This summer Scottish Cycling has given the opportunity for endurance riders on the performance development and affiliate programmes to head out to Belgium for opportunities to race and train.
Over the course of the six weeks we will be hearing from the riders and their experiences; first up Stirling Bike Club and Great Britain Junior Academy rider, Rhona Callander.
“On Wednesday 13th July, after a nice easy spin in the morning (crossing the border to France and back) we had our first race in the evening in Arendonk; an 81km route, which is a good distance for me.
For the first 40km I was quite active in the race, sliding onto the big moves which meant I was off the front a few times; I even attacked myself once and managed to stay away for one lap!
Unfortunately I didn't really have the legs to help make the break stick. For the last 40km I sat a bit further back in the peloton which looking back was a mistake because if another break had happened I would have missed it.
In the finish I was positioned a bit too far back, and then lost even more places in the sprint. It was a great learning experience though, first ever elite race on the continent complete! Happy days!
The next day we had nice easy recovery ride - then back into racing the next day at Varasen.
This race was a really positive aggressive race for the first 50km; I always had to make sure I was right up the front for the crosswind section in case there was a split.
However there was a strong group that got away with 40km to go and once they got to a sizeable gap the peloton seemed to decide they didn't want to race for minor places, and we just rolled round for pretty much for the rest of the race - nothing I tried seemed to make any difference! I still enjoyed the race though as it was a great course.
…And then that's where I was picked up by Team Isorex for a few more days of racing!
Big thanks to Scottish Cycling for the great week!”
You can keep up to date with the riders in Belgium by following scottishcycling on Instagram.