YOUNG Scots teenager Joe Nally had a double celebration on Sunday as he won Abergavenny Festival of Cycling's Family Vision Monmouthshire Grand Prix .
The 17-year-old from Dunfermline was never out of the leading group over the course of the race, which was a leg of the British Cycling Junior Road Race Series, from Cross Ash to Grosmont, Monmouthshire, and added the bonus of the sprints title to the overall first prize.
But Nally worked for his crowns and described the course, which included three laps the 12.43 miles finish circuits around Grosmont, as 'brutal'.
Nally, a first year junior, crossed the line three hours 09.33mins after the start, and was 33 seconds ahead of Newport's current Welsh Junior road race champion Dan Coombe who was with the Scots teenager all the way until the final half-lap.
Current Junior Road Race Series leader, Cardiff's Oscar Mingay, was third and, after being over three minutes behind the leading group of five riders as they entered Grosmont for the first of their finishing laps, the first year junior rider ended just forty seconds down on Nally.
The winner was glad to have won after putting in a big effort to break Coombe on the last decent before the final climb to the finishing line.
He said: “There was a breakaway at the start and I bridged across that. Over the top of the final climb, I started to attack and I got away on the descent.
“But that course was brutal. It was one of hardest races I have competed in in Britain,” he added.
Meanwhile, Coombe had to strike back from a wheel change midway through the race and was unnerved when Nally went away down the descent towards the climb to the Grosmont finish.
Coombe, who lives in Langstone, was right in the thick of it and said: “I came into the race thinking it was a really hard course and getting into an early break at the front was the right thing to do.”
A group of five was downloaded to a group of four and then three, with Coombe alongside Nally and Herefordshire's Joshua Sandman as they ended the second lap of Grosmont.
“When we went to four in our group, I was quite surprised. It was then down to the three of us. I had to change my rear wheel on the second lap.
“And with half a lap to go, Joe went down a descent and I was a bit cautious.”
The reason for his caution was due to having a big issue in a similar position , going down a hill, during the last race of the series.
“The wheel on the front went away from me and I had a massive wobble last time. I was just thinking this time 'stay up and stay safe'.
“I love climbing but he (Nally) was very strong on the last climb.”
The Abergavenny Festival of Cycling leg of the Junior Road Race event is halfway through the series and, currently, Cardiff's Oscar Mingay is leading the competition.
Mingay came third in Grosmont, having made up a huge amount of ground in the final laps to come from two minutes behind and cross the line just forty seconds behind Nally.
Nally was glad to have secured the win, although he is not sure whether he will be able to catch Mingay in the Series, which ends with the Junior Tour of Wales in North Gwent on August Bank Holiday Monday.
For further information about the Iron Mountain Sportif and to enter any of the rides, go to www.abergavennyfestivalofcycling.co.uK