Early season in the north of Europe sees not only multiple professional races (the ones we see on the TV) but also the accompanying Junior races.. Giles Pidcock and the Fensham Howes MAS Design Junior Team are regular commuters to this part of the world in March and April.
Their latest foray was another one of those long weekends away, destination Belgium for the https://www.nokerekoerse.be/juniors
"What do you mean, you’ve got the wrong bag?”
These trips can be a logistical nightmare. We usually take six riders, two vehicles, four helpers up to 18 bikes and a mountain of kit and equipment. All these things start the trip in different parts of the country and usually arrive at the designated meeting points all nicely. Recently though we’ve had a run of kits bags ending up in the wrong vehicle and many miles from their owner. We’ve got these really nice Scott Bikes kit bags (SCOTT Ski Day Gear Bag (scott-sports.com)) but they all look the same. As a development team we try to teach them about how to get organized. Looks like we need to work harder on this.
On Saturday we did the Danlith Nokere Course road race in Flanders. It was the usual mixture of cobbled roads, grippy little bergs and lot’s big wide roads with no shelter at all from the crosswinds.
Mattie came down hard on the cobbles and lay on the road for 4 minutes unable to move his leg. It was a worrying time that seemed to last for hours, not just a few minutes. In the end the doctor helped him up onto his feet and of course he wanted to go from there to his (spare) bike. Then commenced another development exercise. Accompanied by the car we spent 30 km getting him back to the convoy and eventually back into the race. It was very impressive performance by Mattie, it’s not easy closing a 4 minute gap even with the help of a car, especially over very technically challenging roads with many changes of surface, twists, turns and street furniture. Shame it was all just to get back to where he’d started but it shows he has the class to get a result if he puts all that effort in to a move off the front of the race.
After the race we had a really tight timetable to get back to the tunnel. It basically required everyone to cross the line, get into the car and go.
We were delayed slightly because Jed won the race and was detained for podium duties. He’d done a brilliant ride to escape from what was left of the peleton so we were all very happy.
Until, at 02.00 Sunday morning and 300 miles later two of the boys realized they had the wrong bag…"
This was a Rayner Foundation Gateway Trip.
The season continues next week with Guido Reybrouck. Watch this space ...