Where was Sam last week, when Maldon invaded Milldenhall? As a brief update Sam rode at both the National Junior Track championship and on the Junior Tour of Wales this past week.

On the track at Newport, he found his first experience of riding at national level a steep learning curve in an environment he’s not had access to previously. He rode in the Scratch race on Tuesday, but failed to get out of the heats into the final. At the finish he confessed it was the fastest race he’d ever been involved in; we did learn that his gearing needed raising massively, which we rectified for the points race on Thursday. 
Sam had a much better ride on Thursday, where he was able to compete on more even terms with the other riders and he grabbed 3pts in the penultimate sprint. This was at the time sufficient to qualify for the final, unfortunately Sam was nudged out of qualification by another rider who also ended on 3pts but had collected a 1pt on the final sprint.  The race was much quicker than Tuesdays scratch race and 20 seconds quicker than the other heat (and 20 seconds is a lap at Newport), so a definite improvement there.

From Newport we then headed up to Abergavenny and joined up with Alan Rosner and the rest of the Eastern Region squad for the Junior Tour of Wales (JTW). Sam’s tour was interesting with the usual up’s and downs. Starting with a down on saturday morning
  whilst on a leading time in the prologue TT, he crashed out and was forced to complete the stage on a borrowed road bike; so he started last but one (91st) on General Classification. Saturday afternoon was a much better effort and had Sam finish 41st in a 72km road stage, lifting him to 63rd on GC. Sunday started with a 30km crit and finished with another 75km road stage , tiredness was having an effect and Sam posted results of  48th and 75th respectively leaving him at 57th on GC. The final 95km road stage is a beast, with a finish on the summit of the Tumble Mountain. Focused again, Sam had his best result finishing 31st and lifting him to 47 on GC. Overall a great tour and great experience for next year as the majority of those ahead of Sam will not be Juniors next year.