European Youth Olympics

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No Medals in Road Race

Following yesterday’s double medal heroics in the criterium, there was no rest for Team GB’s outstanding trio of cyclists as their stamina was tested to the maximum in a gruelling road race. Criterium gold medallist Joshua Papworth (Halesowen) was the first Team GB rider past the finish post in seventh position, followed by double EYOF silver medallist Jonathan Dibben (Totton) in 26th and Oliver Rossi (Ilford) in 36th.

Papworth summed up the difficulty of the course; “It was so hard out there today it was crazy. The length of the race, the heat, the hills, everything just made it so tough and a really hard race.”

Rossi shared his teammates pain; “It was really tough today. I put in a big effort around the halfway mark with about five laps to go to try and get away, but I got caught by the pack straight away and after that I felt like my legs were burning. It was unbearable, but I saw it through.”

The cyclists leave Finland tomorrow to prepare for the National Championships on Saturday and Rossi concluded; “It’s been brilliant here at the EYOF, I’ve learnt so much about where we are amongst the best bike riders in Europe, so it’s been a really good experience. I’ve enjoyed being part of Team GB.”

Olympic Gold & Silver in Criterium

After the heroic performances displayed by Team GB’s cyclists at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, it was the turn of the next generation of British cycling to demonstrate their dominance of Olympic disciplines today, as Joshua Papworth (Halesowen) and Jonathan Dibben (Totton) claimed a dramatic one-two in the criterium event.

As the tactical race came to a positive conclusion for both Papworth and Dibben, they were quick to acknowledge the important role played by teammate Oliver Rossi (Ilford), who finished the race in 18th position; “The medals are really for the team, not the individuals. Ollie helped us win that gold and silver and we couldn’t have done it without him, it was a fantastic team effort,” said Papworth.

Explaining the race tactics he revealed; “Our race plan was to make sure that every time somebody attacked, we had at least one GB rider stay with it. We took it in turns to go with every break, so we didn’t wear each other out.”

Focussing on his individual push for glory he added; “With five laps to go I moved up to make sure I was in the leading part of the bunch. I left my sprint as late as possible coming up the hill and with 200m to go I just gave it everything I could; it was do or die time and the feeling when I crossed the line was just fantastic, I’m ecstatic. It’s definitely the biggest title of my career.”

For Dibben, it was a case of déjà vu as he repeated yesterday’s silver medal achievement; “Two medals in two races feels really good, I can’t quite believe it. I felt good at the start of the race but was struggling to move up the field it was so fast. With a lap to go, today I realised I was in a good position, I looked back and saw Josh right behind my wheel, so I thought I could go by myself and also help Josh.

“Yesterday’s medal sunk in a little bit last night, but today was a real team effort with Ollie doing an excellent ride and my sprint helping Josh to win. Obviously the aim is to make it a hat-trick of medals tomorrow,” he added.

L-R: Jonathon Dibben and Joshua Papworth follow up George Atkins Gold a few years ago with Gold and Silver!

Silver for Jonathan Dibben in Youth Olympics

Story posted July 22, 2009

The first day of the cycling competition at the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Finland saw Jonathan Dibben win silver in the individual time trial. Young athletes from through out Europe are competing in nine sports: Athletics, Basketball, Cycling, Gymnastic, Handball, Judo, Swimming, Tennis and Volleyball. The Festival, known by its initials EYOF, is a biennial multi-sport event for young athletes from the 49 member countries of the association of European Olympic Committees (EOC) and Great Britain has sent three cyclists to represent the country, in the three road events (TT, Criterium and RR), Joshua Papworth, Oliver Rossi and Jonathan Dibben.

An elated Dibben said; “I'm in shock to be honest. I didn't think I had gone that well. I felt okay but I'm delighted to have got the medal. It was a very proud moment for me. It was unbelievable and it's not sunk in, but I've got two more races to go and I'll focus on them now.”

Dibben’s teammates Joshua Papworth (Halesowen) and Oliver Rossi (Ilford) finished twelfth and twenty third overall respectively, meaning all three British riders placed in the top quarter of the one hundred man competition. Coach Gary Coltman described this achievement as; “Equally as pleasing as the medal win, as it proves that we have strength in depth at this age group.”

L-R: Oliver Rossi, Jonathon Dibben and Joshua Papworth

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