One more hour. One more day.

The Junior Tour of Wales has World Heavyweight support. We’re excited to announce 258 Protégé Sports MGT as presenters of the Most Combative Rider Award.

258 Protégé is a new cycling management agency – formed by UCI rider agent Jamie Barlow in collaboration with World Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua’s 258 MGT brand. The agency, launched barely a week ago, is already managing a roster of six riders: Qhubeka-Nexthash WorldTour’s Nic Dlamini, Team SD Worx’ Niamh Fisher-Black, Movistar’s Sarah Gigante, and three riders we know very well, in the shape of Leo Hayter, Oscar Nilsson Julien and Finn Fisher Black.

258 Protégé’s Jamie Barlow says “We are proud to support this prestigious race, the Junior Tour of Wales has historically shown us an early glimpse of some of the most promising future World Tour professionals and I have no doubt that will continue to be the case”

Junior Tour of Wales Race Organiser Richard Hopkins adds “We’re delighted to welcome 258 Protégé to the Junior Tour. It’s a huge compliment to the event – and to the quality of the riders who’ll be fighting it out, that Jamie and his team want to get an even closer look at the next generation of riders they’ll be guiding. We’re looking forward to working even more closely on future editions of the race to create an even better arena for the best junior men and women in the world.”

The race gets underway on Saturday evening with the individual time trial outside Brynmawr, and will reach its final showdown on the slopes of the Tumble Mountain, above Abergavenny, on Bank Holiday Monday around 1pm.

The worst job in the world (II)

A couple of years ago we wrote how selecting the Junior Tour starting field is one of the toughest jobs ever, thanks to having to say no to really good riders who’ve built their seasons around the race. Now we’ve found something that goes one further.

It’s with massive regret that we have to announce the cancellation of the Junior Women’s Tour of Wales 2021.

While the men’s event is oversubscribed as usual, the women’s entry has been badly hit by the consequences of the pandemic. First with the travel restrictions wiping out the international teams we’d heard from. Then pulling some entries away via the rescheduling of other major races, and also by concentrating the season to a degree that some of the other entrants have picked up injuries and fatigue – as well as, in a couple of cases, COVID-19.

The result of all this was an entry far too small to make a viable, or safely manageable, race. And despite trying all avenues to find a way of maintaining it, today we’ve had to accept we’ve run out of road, and time. We knew that trying to put the race on this year – in the midst of the coronavirus mitigations – would be a risk, but at the same time, it would have been very wrong not to try our best.

We feel hugely sorry that the junior women, their parents and teams who’d committed to the race won’t now be able to fight it out on the best roads in the country. But we’re looking forward to seeing the first years back here in August 2022 – hopefully after a full racing season, and with plenty of international competition. We’re hoping to see the 2003 group back here soon, too. But more of that another time…

In the meantime, we have a full field of men who’ve never ridden a Junior Tour of Wales before – the first time that’s happened since the event’s very first edition in 1981. It’s going to be massive for them, and for us.

Where no Junior Tour has gone before

We’re delighted to announce that day three of the 2019 SD Sealants Junior Tour of Wales – August 25th, has become Dydd Sul Sir Gâr Sunday, as the race visits Carmarthenshire for the first time.

Stage 3 takes place at the picturesque Pembrey Country Park – with the riders tackling 20 laps of the fantastic new National Closed Road Circuit from 11am.

Opened just over a year ago, the circuit has already played host to the OVO Energy Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour – as well as two rounds of the British Cycling National Youth Circuit Series, and British Paracycling Championships. The circuit is a blend of long straights, a variety of challenging corners, and a short but strength-sapping hill that will test every riders’ stamina, climbing and descending skills to the limit.

The race restarts from Pembrey again at 3pm, this time heading out onto the road, north westwards onto the A484, up to the climb of Llandyfaelog, around Carmarthen, and then out to the picturesque Towy Valley, for three and a half laps of a circuit around the villages of Llanarthne, Dryslwyn, Pontargothi and Nantgaredig. With a course designed to reward the sprinters and strongmen, and a super-fast finish right through the middle of Nantgaredig village just after 5pm, the stage will be set for the successors to Junior Tour graduates Mark Cavendish and Welshmen Jon Mould, Owain Doull, Joe Holt, Rhys Britton and Ethan Vernon, to battle for the 2019 Green Jersey.

The worst job in the world

So, entries for JTW18 just clicked shut on the British Cycling online system – and so begins the task of trying to fit getting on for 200 entries into a 100 rider starting field.

You all, unfortunately, know what that means: There’s no such thing as a bad rider on the entry list. The change in the series qualification criteria this year rules out the complete newbies – so all of you who’ve entered have raced and earned points. I can see already, looking at the list, that the quality this year is better than ever. We have some outstanding international entries, and meanwhile this has been one of the most open BC Junior Road Series in recent memory. Whoever does make the start ramp in Brynmawr on August 24th really will deserve their place, and we are going to be set for a cracking race.

We literally do look at everyone’s result card/competitive CV when ranking the field – and trying to work out which of you not to select is going to be a real headache. We’ll try and get the start and reserve lists published over the next 24 to 48 hours, giving those of you who are unlucky as much time as possible to find an alternative race to enter over the bank holiday. Thank you, everyone, for entering. Sit tight, and watch your email – and the race’s twitter feeds – for more info as soon as we have it.

Can I? How do I?

We’ve had a fair few messages over the last few days asking some very similar questions so it seemed like a good idea to answer a couple of them here. Let’s start with:

  1. I can’t find any club- or team-mates who’d like to enter the race. Can I still enter? Will I get a ride? Answer: Yes, the BC Junior Road Series (and the race) regulations permit individual entries so if you want to enter on your own, you are more than welcome. We’ll evaluate your entry on the same basis as the riders in a team, and if, according to the criteria set down in the BC selection regs, you deserve to be in the race, you will be. If three or more riders from the same club/team enter, that’s when you become eligible for the team competition.
  2. Two of my dead-keen friends entered three months ago and the other two of us entered today. Will we still be considered as a team? Answer: Yes. If there are three or more riders from the same club/team entered when entries close, you will be regarded as a team even if you didn’t all enter at the same time
  3. Six of us from the same club want to ride, can we? Answer: Unfortunately, for the moment, no. We currently limit the race to four rider teams (though this may change in future). There are a couple of ways this can be dealt with though. Firstly, although the ‘spare’ riders can’t ‘guest ride’ for another team, provided they legitimately change their first-claim club registration with BC, it is possible for them to enter the race under the auspices of another team (see the question below). The other way that works for some teams is to declare the ‘extra’ riders as dedicated team reserves. That way, if one of the original selection of four riders is forced to withdraw, we will offer the place to another rider from the same club. Only if he is unable to take the place do we then fill it from the general reserve list. This allows teams who have lost a rider to maintain their full strength rather than drop down to three entrants.
  4. I’ve entered the race on my own (or for another team), but my friends would like me to guest-ride as part of their team. Can I? Answer: Guest riding (aka composite teams) are not permitted in Junior Road Series races (the only exceptions are regional and national teams). We have to take the identity of your club/team from the British Cycling data download. However, if you would like to ride for an alternative club at the JTW, you can do it – but in order to do so you will need to contact BC in Manchester and formally change your First Claim club/team registration to that of the squad you would like to ride for. BC may in turn require you to maintain your registration for a period of time – maybe to the end of the season – as they wish (rightly) to prevent riders chopping and changing teams just as ‘flags of convenience’.If you do change your first claim team registration *after* entering the JTW, you are advised to enter the race again once the change has gone through in order to ensure that we see your new club on the entry data. You won’t be charged a second entry fee, just the £1 BC processing fee. Also, drop us an email letting us know, to make sure it’s covered.

    Stage 4 2017, Tom Pidcock goes on the attack (pic courtesy of and © Phil Wright)

  5. I’m the team manager of a British Cycling region. How do I go about entering my squad in the race? Answer: Either you enter them, or they enter individually via the BC online system in the normal way. Then, crucial, you must send an email to the race organiser (richh (at) juniortourofwales (dot) org) – saying that you are the team manager of whichever region, and that you have nominated riders A, B, C and D (and reserves E, F…) as your squad for the race. This email is all-important because there is no other way for me to know riders on the entry list are yours.
  6. I’m a team manager and five of my riders are entered. How do you choose which four of them start? Answer: We’ll rank the riders according to the BC Junior Road Series selection criteria. If we don’t hear any different, we’ll select the first four. If the fifth (etc) rider has entered with the option of being considered as a reserve we will contact either him, or you as team manager (if we know who you are) and ask if you want him as your team reserve. If he or you doesn’t want that option then we can cancel his entry, leaving him free to race elswhere that weekend.Also, if you, as a team manager, have a preference of which four riders you would like to start the race – say one of them is carrying an injury, or another is on good form, simply send the race organiser an email (richh (at) juniortourofwales (dot) org) and tell us which riders you would like to be selected. You need to make sure we have emails of that nature by midnight on Saturday 21st July, latest!
  7. I’m injured and unfortunately need to pull out of the race. Can I have a refund on my entry fee? Answer: That’s a shame – and we hope you’re recovered and back on the bike soon. As for the refund, a lot depends on when you withdraw. If you do so prior to the selection of the start and reserve lists, we don’t actually have your money yet – because BC don’t actually process the fee until we formally accept your entry (which happens after the field selection). So if you have to pull out at this stage, we simply cancel the entry this end – and the money never leaves your account.If you are forced to withdraw after the publication of the entry lists, then we should still be able to refund at least a large part of the fee – but the exact percentage depends how close to the race you pull out. Again, contact the organiser as soon as you know your situation.

    We’ll add some more questions here when enough people ask them!

    2017 KoM Fred Wright leads Oscar Mingay and the bunch round Parc Bryn Bach.
    (Pic courtesy and © Phil Wright)

SD Sealants renews title partnership for 2018 and 2019

We are delighted to announce that SD Sealants, the UK’s leading specialist sealant application and cosmetic repair company, have renewed their sponsorship of the Junior Tour of Wales.

The partnership, which began in 2016, helped the Junior Tour organisers extend the race to the full four days of the August Bank Holiday this year, giving the riders their toughest course to date. The renewal will cover the 2018 and 2019 editions of the race, which sees over one hundred junior male riders from across the UK – and beyond – gather to compete over 200 miles of the best roads in Wales.

This year’s tour was led from start to finish by World Junior Cyclo-Cross and Time Trial Champion Tom Pidcock, riding for the PH-MAS-Paul Milnes-Oldfield team.

Richard Hopkins, Race Organiser for the Junior Tour of Wales said:

“We are delighted to continue and evolve our partnership with SD Sealants, who have become a central part of the Junior Tour family. With the stability of a further two years, and hopefully beyond, to plan for, there’s so much more we can do. We are looking forward to giving the next generations of talent an even better, more exciting race!”.

The tour, inaugurated in 1981 is renowned as the competition for rising cycling stars, with the likes of Geraint Thomas, Mark Cavendish, Tour de France GC contender Dan Martin and Tour of Britain stage winner Edvald Boasson Hagen riding for the race’s jerseys in their junior days.

Nick Jones, SD Sealants Managing Director said:

“The Junior Tour of Wales has a long history of giving young, talented riders the opportunity to experience the UK’s best junior race, and we’re very proud to be associated with such an inspiring event. This has been an outstanding year for the Tour, and we’re really looking forward to seeing what the next two years brings.”

The SD Sealants Junior Tour of Wales 2018 gets underway on Friday August 24th, and will be open to riders born in 2000 and 2001. Entries will open early in the new year.

JTW17 – Live from Brynmawr!

Those of you following tomorrow night’s time trial will be able to keep right up to date with the results. Mobile signal permitting(!) we will be streaming the times live, in real time, over the web.

If you are using a web browser, go to Look at that page tomorrow, just before the first rider starts and you should see the Junior Tour TT in the list of live events – just click the orange ‘Live’ button to follow it (and again on the next page).

If you are using an Apple or Google phone, go to your app store and get the Speedhive app (for free), register it (again free) and click the Live Timing pane just before 6:20 tomorrow.

You’ll then know who’s winning almost as quickly as we do! 🙂

Brynmawr Ramps Up for JTW17

We are pleased to announce that this year’s SD Sealants Junior Tour of Wales will have its very own grand depart, with the prologue time trial starting right in the middle of Brynmawr’s Market Square, from 6:21pm on Friday 25th August.

Event Organiser Richard Hopkins says: “With the opening stage moving from its traditional Saturday morning to Friday night, it was a perfect opportunity to bring the race right into town – and make it a centrepiece of the Brynmawr Festival’s final evening. It’ll be great for the riders to launch with a crowd to cheer them on, and the spectators are going to get the chance to see the future stars of cycling doing their stuff. With the town putting on a great show of its own, there will be plenty to see and do. We’re really looking forward to it!”

Donna Wallbank of the Brynmawr Business Forum adds: “We are delighted to have the time trial taking place from the Town Square. We feel it is a great opportunity for businesses and our community to support young people in their career development within racing. We are pleased to be working in association with the Junior Tour of Wales organisers and look forward to a long-term partnership for the benefit of us all. We really are looking forward to people coming out and supporting the racers and enjoying the activities”.

The Welsh Government in association with Costain Limited are busy building the A465 Section 2 road project from Gilwern to Brynmawr – and have built something special for the race too, the start ramp the riders will be launching from. Project Director Bruce Richards says “We are pleased to be supporting this fantastic event and supporting the sports stars of the future”.

2016 JTW Stage 2 Jersey wearers Charlie Quarterman, Ethan Hayter, Rob Scott and Tom Pidcock with Brynmawr County Mayor Cllr Barrie Sutton

The SD Sealants Junior Tour of Wales runs across the Bank Holiday weekend. Featuring 100 of the best junior riders tackling five tough stages – and over 215 miles, from Brynmawr on Friday 25th August, to the final showdown on the Tumble Mountain, at lunchtime on Monday 28th. Full route details to be announced over the next few days – see the race website –, for more.

Four is the number


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: International entrants please email richh(at)juniortourofwales(dot)org for a copy of the entry form.

The Junior Tour welcomes Etixx, as its official nutrition provider

Etixx_2013_CMYK_BLACKonWHITE (Custom)

The SD Sealants Junior Tour of Wales is delighted to announce Etixx Sports Nutrition as its official nutrition provider.

With the junior riders taking on over 200 tough Welsh miles over the three days of the bank holiday weekend, they will need to be at their best to compete. Etixx’s World Tour proven range of nutrition and recovery products will be on hand (and in the neutral service cars) to help any riders in need of a boost.


Dan Martin – 2016

The Etixx range has already been used to great effect by Junior Tour 2004 winner Dan Martin, who is now riding for the Etixx-Quick Step team. Dan had a brilliant, attacking Tour de France, riding with the leaders in the mountains and finishing 10th overall.

Christina Lindquist of Etixx says “We are delighted to support the Junior Tour of Wales in 2016. Partnering with such an esteemed, high calibre and challenging race on the British Junior calendar is a great fit for Etixx Sports Nutrition, a brand that is synonymous with elite cycling. We wish all the competitors the best of luck for the Tour and look forward to seeing the future stars of the pro peloton battling it out for the coveted jerseys.”

Race Organiser Richard Hopkins adds “We are trying to provide the riders with a big race experience, with tough stages that will really test them out. With Etixx’s nutrition available at HQ and from the neutral service cars, every rider will have the chance to fuel up and recover optimally. That is going to be a big advantage over the course of the weekend”