7.55-kilometre course that started in Brynmawr and finished on top of the Tumble.
Walker danced on the pedals on the steep finishing climb, covering the course in 11.43 minutes to take the race’s first yellow leader’s jersey.
Rob Scott (VCUK PH-MAS) was starting the day second overall in the Series, and finished 17 seconds shy of Walker to take the blue jersey. Draper finished third, the National champion a further five seconds off the time of Scott.
Wales’ Peter Kibble finished fourth in a time of 12.06, but he took the King of the Mountains jersey. Ethan Hayter (VC Londres) rounded out the top five with a time of 12.12.
Nathan Draper took the win in stage two on a 72.9-kilometre rolling course from Brynmawr to Llangynidr Mountain on Saturday afternoon.
The stage exploded just as it hit the foot of the final climb up Llangynidr Mountain, with Draper and Alfie Moses (HMT Academy JLT Condor) getting the better of the field just before the turn onto the climb.
But it was the National champion who attacked Moses with some 700 Metres to go to take a solo victory.
The field, feeling the legs after the opening time trial, took a steady roll out through Brynmawr and into the Welsh countryside heading towards Crickhowell and onto the first sprint at Llangynidr.
An attack by Zappi’s Charlie Quarterman was soon tamed by the bunch and was brought back well before the sprint which was taken by Joe Holt (Wales) with Draper second and Jali Packer (Strada-Sport) third.
As the race steadied a group of six attacked towards Llanhamlach, Series leader Etienne Georgi (Giant-Halo) along with Joey Walker and Louis Modell (Catford CC Equipe/Banks) getting the gap - but the race was stopped by the chief Commissaire to warn of dangerous riding in the field.
With the impetus taken out of the break the field headed off towards Blaen Brynych and an attack saw eight riders get a slender 16 seconds on the field.
Three of the Welsh team proved instrumental in the break and stretched the race out, while behind a chase of three including Munster’s Darragh O’Mahon caught the leaders at Bronllys. The break continued to work well to keep away and at the second sprint at Talgarth it was Holt who jumped the leaders to take the points with O’Mahon second and Alexis Roache third.
As the race headed back towards the Bwlch a chasing pair of Draper and Modell made the gap across to the break, the lead now some 52 seconds. And as the road headed skywards towards the finish at Llangynidr it was Draper and Moses who had played the waiting game in the front group who would ride away, Draper finding the legs to ride Moses off his wheel with some 700 metres remaining.
A late attack saw Ethan Hayter and Adam Stenson (Nicolas Roche Perf Team) take third and fourth respectively, with the remains field scattered across the climb.
Stage one, Prologue TT (Brynmawr to The Tumble):
1 Joey Walker (RST RT) 11.43
2 Rob Scott (SCUK PH MAS) 12.00
3 Nathan Draper (RST RT) 12.05
Stage two (Brynmawr to Llangynidr Mountain):
1 Nathan Draper (RST RT) 1.57.35
2 Alfie Moses (HMT Academy) at 11sec
3 Ethan Hayter (VC Londres) at 19sec
Overall positions (after stage two):
1 Nathan Draper (RST RT) 2:09.30
2 Joey Walker (RST RT) at 15sec
3 Ethan Hayter (VC Londres) at 36sec
Overall Team: RST Racing Team 6:29.40