More from the Mountivation Academy juniors and Josh Knight blogs about his Belgian exploits including a prized victory
Josh writes about his racing in Belgium … Wednesday, The race started mid-evening, the temperature soaring at 33 degrees celsius and we went for two warm up laps to check the course out.
When we were back at the car, we were already sweating a lot so knew we would have to take lots of fluids on board. All three of us were sat on the front row and were expecting a quick start which was the case. As it was our first race in Belgium, we were keen to get into moves and probably too jumpy and wasting energy.
It was a 4km circuit and we had 20 laps to complete. In the end, I managed to sneak away with another two riders to claim 12th and I was happy with this. I learnt from it too which was a key element of the trip. We were amazed by the support the races have in Belgium with the streets packed with spectators which made the experience even better.
Saturday: 88km race
The lap was 8 kilometres long and this time there was a little bit of an open area where cross winds would be present. The Belgian national champion was riding with the number one on his back. I punctured in the first 2kms, therefore it was not a day for me to remember and I had to spectate alongside the manager. Tom (Armstrong) rode across to the break by himself which he knew was a good move due to the fact that the national champion was in the break. This break, as we thought, stayed away and Tom finished 7th while Matt (Flynn) won the bunch gallop after kicking with 700m to go and still had enough in the tank to hold off the bunch and finished 9th.
The circuit was 6km and we had 14 laps to complete and a break went away in the first lap. Matt Flynn rode across to it while Tom and I controlled the bunch as it whittled down. We split the bunch to nearly half it’s size through the lanes and in the crosswind, we did some team echelons which we had practised in training and came into play.
Matt got third in the sprint and due to Matt being in the top three, this meant that dope control were after him and Tom too who was a randomly chosen rider. The chaperones took the mick for a while until they finally decided to sort it however they took their sweet time leading to Matt missing his podium and his bouquet of flowers. This meant we left the race on a low.
We were due to return home Wednesday night, but we all agreed and snapped Pete’s hand off when he gave us another opportunity to experience more Belgian races. Saturday started with a 50km loop then 10 laps of a 6.6 km circuit. This was quite like a classic race. We all sat in the bunch and ‘boxed clever’ and only started to become lively when we needed too which was when we started the laps of the circuit.
Moves started appearing but nothing too serious before the Belgian champ went with a move. I decided it had potential and that I should get myself across to it. My team mates did their job well which was control the race and it was a game of chess on the last lap in the break. Someone attacked and I countered it, slowly pegging him back up to 100m to go where he could no longer go. I passed him and could see the finish line. I knew I had to win for the team and managers and sponsors who have all helped me get there. The boys also fulfilled team orders which was to attack as the break had a minute and it was unlikely to be caught. The tactics of the manager worked and the boys managed to gap the bunch to finish 9th and 10th.
It was our final day in Belgium, another hot day with temperatures of 29 degrees. A field of 110 riders had signed on and this was the biggest field we had raced with in the time we had been in Belgium. Garmin Juniors and a BMC rider were at the race. It was fast tempo the whole time throughout the race and the attacks would come and go due to the pace of the race preventing anything from sticking. Due to the breaks constantly being brought back, we knew it would come to a bunch sprint and Tom managed to get a top twenty position in the sprint whilst I on the other hand finished in the bunch. It was a very tough race.
On the days we did not race, we would train, either at a motor racing circuit, on the Belgian lanes or doing technical training, to then execute in future races. One day, we were lucky enough to be shown around the Bioracer factory by Ken Jones. This was a great experience to see how kit was made and all the hard work that goes unnoticed.
I would like to say Thank you to Peter Kay for all his hard work and for taking us away, Mountivation and all the teams sponsors along with personal local sponsors, and finally my parents without all these I wouldn’t have made it to Belgium for the great experience.
Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)
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- TT Result: Andover Wheelers Open 10
- Result: Stockport Clarion CC 10
- 2013 George Samuel Memorial Hove Park Crits Race 2
- TT Result: Tyneside Vagabonds CC 45
- Results: RTTC TT Series Rd 4
- Results: East Midlands Region Road Race Championships
- Result: High Wycombe CC 25
- Results: North West Divisional Champs
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- Report: South Region Road Race Champs
- Result: Beacon RCC Open 10
- RAS: Conor Dunne wins stage 1 of the RAS
- Result: Yorkshire Divisional RR Champs
- Result: St Budeaux CC 16 Mile TT
- Result: South East Road Race Championships
- Report/Result: Central Divisional Champs
- Result: CC Ashwell Primavera Road Race
- Result: Wessex 50 TT
- Results: Steve Jones Memorial
- Result: Eastern Region Road Race Championships
- Results: Thoresby Park Circuit Races
- Result: West Midlands Region Road Race Championships
- Result: Sri Chinmoy CT 10
- Results: Knowsley Track League
- Results: Week 2 of the Tor 2000 Circuit Series
- Result: West Wales CL Mountain Time Trial
- Report/Result: Sotonia 25
- Result: Southern Counties Cycling Union 10
- Result: Peterborough CC 10
- Results: North Road CC Memorial 25
- Result: Stone Wheelers 25
- Result: South East Women’s RR Championship
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