A late puncture ruined in-form Owain Doull’s chances for the Great Britain Cycling Team at the Ronde van Vlaanderen Beloften on Saturday.
The 21-year-old Welshman, fourth in last year’s race, went on to finish 10th in Oudenaarde as wet conditions played their part in the under-23 version of the Tour of Flanders.
Doull had entered the closing 10 kilometres well positioned in fourth but ended the 177-kilometre opening UCI Under-23 Nations’ Cup race one minute and 39 seconds behind Australian winner Alexander Edmondson.
Hard day at U23 Flanders, absolute chaos in the wet, was 4th on the road with less than 10k to go but punctured. Ended up 10th— Owain Doull (@owaindoull) April 11, 2015
“Hard day at U23 Flanders, absolute chaos in the wet, was 4th on the road with less than 10km to go but punctured. Ended up 10th,” Doull tweeted after the race.
A series of attacks and counter-attacks peppered the race, no surprise given the 14 climbs of some of Flanders’ famous ‘bergs’, including the Taainberg, Eikenberg and Koppenberg ascents from the UCI World Tour event.
Good legs though so not all bad. Cheers to the lads for all there support today was unreal. Hoping the luck turns around for Picardie on Wed— Owain Doull (@owaindoull) April 11, 2015
In the final kilometres Italian Gianni Moscon and Norwegian Truls Engen Korsaeth were able to join Edmondson in a last attack as behind them remnants of the peloton were scattered along the parcours.
Having worked for teammate Doull, Jonathan Dibben crossed the line in 53rd and Chris Latham 67th while Scott Davies, Gabriel Cullaigh and Chris Lawless did not finish.
The UCI under-23 Nations’ Cup resumes on Wednesday with La Cote Picarde in France.