Last weekend the Guido Reybrouck Classic race took place in Damme, West Flanders, the place where the wind blows.....
Team Tofauti Everyone Active from Essex sent 6 riders on a Rayner Foundation supported Gateway Trip. Tomos Pattinson. Oli Peace, Max Bufton, Mark Lightfoot, Denholm Edwards and Raph Tabiner.. Here is the report from the team..
"From calm to chaos in 24 hours.
Last weekend, we hit the Guido Reybrouck Classic, one of our key early season UCI races, this year extended to a stage race with the addition of a bit of time trialling on day one.
We had a smooth trip out the Friday before the race, heading to our favoured B&B just outside Damme (and actually on the course for stage 2). We took the riders for a recon of the road stage on Friday afternoon, introducing them to the cobbled sectors.
Then a team meal in Bruges in the evening - the first of LOTS of pasta through the weekend.
Saturday started brightly and riders rolled down to the TT course to recon it, on both road and TT bikes. Back to our B&B for more pasta, before heading to the start. Riders were off at 27 minute intervals, first Denholm Edwards, last Tomos Pattinson. We made sure riders all had a race radio, allowing our DS to talk them through the course and pacing - a first for everyone
Great rides all round in the TT, even for a couple of riders who had to compete on their road bikes. The rain held off, the course stayed dry, with rides generally getting quicker as time went on. Tomos was third last rider and briefly held 3rd place with a cracking time, only to be overtaken by a few seconds by Oscar Chamberlain of AG2R, Australian TT champ, so finishing 4th on the stage. Oli Peace wasn’t far behind in 13th.
More pasta on Saturday night at the race meal, the boys were relaxed with the TT out of the way.
Onto the road race on Sunday, where the carnage began. A crash in the neutral meant a bike change for Tomos, before Denholm was taken down before the first sector. Next for a lie down was Raph Tabiner, who battled brilliantly through the cars for many kilometers to reach the bunch.
t was an attritional stage, with riders gradually being distanced, whether through crashes, punctures or legs.
But it was a crash on the finishing laps which was most serious, with Max Bufton and Mark Lightfoot both going down very heavily, with Mark rushed to hospital in a neck brace. Thankfully, a few hours later the all clear was given.
A late pickup from hospital and a full throttle drive to Calais saw us on the last Eurotunnel, making it a very late return to the UK.
Not the weekend we wanted, but all the riders personally achieved a lot, with Tomos ending up 6th on GC and Oli 12th. There was something positive for everyone to take away from the race, whether getting their first UCI experience, riding through the cars successfully to get back to the peloton, a strong TT, having a good feeling in the legs or enjoying a fun weekend with teammates.
Now onto the serenity and calm of CiCLE next weekend….
Thanks again for the Rayner Foundation’s support - massively appreciated"