George Atkins won the junior road race in Abergvenny today, beating his breakaway companion and Olympic Development Program team mate Tim Kennaugh.
The pair came in to the finish together but had in fact ridden very different races. Kennaugh, younger brother of Peter Kennaugh, had boldly attacked alone from 12 miles out, while Atkins had only just arrived at the front of the race after biding his time in the safety of the peloton.
It was Atkins first win of the year, won with a seated sprint on the downhill finish in the centre of the Welsh market town.
“I really needed a big result and today everything just fell in to place,” Atkins said. “I was riding very conservatively, which is something I don’t do very often, it’s a big fault of my riding sometimes.
“I just saved myself and used it when I needed to. I knew I was quicker in the sprint, and that was it really.”
“Tim’s a great rider, and whenever he gets up the road you’re worried. I didn’ know how much damage we could do on that final climb but I got away with Jo and we really got shifting.”
Perhaps the ride of the day came from another ODP rider, Jon Mould. Mould rode from the peloton to the early leading group of four with Daniel McLay when the gap was hovering around the one minute mark.
Mould, from Newport just down the road, then drove the leading group and still had enough at the end when Kennaugh made his move on the climb to Newcastle.
“The plan was for the first 20 K to control myself and after Monmouth I got away and it ended up being just me and Dan away for a lap,” Moiuld said.
“When [Kennaugh] attacked I just slowly, slowly fell back. I was really pleased, my form’s pretty good.”
Mould, along with Kennuagh, Atkins, and third placed Joe Perrett all travel to Belgium on Monday for the junior European road championships. Three weeks later the British junior team go to Belarus for the European track championships.
Junior road race national championship
1. George Atkins (Websters Cycles) in 2-46-10
2. Tim Kennaugh (Team Isle of Man) at same time
3. Joe Perrett (Glendene CC-Bike Trax Junior) at 41sec
4. Simon Yates (Maxgear RT) at 1-01
5. Adam Yates (Maxgear RT)
6. Peter Dibben (Hargroves Cycles-Trant-Next)
7. Sam Harrison (Planet X RT)
8. Conor Dune (Hemel Hempstead CC)
9. Alex Murison (Glendene CC-Bike Trax Junior)
10. Dominic Schills (Lotto Olympia Team Interbike RT)
11. Jon Mould (Agiskoviner.co.uk)
12. Jamie Rogers (Scunthorpe Poly CC)
13. Felix English (Team Corridori)
14. Tom Gosbee (Team Welwyn)
15. Ewen McDonald (Epic Cycles-Viner RT)
16. Jake Hales (Lotto Olympia Team Interbike RT)
17. Joshua Edmonson (Glendene CC-Bike Trax Junior)
18. Tom Moses (Teamwallis-CHH)
19. Daniel Arblaster (Guernsey Velo Development Team)
20. Daniel Nichols (Glendene CC-Bike Trax Junior) all at same time