The 2015 Welsh Open Criterium podium with (l-r) Steele Von Hoff (this year’s Commonwealth Games road race gold medallist), Graham Briggs, Jonny McEvoy and Jon Mould (the 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medalist)

Commonwealth Games silver medallist Jon Mould heads a star-studded line-up for the HSBC UK Elite Circuit Series second stage on Friday July 6 around the streets of Abergavenny town centre.

And the new British Cycling National Road Race champion, Connor Swift, cousin of former Team Sky rider and 2012 World Track Championship Scratch Race gold medallist Ben, is to line-up in the race on Friday.

Mould, 27, shot to glory in the road race on Australia’s Gold Coast last April where he was just beaten to gold by home nation rider Steele Von Hoff.

But, as a past winner of the competition, Newport’s Mould enjoys the rip-roaring racing in events like the Circuit Series, which doubles as the Welsh Open Criterium and is part of the Abergavenny Festival of Cycling.

The evening of racing starts with youth events from 5.30pm then the annual Traders Race in aid of the North Gwent Cardiac Rehabilitation and Aftercare Charity, followed by the big names going for glory in the elite event.

Ironically, Mould rode against Von Hoff in Abergavenny in 2015 when the Newport rider won the Series title but the Australian will not be on the start line this year.

“It will be nice to win in Abergavenny again,” said Mould. “It’s good, fun racing and the crowds are good. I quite like it because of the time I have spent riding on the track when I was young.”

He will have serious competition for the Welsh Open title, though, as triple Olympic Games gold medallist Ed Clancy, who was part of the Team Pursuit which took the titles in Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016, is named in the stellar line-up for the Abergavenny contest.

And another rising star of British cycling is also in the line-up. Leeds-born 18-year-old Tom Pidcock is named to ride for Team Wiggins in the Welsh Open and is currently the World Under-23 Time Trial champion, having taken that crown in Bergen, Norway, last year with a blistering time over 21.1kms of 28mins 02.15secs.

Pidcock is also a World, European and British cyclo-cross champion and won the famous Junior Paris-Roubaix race in France back in the Spring off 2017.

There are other big circuit racing names in the field, like past Abergavenny winner Graham Briggs and triple World Cup Team Pursuit gold medallist Andy Tennant.

Meanwhile, Mould is looking to seal a place in his JLT Condor team’s line-up for the Tour of Britain in September, with the first stage finishing in his home town of Newport.

Mould said: “It’s been alright since the Commonwealths. The Commonwealth Games was the most important thing for me in the whole season. I did what I wanted to do and I am really happy with the silver.

“The hardest bit now is to get into the Tour of Britain team for JLT Condor. It would be nice to do it, particularly with the first stage finishing in Newport.”

“But I am being realistic and I am not going for the overall win, with all the international riders coming over for the World Championships (in Austria this September).”

However, he is ‘hopeful’ of winning a Tour of Britain jersey for one of the specific King of the Mountains, Points or Sprint categories.

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