Trofeo der Gemeinde Gersheim

Sean Flynn | Tuesday 12th September, 2017

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My first road race of the season was the Trofeo der Gemeinde Gersheim which was part of the UCI Junior Nations Cup; a four day stage race taking place in Saarland, Germany. I was delighted to be asked to join the GB junior academy road riders for this race as there was an extra place due to English exams and I was really looking forward to representing GB on the road for the first time and proving myself as a valuable member of the team.

Overall the race went quite well for me and it was a great learning experience. I was happy to be able to get involved at the pointy end of the racing with the hilly terrain suiting me quite well. I took advantage of my MTB speed to be able to fight for KOM points in the early parts of the stages and I was delighted to be in contention for this prize right until the very end, just missing out by a couple of points. The biggest challenge was dealing with the long distances of the stages, with each day involving over 100km of riding which was a big step up for me. I handled this better than I expected but was certainly suffering a lot towards the end of each stage! Unfortunately I encountered some bad luck on stage 2 as I suffered 2 punctures, one of them at a crucial moment of the race, and despite my best efforts I couldn’t get back into the bunch and finished the race in a group of riders who had also had crashes or mechanicals. This put me out of contention for the GC, but also put me in a better position to help out the team and go for stage wins. I really enjoyed the team aspect of the race and I was surprised by how much satisfaction I got from setting up teammates to give them the best chance to take a stage win or move up on GC. The TT was a strange experience for me as I was out of GC contention and I didn’t have a TT bike so my main aim was to get through without wasting too much energy whilst staying within the time limit which is easier said than done as the speed of the top riders was incredible. The final stage was the toughest of the race as it was the longest stage, 120km, with lots of climbing and really high temperatures. I suffered a lot during the stage but I still managed to get involved in a few breaks and do some work on the front of the bunch to pull back moves. At the end of the race I think it was the most tired I had ever felt in my life!

This was a great experience for me and definitely encouraged me to get involved in more road racing throughout the year on top of my MTB races. I was really grateful to be given this opportunity!




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