After Ian Bibby kick-started the team’s season with a stage win and overall victory at the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic criterium series – beating in-form Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) to the overall win – JLT-Condor have continued their form over in New Zealand.
Frame’s win followed a third-placed finish for Brit Steve Lampier on the summit finish of Admiral Hill on stage two, before 25-year-old Welshman Mould bagged the first UCI race win of his career.
The British team now have two riders, Mould and Lampier, in the top ten overall with only a flat circuit race in Masterton to come.
His first UCI stage win – the race is classified 2.2 by cycling’s governing body, and is one of two UCI Oceania Tour races – ensures he has carried that form into the start of the new year too.
Having been active earlier in the stage, in driving rain and crosswinds, lone escapee Mould was eventually joined by eight other riders to open up a decent lead with 20km to race.
Team-mate Robert-Jon McCarthy was also present in the move, but Mould dropped the hammer as the group split in two, racing to the finish line with Jordan Kerby and New Zealand national champion Joe Cooper.
And it was Mould who sprinted to the stage win, admitting he relishes the difficult riding conditions.
“It’s my favourite bit to be honest, the wind,” he said. “It feels nice to get stuck in like that and then finish it off with the sprint.
“I just gave everything I had left and got the stage win so I am really happy.
“They are probably some of the strongest winds I’ve ridden in. You get some in Holland on the coast but these were impressive. It was a tough one.”
Mould is now just one second off the overall podium, but with only the pan-flat Masterton circuit to come, the Welshman says he’ll be working for his team-mates on the 120km final stage.
“We want to get another win for Alex Frame, or even Ed Clancy,” he added. “We definitely want to crack on and keep winning.”
JLT-Condor’s season will then continue at the Herald Sun Tour, where Team Sky’s three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome will roll out as defending champion when the race begins on February 1.
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