The Giant Halifax RT made its road racing debut as a team at the Junior Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne spring “classic” on Sunday 25 February.
It was the first time the full team of five Juniors raced together, with the full support team and team-car. The race is just over 120km in length and is run like the senior race, with a full race convoy, closed roads and famous cobbled climbs, the only difference being the shorter race distance.
For the riders it was always going to be a challenging day in the saddle as they faced not only some of Europe’s best Juniors, many of them a crucial 12 months older, but also the longer race distance. As youths, they rarely raced for more than an hour and a half, but here they were in the saddle for the best part of four hours.
Check out the video for the riders’ individual reactions to the race.
Overall, the team came away happy with their performances. Inevitably there were crashes in the opening kilometers, especially on the narrow funnels at the foot of the cobbled climbs and all five Giant-Halifax RT riders got caught behind at least one pile up. The key is to get moving as quickly as possible and re-join the main field with minimum delay.
Positioning is a key component of any road race, but with the narrow roads, cobbled climbs, crashes and the early-season enthusiasm of all the riders, it was all the more important in this race and all the riders reflected on lessons learnt.
For the support team the race was also a good workout, with a last minute puncture on the team car testing them just before the race. However, the team’s Giant bikes stood up to the pounding of the cobbles really well with no mechanicals and no punctures.
Finally, a word about our team photographer, Stephen Smith, who came along to capture Giant-Halifax RT’s first European adventure and came away with an amazing gallery of shots from the weekend!
25/02/2018 KUURNE-BRUSSEL-KUURNE – UCI – Men Juniors 1.1 – UCI
1 EVENEPOEL Remco (Bel) ACROG-PAUWELS SAUZEN – BALEN BC 3H7´0S
2 HINDSGAUL MADSEN Jacob (Den) TEAM HERNING CK @37S
3 CALVERT Charley (Gbr) TEAM BACKSTEDT HOTCHILLEE @43S
42 RUSHBY Max GIANT HALIFAX RACING TEAM
56 DUSSEK Tom GIANT HALIFAX RACING TEAM
66 WESTLEY Dylan GIANT HALIFAX RACING TEAM
DNF GREENWOOD Josh GIANT HALIFAX RACING TEAM
DNF YOUNG Jenson GIANT HALIFAX RACING TEAM