The Grand Tour: Fife and Beyond

Ramblings of an inveterate cyclist

The mountains of Central Wales would prove to be a tough test for the riders, more so those who suffered an injury on the run into Weston-Super-Mare. There would be no let-up however, the race was on, beginning with the torturous seven-mile climb up into the Caerphilly Mountains. Again it was a BSA man, this time Stan Jones, who found the summit of Brecon Beacons, at two thousand feet, to take the prime point. This was no real surprise, Stan was well known for his hill-climbing endurance riding.

The fast and furious headlong descent from the prime found most of the riders had re-grouped, but nine hares were still out in front and out of sight, it was only the action of the peloton that brought them back into the fold, this was on the climb out of Llandovery, and just before the feeding station.

Things were shaping up for a pack finish, that was before the last climb of the day, just before Llanrhystud. The hill came out of nowhere and rose steeply skywards. This caught out many a weary leg, and would be Gregorini’s chance, he slowly but surely moved up through the pack and crested the summit several seconds in front of the field. Then without stopping to draw breath sprinted off and disappeared out of sight, then taking the climb before Aberystwyth at a sprint he flashed over the finishing line some three minutes ahead of the nearest rival. His time of five hours, one minute and fifty-three seconds. Ken Russell was third, one inch behind Scale’s back wheel.

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