First Race in Belgium
With our sights set on more European races next year, we thought it would be a good idea to wrap up the season with a trip to Belgium, giving the riders an opportunity to gain some more experience before they become Juniors.
Pre-Race Build Up
The journey to Merelbeke was straightforward and our first race of the weekend was in Berlare, a village in East Flanders. As we arrived, the town was getting ready for a full day of racing with an incredible atmosphere already building.
Joe Cosgrove and Bryn Lawrence had the opportunity to meet some of other Belgian riders as they signed on and headed off with them to do a few practice laps of the course. Pre-race, our riders fuelled up and warmed up as the race cars and riders took their positions for a 1pm start.
Race Day in Berlare
The race was due to last approximately 1hr 30minutes and would cover around 70km. The course was pretty flat, but the wind was getting up on the more exposed sections. After a couple of laps, Joe Cosgrove got in the break with two Belgian riders, and they managed to get a decent gap of around 20 seconds. The peloton of around 80 riders could still get them back if they worked together. However, the break worked hard taking turns on the front and stayed away for around 50km.
At one point the break had around a minute on the main peloton, which had shrunk in numbers due to the attritional nature of the race. Bryn was working hard in the main group and was on the front slowing them down. One of the riders in the break dropped off, leaving just two before one lone rider bridged across to the break.
This was Joe’s first race in Belgium, so to see him come over the line in 3rd place was a great result for him and the team and certainly bodes well for the future. It was a great performance from Joe and it was even better when Bryn came over the line in 9th position.
“I stayed at the front early on and followed the moves. I had a couple of digs and noticed that a couple of other riders had the same idea. Three of us got away on the more exposed sections – the roads were just like the ones I train on at home. It was a tough day out and towards the end I thought they might catch us. For my first race in Belgium, I’m really pleased and can’t wait to do more races like this as a Junior”