Oscar Nilsson‐Julien got his Junior Tour of Wales campaign off to a flying start after securing the leader’s jersey on the top of The Tumble late on the opening night.
The prestigious four-day stage race is seen as one of the pinnacle events of the British Cycling | Junior Men's Road Series, a race that has opened the doors to the professional ranks for many.
The race has served as the springboard for the careers of countless Grand Tour riders – with Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas finishing second on Junior Tour 2004, and Carmarthen’s Scott Davies winning the 2013 edition before making his big race debut at the Giro d’Italia this year.
Saturday's second stage will run from Abergavenny, via Brecon Beacons National Park to the Rhigos Mountain, with Nilsson‐Julien taking to the start line at the head of the field after a strong time trial performance on Friday night.
Departing the Market Square in Brynmawr earlier in the evening, The VC Londres rider completed the 8.37km course in a time of 13:07, six seconds better off than Willebrord Wil Vooruit rider and defending champion, Ben Tulett, by the time they reached the summit of the Tumble Mountain.
Oliver Rees (HMT Hospitals Giant Racing Team)rounded off the top three in a time of 13:25 with Leo Hayter (VC Londres) taking fourth, just four seconds adrift with a 13:29, helping to secure his team position in top spot.
The four-day event will carry on into Sunday and sees the riders – including entrants from as far afield as Israel and New Zealand, tackle 20 laps of the Pembrey National Closed Road Circuit.
The Junior Tour of Wales winner will be crowned after the fifth and final stage from Abergavenny to Chepstow and back to the summit of the Tumble Mountain, on Monday 26 August.