Double Victory for Talent Team in Europe
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Story posted April 30, 2010; by Matt Winston | Talent Team Riders in Belgium
Over the weekend of 24th and 25th of April, the British Cycling Talent Team took a squad of 6 boys and 6 girls over to Belgium to compete against some of the best young riders in Europe. The boys were racing both days whilst the girls race was on the Sunday.
Victory! A great win for Alex Minting in Europe riding for the Talent Team. Photo thanks to http://www.wimhendrikstrofee.nl/
Day 1: Saturday
Saturday was the Wim Hendriks Trofee for the lads in the Talent Team squad. Great Britain have a good reputation at this race getting a one – two in 2008 with Dan Mclay and Sam Harrison stomping their authority on this growing race. There were 177 riders signed on for the event on Saturday with riders from both the Netherlands and Belgium making up the majority for the field.
The riders representing the British Cycling Talent Team were Chris Latham (Bolton), Harry Tanfield (Cleveland), Josh Penrice (Saddleworth), Alex Minting (Sheffield), Jonathan Dibben (Southampton) and Sam Lowe (Derbyshire). For Youth Racing, this race is quite special because it is a point-to-point race rather than taking place on a completely closed circuit as the races are in Britain. The event started in the Belgian town of Sint-Gillis-Waas and finished in the Dutch town of Koewacht covering a distance of 76km with approximately 8km of this race on cobbles!
The first cobbled section came around 5 kilometres into the race and was the longest section of the race at around 5km in length. When you have 177 fifteen and sixteen year olds all seeing the red mist on the approach to this important part of the race, everybody wants to be into that section first so riders were lining up on the line with an hour to go before the start.
The British riders took a little more relaxed approach making sure they were drinking and staying out of the sun until the last possible minute. When they came to line-up on the start, they were at the back of the strong field of youth riders. Some of the riders were a little bit nervous about this but team manager for the weekend, Matt Winston, re-assured the lads that they just needed to use their tactical knowledge and good bunch handling skills to get them to the front of the race.
By the time the race went over the cobbles after 5km, all the six riders were in the top 30 and with crashes and punctures happening all over the place, they stayed safe at the front. Jonathan Dibben was involved in the first attack of the day and was off the front for around 12km although his lead with his Belgian escapee never went over 30 seconds.
As the race went on, attacks were coming and going and all being tagged by the British riders to make sure they always had a man in the break. After 45km of racing, a group of four riders went away and their lead was starting to stretch towards the minute mark. Unfortunately it was a move the GB Talent team had missed.
The six British riders saw the danger and spoke to each other within the bunch and then amassed on the front of the field as one. Lead by the National Champions jersey of Sam Lowe, they worked for the next 6km to bring the break back. As soon as that was achieved and there was a counter attack, the GB riders weren’t going to loose out again.
Alex Minting tagged the break and a group of four riders quickly established a 30 second lead at the front of the race. These riders worked really well over the last 15km of the race and with the bunch closing in on them as the finish approached fast, it was always going to be an exciting finish. The riders started looking at each other as they came into the last km so Alex Minting used his speed to hit out with around 500 metres to go.
Sprinting for the line for all he was worth, Alex raced to the line to win the 2010 Wim Hendricks Trofee by a couple of bike lengths over his fellow breakaway riders. The bunch crossed the line with the rest of the team who had continued to sit on every move to give Alex the best possible chance of victory.
Alex couldn’t believe the fuss that was made of him by the locals at the finish and struggled for words when interviewed by the press at the event. It was a great team ride and a great team victory. The only negative in the race was a crash for Sam Lowe in the last 300 meters when he was poised to take a good result in the bunch sprint.
Alex gets to stand next to the podium girl after his victory. Photo thanks to http://www.wimhendrikstrofee.nl/
Sunday and the girls sprint into action as well
On the Sunday, the British girls talent team raced in Roeselare lead by talent team coach Stuart Blunt whilst the lads raced their second day in the Belgian town of Kruishoutem with Matt Winston.
The girls were first to leave the hotel on the Sunday morning and headed off to Roeselare for a combined race with Youth and Junior girls. The event was 65km in length. This was going to be a step-up for the British girls who are used to racing just against fellow Youth riders. Representing the British Cycling Talent Team in this event were Jessica Anderson and Hannah Layland (Manchester), Bethany Crumpton (Redditch), Amy Roberts (Wales) and Natalie Hill (Middlesex).
The racing was frantic from the start but all the girls were up at the front of the race covering the moves and also being quite active off the front themselves. However, it was always going to be difficult to get away with the Junior girls permitted to ride a bigger gear than the Youth girls and inevitably the race came down to a bunch sprint. All the British riders finished in the bunch and were happy with their race and result. Amy Roberts was the best finisher in 11th place.
Another Victory for Talent Team Boys
The lads had a split day with a time trial in the morning over 6.5km and then an afternoon race over 67km. To save on space in the van and help the boys in their development, the decision was taken to get the boys to ride the time trial on their standard road bikes with no Time Trial equipment whilst the locals opted in some instances for a full lo-pro equipped with disc wheels.
The boys were always going to struggle to win on the long flat sections but they still showed themselves well with Jonathan Dibben finishing in 5th place, only 16 seconds behind the winner. Jonathan was easily the fastest rider on a standard road bike. With the Youth Olympics next year and the riders only being allowed to ride a standard road bike, the organiser was so impressed with the British riders he is considering changing the rules so to not permit any time trial equipment for next year.
Onto the afternoon stage and there were a few tired legs in the British camp after a lot of travelling on the first day but all the boys rallied to the cause and were out for a good result again. Two laps of the 9km circuit in and Alex Minting rolled up the finish straight with a flat back tyre. Unfortunately, with no service car he was two minutes down and was pulled out of the event by the judges.
Victory for Jonathan Dibben making it a double for the Talent Team
He was gutted but the victory the day before helped him to get over it. The next rider to suffer bad luck was Josh Penrice who had problems with his bike and was in the same scenario of being two minutes down by the time he crossed the line. Back at the front of the race, the peloton was kept together for most of the race but with around 17km to go, Jonathan Dibben broke away with Tommy Oude Elferink of a local Belgian team.
Jon pulled hard at the front, driving the break along as fast as he could whilst Tommy helped give him a turn when he could. Running into the end of the race, a rider tried to bridge the gap but never made it. Jonathan went on to outsprint Tommy to take the victory with Tijs Delbaere holding on for third. Sam Lowe led the bunch sprint in to take fourth place.
Wim Hendricks Trofee
1st Alex Minting British Cycling Talent Team
2nd Martijin Budding WV de Valeirenners
3rd Remco Esselaar WCL Bergklimmers
13th Chris Latham British Cycling Talent Team
22nd Jonathan Dibben British Cycling Talent Team
23rd Harry Tanfield British Cycling Talent Team
45th Josh Penrice British Cycling Talent Team
68th Sam Lowe British Cycling Talent Team
Kruishoutem Boys TT
1st Pjotr Havik Bodysol 7.30
2nd Seppe Verschure KSV 7.41
3rd Otto Vergarede Kon Balen 7.45
5th Jonathan Dibben Talent Team 7.46
8th Harry Tanfield Talent Team 7.54
12th Sam Lowe Talent Team 8.03
34th Alex Minting Talent Team 8.25
51st Josh Penrice Talent Team 8.35
Kruishoutem Circuit Race
1st Jonathan Dibben Talent Team
2nd Tommy Oude Elferink Willebroad
3rd Tijs Delbaere KVC
4th Sam Lowe Talent Team
12th Harry Tanfield Talent Team
Roeselare Girls Circuit Race
1st Nicky Zijaard
2nd Jessy Druyts DCM
3rd Kat Vandermeulen IMMO NLVK Cycling Team
11th Amy Roberts Talent Team
16th Melissa Bury Sportcity Velo
19th Jessica Anderson Talent Team
24th Natalie Hill Talent Team
25th Hannah Layland Talent Team
34th Bethany Crumpton Talent Team
Video of the race from the Saturday here: http://www.wielersite-zvl.nl/
More photo thanks to http://www.wimhendrikstrofee.nl/