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Report from Leinster Youth Team in Belgium

10/05/2017
Report from Leinster Youth Team in Belgium
Last weekend the Leinster Commission travelled with a team of youth riders to compete in Belgium. A weekend of tough fast racing saw the young talents equip themselves well against their European counterparts. We caught up with Philip Wade from the Leinster Commission to find out how the weekend rolled: 


"The trip to Belgium was part of the Leinster Junior development. We thought it would be good for them to race against their peers there so we selected 6 riders based on performances in races at home through the start of the season. The trip was to test out the process of planning a trip and racing abroad, it was a learning for us on the Leinster committee and the riders.


I personally had no contacts in Belgium but at the start of the year I had discussed the idea with Beth McCluskey at the Youth National championships and she got me in touch with Adrian McLeavy of Irish Cycle Sport. Adrian had contacts in Belgium and assisted us with race entry and accommodation. It was a great partnership as we find our feet in getting our Juniors racing abroad.


We took 6 riders this time, Jack Caldwell ( Bikeworx) , Sean Murnane (Orwell Wheelers) , Cian May (Lucan CRC) , Liam Hanley (CRC) , Cian Keogh ( South East RC) and Conor McKeown (Cuchulainn CC) .


A super bunch of lads from our province who are terrific riders but always time for a bit of fun. It was a very short trip as some of these lads have school exams in 4 weeks so we left at 6:30 Saturday morning and returned at 9pm Sunday.


It was just under 2 hours for the flight so we arrived out there to base camp for lunch time, did a little food shopping, had some lunch and then headed out to the course for a training ride and course familiarisation.


After an hour and a half easy we headed back to based camp and made dinner. I am sure some of them never before observed dishes actually being washed manually before J! Anyhow, it was an easy start the following morning. We rose about 9am, got breakfast into us, a mix of porridge eaters and scrambled eggs. Headed over to sign on and did a little bit of a warm up.


The guys rode great, Cian May made the 1st break on lap 1 and they had a 30 second lead for about 10K but it was reeled in. Then another break started and Liam Hanley jumped across to it. It was a very brave move and exciting to watch but I think he burned a lot of his matches with the effort as it took a toll on his ride with 15 Km to go where he fell off the back of the peloton after being caught.


Following on from that excitement, we had our first casualty , unfortunately Jack Caldwell got caught in a rain gulley along the side of the road and had a blowout causing him to crash. He was not able to re-join the race as there was no service allowed on the course and we were too far away. Needless to say, he was disappointed as he had excellent form.


Cian May, Cian Keogh, Sean Murnane and Conor McKeown rode on in the main peleton driving it from the front many times trying to pull in the leaders. Unfortunately close to when Liam ran out of steam Cian Keogh also was fading, and with the strict race comm on the course, once they had hit 3min behind the race leader they were asked to retire from the course, again very disappointed but clearly they had used up their energies early on. Sean, Cian May and Conor remained in the peloton in the end with Sean contesting the bunch sprint and coming 11th overall earning him a whopping 15 Euros J!


Unfortunately, due to time constraints it was back into the cars right after the race, and back to base camp to pack bike boxes. We did manage to grab a burger in a garage on the way back while refuelling the cars. it was a quick 30 min bike disassemble and pack up. Last thing I wanted was to be calling parents saying we missed our flights.


Anyhow, we got back to the airport, checked in and home bang on time. All riders in one piece and back to their parents. A great learning opportunity I would say and looking forward to the next one…"



Philip Wade - Leinster Commission

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