Grand Prix of Wales confirms strong line-up in Monmouthshire

Grand Prix of Wales confirms strong line-up in Monmouthshire

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Defending champion Chris Lawless heads the initial entry list for this year's Grand Prix of Wales, the highlight of the Abergavenny Festival of Cycling next month with Newport's Jon Mould back on home soil during the Festival as he looks to continue an incredible year on the circuit race scene.

Lawless switched from Team Wiggins, whom he was with last summer when winning in Abergavenny, to the JLT Condor team and will be riding the Grand Prix of Wales alongside top British riders like former National Road Race and Tour of Ireland champion Russell Downing.

And the man from Wigan will be joined on the start-line by another JLT Condor team-mate Graham Briggs, who was third in last year's Grand Prix of Wales, in the 98 riders chasing for the title.

The Grand Prix of Wales, being held on Sunday July 17, is the penultimate leg of the Motorpoint Grand Prix Series which ends in Leicester a month later and will see riders tackle a 113-mile route around Monmouthshire which will include, for the first time, three laps around the town of Grosmont in North Gwent.

Lawless' old side will also be making an appearance, with Team Wiggins a full complement of eight riders including Wales' own European Track Championships silver medallist Sam Harrison and Andy Tennant, who also claimed silver and bronze at the World Track Championships this year.

Wales is also represented in the field by three senior riders in the NFTO team - Pontyclun's Dale Appleby, Swansea's Rhys Lloyd and Rob Partridge from Wrexham.

The Grand Prix of Wales will also have an international feel to it as a group of riders from Africa arrive in the county. Team Rwanda are entering the Festival events as part of the Team Africa Rising project which is aimed at unifying African countries through cycling.

Meanwhile, a large number of the Grand Prix of Wales field have also entered the two big circuit races which take place in the week preceding the big road race.

And Mould has been the man of the year so far on the domestic Tour Series in which he won six out of the ten legs including one in Aberystwyth on May 27.

The 25-year-old will be defending his British Cycling Elite Circuit Series title in Monmouthshire during the Festival where he looks to win the Chepstow Grand Prix again, having taken that crown 12 months ago, and also the Wales Open Criterium in Abergavenny which was the final leg of the Series.

For more information on the Festival, go to www.abergavennyfestivalofcycling.co.uk