This weekend a number of TRC riders traveled to Belgium for a weekend of top quality racing. Racing in Belgium for youth and junior riders is probably the best you can get in the world in terms of competition, closed roads so safer and course design is often very demanding.
The Saturday race was in Geluveld and the same course was used for both the U16 and junior race. Weather conditions were hot with temperatures of 27’C and no wind. The course was multiple laps of 6km road circuit and not so technical this time but had a hill kick near the finish. The U16 race saw TRC riders Hamish, Jack and George taking part in field of 60. All the boys rode really well staying in the main peloton, Hamish took a couple of primes in the race (intermediate sprints) earning him 20 euros! In the final sprint George was right up there to finish 9th with Hamish 37th and Jack probably riding his best race ever finishing a fine 30th in the 70km race.
In the junior race we had two TRC riders (Alex Ashman and Tom Lowther) and a couple of non Club members with us Sam Painter and Irfan Zaman. The junior race was 92km in length and was completed at 24mph average. Irfan DNF as not feeling good and Alex crashed out on lap 4. Sam did really well and got in a early break to finish a fine 7th while Tom ride very strongly finishing in the peloton for 30th.
We all then travelled to Kortrijk for overnight hostel stay and evening meal in the beautiful old town square. On day 2 the riders travelled to different venues to the youth and junior races. The youth riders raced the 65km race at Danizele and Hamish did so well to get into the race winning break to finally finish 11th. Unfortunately Jack felt the demands of the previous day in his legs and DNF. George rode very strongly in the main peloton but unfortunately punctured late in the race.
The junior riders took on an extremely technical 75km course in Sint Joris with so many tight corners which kept the Red Cross helpers busy all day with lots of crashes. Alex rode so hard but lost contact with the main group on the corners and DNF. Sam again feeling the legs from the day before efforts and DNF. Tom was are only junior rider to complete both races so well done to him and finished on main peloton for 32nd. Irfan was the rider of the day getting in the lead break then crashing on the tight corner but worked so hard to get back in with some nasty cuts to his legs and finished with the lead group for 16th.
The weekend was a brilliant experience for the boys and will make them better bike racers going forward. Thanks to Jo Smith, Rob Milnes, Dean, Phil, Lisa and Laura for helping with bottles etc. Special thanks to Whites Transport for supporting the TRC members for the weekend. Post by Colin Robinson