Talkingshop: Matt Cronshaw & Ben Grenda

Maldon Dengie Tour post race podium reactions from Ben Grenda who was second and Matt Cronshaw who was third

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Both young riders, Australian Ben Grenda in his first British race and Matt Cronshaw finished second and third behind Frenchman Alex Blain. Now that’s an international podium and we spoke to both of them post race.

Ben Grenda (2nd)

A clear second, Ben Grenda (in black) starts his time in Britain with a podium place… Aussie, Aussie Aussie!

Tasmanian Ben Grenda started his season off with a new team in Britain with second place behind Alex Blain. One of two new Australian’s in the Rapha Condor Sharp team (Richard Lang the other), Grenda has shown in Australia that he can get the results but it’s always tricky to know whether a ‘foreign’ rider can come to Britain and do the same.

In the past we’ve seen the likes of other Aussies Zak Dempster, Dean Windsor and Darren Lapthorne to name but three do just that for the men in black and no doubt, Ben’s second place put a smile on the face of his manager, John Herety.

“It is a new team line up wise, and a young team but I think after a few races now together, we’re starting to gel and are learning how each other rides” he explained after the race. “It’s definitely good to get the monkey off the back and a result for the team. It was a tough race today but a really nice race. Something unique and it was good to climb up onto the podium for it.”

“There were no crashes or punctures for me, it was just a matter of staying at the front and I was pretty sure it was going to split just because of the way the race was going. Everyone was at the front at the start and trying but after a few laps, the pecking order started to be set and you could tell who had the legs on the day.”

“It was a matter of following them and picking the right split. I have raced a fair bit now round the world and everywhere the top guys are the top guys and the British teams are as high as anyone else so it wasn’t an easy race by any means. Endura were really strong and trying to thump everyone that made it hard.

Ben looking comfortable as they approach the DengieBerger for the final time.

Matt Cronshaw (3rd)
He’s young, 23, and perhaps went to early in the sprint but the Node 4 – Giordana Subaru rider Matt Cronshaw showed he can mix it with the best yet again. Last year at this time, he was wearing yellow in the Tour DoonHame.

A month or so ago, Matt Cronshaw was in a break with a rider called Robbie McEwen (Tour de France green jersey etc) and finishing sixth in an international Crit in Singapore. So the form guide shows the youngster can deliver well for his team.

This is the scenario … Three miles to go with 101 miles done, you’re being chase by a group only a few seconds behind and you’re hurting… that’s what we see here with the leaders and Matt Cronshaw.

On Sunday, Matt was sprinting for the victory from a very select group left after over a 100 miles of racing on farm tracks in Essex but went too early according to the winner Alex Blain and finished third. Youth enthusiasm perhaps! “Sure, I’m disappointed as everyone wants to win when you’re coming up to the finish” he said afterwards.

“I had to make a few efforts that I could have done without” Matt explained. “Like the front wheel puncture and that was just when everyone started attacking so it was quite tricky. Then I got caught out on the third to last section as well (the mile long Byway). I’m happy enough though.”

“I’m pleased it was only the one puncture because it could have been a lot worse. Early on, the whole team was on everything and it could have been any combination of us. I’m happy that it was me and it was a good strong team performance to take to the next races.”

Puncture! Front wheel changed, Matt chases to get back on as the riders in the break are now not hanging around.

The interesting thing about Matt’s performance, and those of others like Marcel Six, is how they managed to come back from punctures but also just how hard it was to be part of the selection. Okay, the course was not hilly but it was still hard going as Matt explained.

“Those sections (gravel tracks) in this race were really tough. They gradually wore you down and Blain rode a fantastic race. I don’t think I ever saw him not leading over one of the sections. He knew exactly what to do.”



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