Published: 16 May 2012
Report: Scott Hobro
Great Britain will aim to secure places for September’s UCI Junior Road Race Championships as they travel to Germany for the Trofeo Karlsberg, part of the UCI Juniors Nations’ Cup.
The five-stage race begins on Thursday with a 115km road race and will be the last event of the series the team participate in due to the junior European track championships held in Portugal clashing with the GP Général Patton race in July. Great Britain currently sit sixth in the competition’s overall rankings after three events.
British Cycling Olympic Development Programme riders Jonathan Dibben, Sam Lowe, Chris Latham and Chris Lawless have been selected as well as non-programme riders Alex Peters and Sebastian Bayliss, who have ‘warranted a place through good results at the start of the season’, according to ODP coach Matt Winston.
Lowe and Bayliss made up a one-two at the National Junior Men’s Road Race Championships last weekend, with the former continuing the good form which saw him secure second place in the first stage of the Course de la Paix earlier this month –with Winston hoping for more of the same.
"We look at the long-term future, who could potentially be a road race world champion in 10 years time and we’d look at the facts there."
ODP coach Matt Winston
“His [Lowe’s] legs are good but we knew that from the Czech Republic as on the first day he won the sprint,” said Winston. “He got second on the stage but the Frenchman Kowalski was off the front and almost got caught on the line. Kowalski was off the front from about 10km to go and Sam won the bunch sprint again by quite a way and almost caught him on the line.”
Whilst qualifying spots for the world championships - which this year take place in Limburg, Netherlands - is firmly on the agenda, Winston highlighted the overarching aims of the Olympic Development Programme when travelling to race on the continent, citing the third stage of the Course de la Paix as an example.
“We look at the processes of how to win a bike race rather than going to win the bike race itself,” explained Winston.
“To be honest the day the lads were most pleased about [at the Course de la Paix] was the second day. The reason behind that was that we went to do a full lead-out, we were leading Sam out but he got boxed at the end and Jon Dibben ended up rolling over the line in eleventh.
“It wasn’t the best result of the week, it was nowhere near, but the lads were delighted because we’d really talked about the process of how to do a full lead-out and we had all the team on the front and had dominated the day of racing. The other nations spotted how strong they were, for me that was the best success of the week. We didn’t get the result but we got the processes right. That’s what it’s about at ODP level, if we get a win or a good result we’ll celebrate it but it’s not the be all and end all.”
Such processes could come to the fore in Limburg. Last year Winston celebrated Lucy Garner becoming the junior women's world road race champion after a sprint finish in Copenhagen. Despite being over four months away initial thoughts have been given to who may represent Great Britain’s best chances of success.
“You are always thinking who’s going to get a result on there,” Winston commented.
“We’ve looked at the road race and the time-trial. Looking at the profile I think it will be a tougher course than last year. We go for experience and exposure to that level of racing.
“We look at the long-term future, who could potentially be a road race world champion in 10 years time and we’d look at the facts there. You pick your squad of who has deserved it over the season but you’re also looking at the bigger picture, it’s not always about taking who we think can win the bike race.”