Tuesday, 4 March 2014

British junior, James Shaw won the 14th edition of Kuurne Bruxelles Kuurne juniors after solo attack from the fron group just 2km from the finish line. Podium were filled by two riders from Belgium: Lionel Teminaux and Robbie Casier.

Attacks started just after the official start were given. At kilometer 20 we had a group of five riders on the front: Thomas Demolder (Balen BC), Robbe Casier (Tieltse Renners), Thomas Kurtzemann (CMA 93-Big Mat) Byriel Rasmus Iversen (Vejle Campus) and Peter Kjaer Nielsen (Phytonpro.com). 33 seconds behind were two more riders: Kasper Andersen (Giordana Isaac) and Martin Oliveira (CMA 93-Big Mat) with peleton just 10 secons behind those two.

At the top of Edelareberg the break of the day had the gap 1'05" on the peleton. Two chasers were cought. Before Kanaieberg Theo Nicolas (Argenteuil Val de Seine 95) and Charlie Arimont (Young Cycling Team) attacked from the peleton and joined the front group on the climb.

The big show started on Kruisberg, the first cobbled hill of the day where counter attack was made by Kasper Andersen (Giordana Isaac), Julius van de Berg (Viking Waterland), Cyril Bordes (Hopes Pole), Alex Braybrook and the future winner, James Shaw (South East CT).

At the foot of Cote de Trieu break of the day had 20" advantage of Shaw's group and 51" on peleton. On the climg race shaked up and 26 riders were at the front with peleton just 40" behind. Peleton splits again on the Tiegemebrg into four groups. The group of 27 riders had advantage of 42" on peleton before Holstraat climb, penultimate climb of the day.

Nokereberg, the last climb, made no changes in the race situation. The big group of 27 riders had around 40 seconds on peleton. 10 km later the leading group had over a minute advantage and it was almost certain that they will fight for a victory.

On the final loop four riders attacked from the front group: Jesper Schultz (Giordana Isaac), Alan Riou (UK Club), Julius van de Berg (Viking Waterland) and Rasmus Byriel Iversen (Vejle Campus). The Dane Iversen attacked once more and was soloing with just 9km from the finish but he had only 8" on another counter attack including: Jordi Van Dingenen (Balen BC), Andreas Hyldaard Jeppesen (Giordana Isaac), Maxime Blampain (Team Wasquehal) Robbe Casier (Tieltse Renners), James Shaw (South East CT) and Lionel Taminaux (Verandas Willems-CC Chevigny).

Just before the finish (-2km) Jeppesen, Shaw and Taminaux joined Iversen and after that Shaw made his final move and won solo 13" ahead of Teminaux, 19" of Casier.

Conclusion? The Briton was very strong on Sunday, creating gap of more then 10 seconds in last two kilometers and cousing big damage in the leading group. South East CT team were also impressive, having three riders in the main group with Shaw finishing the job. Only Balen BC team had more than three riders in front group but their "kopman" Jordi Van Dingen finished fourth. Impressive ride by Robbe Casier also, being whole day in the break and once they were caught he still managed to stay in front and joined the top riders in the final attack and finished just behind Shaw.

 Here is what the winner says after the race (interview by Paul Burgoine):
  “I wasn’t expecting that!” he started by saying. “I am very glad to be here obviously, it is a great race. You look at the previous results and there are some class athletes who have taken this race.” “I’m really really happy!” “We came out this weekend with a guy called John Barclay and I have a lot of time for him, I really respect him. He’s been bringing me out here for three years and done a fair few races now. John is a big part of my cycling.” “I’d also like to thanks Beacon for providing me with a bike because I would not have been able to go out and buy myself a bike. The guys a Giro for the shoes and also those at Haribo and Trainsharp.” “I’m now going to do all the National Series events.” “I know these races suit me. I like to go hard and really put the pressure on. The group I was in wasn’t really working, they were messing about, and I was doing the majority of the work. I looked into the wind and the roads ahead and took the opportunity. I put my head down and really started drilling it. I could see them chasing and also saw a few giving up. I knew I had one shot and this was it and so there was no holding back!”

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