Newport cycle star Jon Mould hoping 2014 can be even better than 2013
2:02pm Monday 30th December 2013 in Sport
NEWPORT'S Jon Mould roared into the limelight of British and Welsh cycling during 2013 but wants to use it as a springboard for even greater things in 2014.
Mould hopes to be in the field for the British Cycling National Road Championships around Monmouthshire in June which is also expected to include many of the UK's greatest current riders.
And with that experience in his legs, it is onwards towards Glasgow where Mould should be part of the Welsh team that has every chance of claiming Commonwealth Games medals on both the track and road in late July and early August.
Mould's first season in 2013 among the senior cycling world has been astonishing. It has seen him win a bronze medal on the track in November's World Cup Scratch Race in Manchester, be recruited for new British road racing squad Team NFTO Pro Cycling, win the Madison, with partner George Atkins, and the Omnium at the National Track Championships and win a round of the Tour Series in Colchester.
Now as he puts in the miles at the Wales National Velodrome in Newport ahead of the new year, the 22-year-old reflected on his amazing rise and looked ahead to mixing it with Britain's best at the National Championships, where Sir Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish and Geraint Thomas will have their final opportunity to compete before they begin the Tour de France in Yorkshire the following week.
Mould said: "This year has been awesome. From way back in October 2012, when I got third in the Points Race in Cali (at the Track World Cup), it has just gone from there.
"I was with Team UK Youth at the time and the success we had, which was spread across the board between us all, meant it turned into an amazing year.
"The Tour of Britain was pretty good with awesome support. The Welsh stage, and particularly Caerphilly Mountain, where we were being cheered all the way around, was great and then onto the London stage. It was a brilliant week."
Mould has ridden four National Championships already in his career, mainly in the Junior race, but racing on Welsh soil will be just something else entirely, bigger even than the experience of riding with the continentals and senior big-name home stars in the Tour of Britain.
It is the third time that the National Championships have been staged in Monmouthshire. The Elite Men's race was won by Tour de France stage winner David Millar in 2007 and Kristian House won in 2009 after a brilliant sprint through a packed-out Abergavenny.
The 2009 extravaganza, which also included Wiggins and Froome in the men's field before they each created history by winning the Tour de France, included the women's road race, won for a tenth time by Welsh star Nicole Cooke, and the Junior Road Race which was taken England's 2010 Commonwealth Games track silver medallist George Atkins.
Mould said: "I rode the Nationals this year in Glasgow over the Commonwealth Games course so that was quite nice to get on it and have a look at it.
"So it definitely should be a good race in Monmouthshire. I raced in Abergavenny as a junior (in 2009) and that was good enough so I am really looking forward to this year.
"It will be home roads and racing against the big boys will be something else. This just shows how big racing is and how popular is has become to have it in Wales again. The best roads in Britain are the Welsh roads - I am sure the Yorkshire lads will disagree with that - but definitely, the Welsh roads are my favourite to ride on."
The Championship weekend will also include the women's National Road Championships that precede the Elite Men's race on June 29 while, three days earlier, the stars will be out for the National Time Trial Championships through Monmouthshire.
Mould added: "It will be an awesome weekend of racing for everyone."
So would Mould fancy capping his year by claiming the National Jersey himself ahead of the Commonwealth Games? He said: "I would like to say I will win it. Realistically, I don't know if it will happen but I will give it a good go."
He spent three years in the British Cycling Academy and this was his first campaign away from that environment. So as he gears up for a trip to Mexico and another track World Cup in January before a season capped by the Nationals and the Commonwealth Games, he thinks Wales will be a real force in Glasgow, particularly on the track.
It will be Mould's second Commonwealth Games, having ridden in Delhi 2010, and he added: "We have a really good team with Sam Harrison, Owain Doull and me on the track and on the road as well with Geriant with us. I think we could get a medal somewhere."
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