The best junior bike racers from the UK and across the world will face their toughest challenge yet at this August’s SD Sealants Junior Tour of Wales. The race – now in its 37th year, is the biggest junior cycle race in the UK and has kick-started the careers of a legion of professional riders, including World, Commonwealth and Olympic Champion Geraint Thomas MBE, 2016 Tour de France sensation Dan Martin, World Champion Mark Cavendish MBE, World Hour Record breaker Alex Dowsett, Team Sky’s Olympic Champion Owain Doull MBE, and many, many more.
For 2017 the event expands from its traditional three days of competition to four, starting during the evening of Friday August 25th and drawing to the final showdown on the Tumble Mountain at lunchtime on Bank Holiday Monday.
Race Organiser Richard Hopkins says:
“The Junior Tour has always been built around the riders. The extra day’s competition is a big step, and recognition that the juniors are getting stronger year on year. Moving the opening time trial from Saturday morning to the Friday evening will hopefully give them better road conditions and, importantly, a full night’s rest. Saturday will be devoted entirely to a stage two that can now be even tougher than last year’s. Wales has so many fabulous, beautiful, challenging roads, and we have some great ideas on how to tweak the route to take full advantage. With the best riders and a format that allows them to go full gas from the start, it’s going to be incredible to watch!”
The event’s expansion is made possible by the generous support of title sponsor SD Sealants, who joined the race just prior to the 2016 edition. Managing Director Nick Jones says:
“SD Sealants is proud to continue its support of the Junior Tour of Wales. The event showcases the best talent British cycling has to offer and we are thrilled to be involved in the tour again this year. Extending the competition for another day is going to really add to the event, challenging the cyclists further and demonstrating what a top class race the Junior Tour is. We can’t wait for it to start.”
The winner of the 2013 edition of the race, Scott Davies, has gone from strength to strength – becoming the first rider to win the British Under 23 Time Trial Championship three times straight, and with a string of impressive road race performances under his belt, not least a stirring ride to 10th place at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Now riding for Team Wiggins and also supported by SD Sealants, Scott says:
“This is brilliant news – it’s really nice to see the race go from strength to strength. The addition of the extra day adds to the event, making it more prestigious and tougher. Whoever wins is going to take a lot of confidence – and it’s brilliant to see SD Sealants on board”
2016’s Junior Tour was won by Londoner Fred Wright – and, for the first time since Alex Dowsett in 2005, Fred is young enough to return to the race this year. He adds:
“Making the race longer will give everyone a chance to rest up after the time trial and really go for the last climb on the second stage. That will open bigger gaps on the GC making the second half of the race even more exciting. I can’t wait to try and defend my title”
Anne Adams-King, chief executive officer, Welsh Cycling said: “The Junior Tour of Wales is an established event on the calendar, which explores the beautiful landscapes and challenging roads of South Wales. It’s great to see the event develop and progress with the support of their volunteers and SD Sealants. I look forward to watching again this summer.”
The race is open to riders born in 1999 and 2000, with entries opening on March 1st. With the event occupying its traditional place as the final round of the season-long British Cycling Junior Road Series, the best riders in the UK will battle for supremacy. And with previous editions attracting riders from as far afield as the USA and Uzbekistan, and significant international interest already, there will be plenty of competition.
More exciting news on the route and race format will be announced soon. British riders, please enter via British Cycling at: https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/158185/The-SD-Sealants-Junior-Tour-of-Wales-2017. International entrants please email richh(at)juniortourofwales(dot)org for a copy of the entry form.