Adam Ward edged out Alfie George in a nail-biting stage two of the Junior Tour of Wales in the British Cycling | Junior Men's Road Series.
In an enthralling race, Ward recovered from dropping his chain to catch George and Aaron Doherty to win the stage and move up to ninth in the standings.
Stage one winner Leo Hayter still leads the way but is only two seconds clear of Ben Tulett as we head into the final two stages.
In what proved a fractious race, attacks started as soon as the race exited the neutralised zone in Crickhowell and by the time the leading riders reached the first KOM at Bwlch several small groups had separated from the main peloton.
Several of these groups closed together, with around 18 riders building up a lead of five minutes on the rest of the field with still 40 miles of the race in front of them.
Slowly the chasing bunch closed the gap and by the third KOM at Crai Reservoir the gap had closed to two minutes.
By just half a wheel, Adam Ward squeezes to victory in stage 2 of the @juniortourwales. He clinches it in the tightest of sprint finishes over Alfie George.#JuniorRoadSeries pic.twitter.com/kF3ZafyoCI— British Cycling (@BritishCycling) August 25, 2018
The lead bunch started to fragment again with around 15 miles to go and as the leaders approached the foot of the Rhigos Mountain it was Ward, George and Aaron Doherty found themselves out in front and with an advantage of two minutes.
As the lead group turned on to Rhigos, Ward dropped his chain and was forced to dismount and fix his chain before again catching George and Doherty.
Ward admitted he felt good going into the climb and realising he was up against two of his good friends, Doherty, a renowned climber, and George, he went for the jugular to clinch the victory.
Knowing that if he stuck the climb with Doherty he could then attack George in the sprint finish as the race dropped over the summit of the mountain.
The result lifts Ward to ninth in the general classification going into Sunday’s double stages with it all to play for.