Sam Lowe (Hargroves Cycles) was crowned National Men’s Junior Road Race Champion after a patient ride in the title race at Brynmawr in South Wales.
The 18-year-old from Derby stayed in the bunch in the early stages of the race as a large break powered up the road at an alarming rate, but with his Hargroves team-mate Matt Hargroves in the break, Lowe was content to wait and see whether it lasted.
His patience was rewarded when the necessary pace proved too much, and the break fragmented and dropped back.
But next time there was an escape Lowe’s tactics were different, and he latched on with another 18 riders as they came through Pengenfford with about 30 kilometres to go.
The 4km climb up to Brynmawr separated the men from the boys, and by the top there were just nine riders remaining in contention as they headed for the finish in the market square.
Lowe made his move early, catching the others off guard and having enough time on the line to straighten his jersey and raise his arms aloft.
Fourth in the Cadence Junior Road Race on Welsh roads in March, Lowe said: “When the break went out I was happy to let it go because my team-mate Matt Hargroves was in there and it went out pretty quickly.
“We stayed together in the bunch up on to the moors and then it started to split. There was a group with Tao Geoghegan Hart and a few others and me and Alex Peters bridged across to that group – that was pretty tough – and then when we got across we just went through and off until we caught up with the lead group.
“I had planned to get in a break and then sprint for it at the end, but I didn’t expect to go so early. I was expecting a few more attacks from Alex Peters and Tao with them being better up the climbs.”
National Junior Men’s Road Race Championships
1. Sam Lowe (Hargroves Cycles) 3:04.16
2. Sebastian Bayliss (Mid Devon CC) @ 2sec
3. Jake Kelly (Team Microgaming Isle of Man) same time
4. George Pym (Exeter Wheelers) same time
5. Will Stephenson (Primera Sport) same time
6. Ashley Proctor (Sportscover Altura RT) same time