Sam Williams managed a second place finish in the 75km Zarren Junior Kermesse on Sunday.
The 17-year-old NFTO team rider set off in a field of over 50 riders for 12 laps of a 6.5km flat circuit that included a section of cobbles each lap. With five laps to go the race winning six rider break was formed,
With three laps to go the break was thinned down to four riders including Williams. The racing in Belgium is fast and furious but the break maintained a gap of between 30 and 40 seconds.
As the riders went through the start/finish area with a lap to go, Williams expected a bell to signify the final lap unfortunately the final lap was announced on the tannoy – in Flemish. The youngster thought he had perhaps miss counted and it was only when one of his breakaway riders surged to the line that it dawned on him that the rider was sprinting not attacking.
Although it was too late to take a win, Williams easily outsprinted the other riders for an excellent second place just a couple of bike lengths behind the winner.
Williams later said: “Although I’m very pleased with my second place, I was feeling very strong and a little disappointed as I felt I could perhaps outsprint my breakaway companions for a win. A lesson learnt but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of racing in Belgium.”
1. Diego Clarysse (KVC De Zeemeeuw Oostende)
2. Sam Williams (NFTOrace Team)
3. Tjorven Desplenter (Jonge Renners Roeselade