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RAS – TOUR OF WALES ( STAGE TWO ) By Tavis Walker

Stage 2 was a fifty five miles in length. The course was a circuit in the Brecons that was ridden 6 times with King of the Mountain Primes and Sprints on laps 2, ambulance 4, sovaldi 6. The roads were a combination of narrow gravelly B roads and fast A roads with traffic islands.

The hill did not reach gradients of over 9%, but must have been at least a km in length. In the de-neutralized 4km run in to the ‘race start’ jockeying for position started with many of the riders eager to get to the front of the 100 strong pack. I rode aggressive for the first 2 laps getting away in what looked to be a strong break of 7 containing riders from the Isle of Man, DHC, Norwood Paragan, Revo Racing and Corley Cycles. Unfortunately with light drizzle one of the riders went down on a sharp left hander, which broke up the break groups organization so that the gap become small enough for many riders to start bridging across from the chase group.

Shortly after this the winning break of 2 riders must have gone clear on lap 3. This break contained Basil Moss of Cambridge CC (who took the win) and Colum O’Shea of Team Isle of Man, whos combined efforts at one stage opened a gap of nearly 2 mins over the field.

No organised chase formed and these two riders finished nearly 30 seconds up on the bunch which had been reduced to about 50 over the course of the race. Jim and Nils vissibly rode a very solid race holding their positions close to the front (Jim having a number of digs off the front) and staying clear of trouble for the most part, although during the run in for the sprint for the line, Nils got caught up in a smash which brought down a number of riders and held up all but the front 20 or so. Nils escaped the crash injury free. Having just been far enough forward to miss the smash I sat up and coasted in safley on Jim’s wheel with Tom ahead putting a solid effort into the sprint for the line. Positions from 5th to 10th yet to be confirmed but it looks likley that Tom and Jim will feature in this.

Jason and David did not fair so well, with Jason having a chain mechanical on the first lap leaving him more than a minuite off the back of the field. David played the part of loyal team mate and hung back with Jason to then start the nightmare task of chasing back on. With avergae speeds of 24mph over the duration of the course from the main bunch this was too much to overcome. Jason battled on epically to finish 17mins down.

Tomorrows Team Time trial over a 14 mile rolling course followed by a 50 mile stage with a 19% climb in it should see a considerble shake up of the GC tommorrow. With all Inverse riders having come through largley unscathed from stage 2 there is still everything to ride for.