The Wales Open Criterium Youth Support Races are set to attract 140 youth riders to Abergavenny Town Centre this Friday as part of the Abergavenny Festival of Cycling.
When the youth races were first organised back in 2008 as support to the Elite Criterium around the streets of Abergavenny, it was impossible to predict whether they would return the following year. From it's humble beginnings with 56 youth riders across all age groups to an event this year with 140 riders taking part.
The Youth Support Races are a local town centre criterium, but that hasn’t stopped the event attracting the best riders from all over the UK to come and ride. Sam Harrison and Sam Lowe, both selected to ride for Great Britain in the upcoming Under 23 European Road Championships were victorious at the inaugural event in 2008. Owain Doull and Elinor Barker, both selected for the Under 23 European Track Championships this week have been victorious in subsequent years.
One rider who has been victorious on previous occasions and last year won the boys under 16 race is Joe Holt, this year he is competing at the European Youth Olympic Festival, so the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of their illustrious previous winners is up for grabs!
In the younger age categories one rider who has been victorious for a number of consecutive years is Tomos Owens.
“I've done the Abergavenny crits for a few years now and I really look forward to racing there every year. I've always loved town centre crits and I try to enter as many as I can, but there's less and less around now for my age group so I'm only doing the two this year, Otley and Abergavenny. But Abergavenny is definitely my favourite!
The course is great and encourages flat out racing, and the crowds are massive, even for my races which really spurs the riders on. Every year it's always been really well organised and having the pros racing after it makes for a really enjoyable night. I can't wait till it comes around again this year and I hope I can carry on my 100% record in Aber!”
This year’s races are sure to attract bumper crowds once again, so why not come along and try and spot future superstars!