Jon Mould bags Britain's first UCI road race win of 2017 at New Zealand Cycle Classic - Road Cycling UK

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Jon Mould bags Britain’s first UCI road race win of 2017 at New Zealand Cycle Classic

JLT-Condor's Welshman wins in the crosswinds, as team's fine start to the season continues

Jon Mould became the first British rider of 2017 to bag a UCI race win, after the JLT-Condor man claimed victory in the crosswinds on stage four of the New Zealand Cycle Classic.

Mould outsprinted Australian Jordan Kerby and New Zealander Joseph Cooper as their breakaway succeeded on the race’s penultimate stage, on a day when the winds really whipped up.

It is JLT-Condor’s second victory in the race, after New Zealander Alex Frame sprinted to victory on stage three, and continues the team’s fine start to the season in Oceania.

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.

Mould enjoyed a hugely successful 2016 season, winning a record-breaking six rounds of the Tour Series to lead JLT-Condor to success before pairing up with team-mate Ed Clancy on the track to win the inaugural Revolution Champions League.

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.”

Jon Mould leads the breakaway on his way to becoming the first Brit to win a UCI race in 2017 (pic – New Zealand Cycle Classic)

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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