Preview: R.I.S. Junior Tour of Wales 27, 28, 29 August 2011

Preview: R.I.S. Junior Tour of Wales 27, 28, 29 August 2011

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Preview: R.I.S. Junior Tour of Wales 27, 28, 29 August 2011

Event: 27, 28, 29 August 2011
Pictures: Larry Hickmott

The R.I.S. Junior Tour of Wales celebrates its 31st edition with a field of 100 of the best junior riders in the country and beyond - with two teams from France competing. This year promises to be the toughest ever with two steep mountain top finishes giving a sting in the tail of stages 2 and 5 and a flat stage for the sprinters on Sunday afternoon. The race takes place over the August Bank Holiday 27th - 29th August and is based at Nantyglo Leisure Centre in Blaenau Gwent.

Local company, RIS Insulation of Blaina are sponsoring the event for the fifth year running. RIS Insulation are a lead contractor involved in organising the funding and installation of bonded bead cavity insulation in homes throughout Wales. They provide valuable support to a number of sports events and teams in Blaenau Gwent.

Managing Director, Mark Hawkins said:

"I am delighted to be supporting the Junior Tour of Wales again this year. It is a very prestigious race that promotes the sport and the local area. It gives Welsh riders the opportunity to compete against some of the best junior riders in the country and Europe. RIS Insulation are proud to be associated with this event."

The Junior Tour has proved in the past to be the breeding ground of our top British cyclists. Geraint Thomas MBE, race patron, road the race twice during his career as a junior placing second overall. Fellow Welshman Sam Harrison who represented Wales at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 rode the race last year also finishing second overall.

Geraint Thomas MBE said of the R.I.S. Junior Tour of Wales:

"The Junior Tour of Wales is for me the biggest junior race on the domestic calendar. I really enjoy racing on home roads! It has terrain to test every type of rider of the 5 stages making for some great racing. I always wanted to win it but could only manage 2nd. Hopefully we can have a Welsh winner very soon..."

Teams and individual riders come from all over the British Isles and are the best junior riders from the home countries and beyond. This year sees Maxgear and Champion Systems continue to support the race, designing and providing all of the winner's jerseys. The design is unique to this event and raises the profile of this great race.

Stage 1
at 10.30am on Saturday 28th starts from Brynmawr near the HQ at Nantyglo Leisure Centre and is the usual 10km Time Trial over hilly terrain to the back of the Tumble climb.

Stage 2
The 100 riders will assemble at Brynmawr Market Square in the afternoon and roll out on Stage 2 when the Mayor, Councillor Brian Thomas, drops the flag at 3.00pm. The event heads down the Heads Of the Valleys road to Gilwern and the start proper along the Usk Valley via Crickhowell and Llangynidr onto Talybont to join the A470 at Brecon to climb to the first prime of the Stage.

A fast 8 miles takes the riders through Bronllys to turn right at 3 Cocks and onto the next sprint at Talgarth and takes the peleton through Llangorse village alongside the lovely lake to turn right in Bwlch. Left a further mile down the A40 brings the race back to Talybont and retrace the earlier tracks to climb Llangynidr mountain a 3 mile climb with a last vicious ascent to its highest point and the Finish.

Stage 3
Bryn Bach Park circuit is the scene of stage 3, starting at 11.00am on Sunday, a closed road lap of 3km which after an hour plus a lap will find riders struggling up the 0 to 30 metre per lap climbing by the finish. If they have anything left they can sample the new international standard BMX track alongside but it's not compulsory!!

The circuit and the BMX track are just a part of the cycling facilities Blaenau Gwent Council, sponsors of the Junior Tour since it's start, are providing at the Park.

Stage 4
sees the riders leaving the race Headquarters at Nantyglo Leisure Centre at 3.30pm that afternoon on a 47 mile loop down the A465 and A40 to Raglan and Monmouth to finish on a flat course near Abergavenny giving the sprinters a chance to showcase their talents.

Stage 5
starts at Nantyglo Leisure Centre at 10.30am on Monday and runs along the A465 to Hirwaun before turning over the Brecon Beacons to Storey Arms and down to Brecon and on to Abergavenny . A 62 mile jaunt which sees them climbing up the relentless Tumble Mountain to finish at the summit at around 1.00pm keeping the suspense of who will win overall right up to the end.

The Mayor will present prizes at 3.00pm at Nantyglo Leisure Centre.

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