RIS Insulation Junior Tour of Wales The R.I.S. Junior Tour of Wales celebrates its 30th edition with a field of 100 of the best junior riders in the country and beyond - with the national team from Ireland competing.
This year promises to be the toughest ever with two steep 3 mile climbs as the sting in the tail of stages 2 and 5 on the Saturday and the Monday of the August Bank Holiday (28th Ė 30th August) and the biggest field of riders yet.
Local company, RIS Insulation of Blaina are sponsoring the event for the fourth year running. RIS Insulation are a lead contractor involved in organising the funding and installation of bonded bead cavity insulation in homes throughout Wales. They provide valuable support to a number of sports events and teams in Blaenau Gwent.
Managing Director, Mark Hawkins said: ďI am delighted to be supporting the Junior Tour of Wales again this year. It is a very prestigious race that promotes the sport and the local area. It gives Welsh riders the opportunity to compete against some of the best junior riders in the country and Europe. RIS Insulation are proud to be associated with this event.Ē
The Junior Tour has proved in the past to be the breeding ground of our top British cyclists. Mark Cavendish, the prolific stage winner in this yearís Tour de France rode the Junior Tour in 2004.
This year sees Wales Sam Harrison competing on home soil. Sam has been selected to represent Wales in Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October.
Teams and individual riders come from all over the British Isles and are the best junior riders from the home countries and Ireland. This year sees Maxgear and Champion System continue to support the race, designing and providing all of the winnerís jerseys. The design is unique to this event and raises the profile of this great race. The range of products they sell include helmets, sunglasses, compression clothing, water bottles, cages, pumps, saddles, luggage and tools, all at very competitive prices.
Stage 1 at 10.30am on Saturday 28th starts from Brynmawr near the HQ at Nantyglo Leisure Centre and is the usual 10km Time Trial over hilly terrain to the back of the Tumble climb.
The 100 riders will assemble at Brynmawr Market Square in the afternoon and roll out on Stage 2 when the Mayor, Councillor Brian Thomas, drops the flag at 3.00pm. The event heads down the Heads Of the Valleys road to Gilwern and the start proper along the Usk Valley via Crickhowell and Llangynidr onto Talybont to join the A470 at Brecon to climb to the first prime of the Stage.
A fast 8 miles takes the riders through Bronllys to turn right at 3 Cocks and onto the next sprint at Talgarth and takes the peleton through Llangorse village alongside the lovely lake to turn right in Bwlch. Left a further mile down the A40 brings the race back to Talybont and retrace the earlier tracks to climb Llangynidr mountain a 3 mile climb with a last vicious ascent to its highest point and the Finish.
Bryn Bach Park circuit is the scene of stage 3, starting at 11.00am on Sunday, a closed road lap of 3km which after an hour plus a lap will find riders struggling up the 0 to 30 metre per lap climbing by the finish. If they have anything left they can sample the new international standard BMX track alongside but itís not compulsory!!
The circuit and the BMX track are just a part of the cycling facilities Blaenau Gwent Council, sponsors of the Junior Tour since itís start, are providing at the Park.
Stage 4 sees the riders leaving the race Headquarters at Nantyglo Leisure Centre at 3.30pm that afternoon on a 47 mile loop down the A465 and A40 to Raglan and Monmouth and returning to Brynmawr around 5.30pm.
Stage 5 starts at Nantyglo Leisure Centre at 10.30am on Monday and runs along the A465 to Hirwaun before turning over the Brecon Beacons to Storey Arms and down to Brecon and on to Abergavenny . A 62 mile jaunt which sees them climbing up the relentless Tumble Mountain to finish at the summit at around 1.00pm keeping the suspense of who will win overall right up to the end.
The Mayor will present prizes at 3.00pm at Nantyglo Leisure Centre.
The RIS Insulation Junior Tour of Wales is a member and supporter of Bike Pure - the charitable organisation that promotes "clean" cycle racing