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Road: Talent Team Abroad
Posted: 27th April 2011
Talent Team riders get some crucial racing experience in road cycling heartland
Source: Matt Winston
Talent Team coach Matt Winston recently took a team of six riders to race in Belgium and Holland. The group comprised Tao Geogean Hart, Chris Lawless, Jake Ragan, Jake Scott, Oli Wood and Robbie Westwood.
The group had a packed long-weekend of racing, beginning on Saturday with the Wim Hendriks Trofee in Holland - the biggest youth classic in the country, straddling the Belgian/Dutch border. With a field size of 190 riders it was a big step up for the Talent Team riders, more used to maximum fields of around 80. Although the GB riders suffered a few punctures and crashes, Tao Geogean Hart got into a break of five in the closing stages of the race, eventually finishing in 4th place. Sunday saw another race in Roselare, in which Oli Wood got into the break and finished 3rd, with Jake Ragan winning the bunch sprint for 6th place.
Monday saw the final race for the Talent Team six - a Kermesse in Krombeke. What the field lacked in size it made up for in quality, with the provincial champion riding amongst other quality local opposition. An exposed course with a fierce crosswind added further to the challenges. However, the Talent Team boys excelled, with Chris Lawless taking a solo break, soon joined by Tao and Jake Ragan, who managed to jump across together. The Talented trio managed to stay away and took all three podium spots, with Oli Wood sealing the deal by winning the bunch sprint for 4th - silencing the home fans but meaning big celebrations in the GB camp!
Related: More info on Talent Team