Monday, 5 January 2015

September was a month of World Championships which are always the biggest event of the season for juniors where everyone tries to be in the top shape. Usually the September races brings asolid lineups with riders all over the world looking for final preparation before the Worlds. The bad thing that happened this year was cancelling two important stage races in Italy: Giro Internazionale della Lunigiana and Giro di Basilicata. Those two races were always very prestigious with strong international field on the start (last editions won Tao Hard and Peret-Peintre). As there were no other stage races across Europe, most of the teams head to Switzerland for Grand Prix Rüebliland. The race had always pretty strong field but this year it really improved and i would call Swiss race the biggest one from those with category 2.1. First rolling stage won Lennard Kemna after attacking from a leading group of riders which included guys like Bouhanni, Sivakov and Lenderink.

Lennard Kamna's solo win (photo:
 The next day we had a spirnt royale on the finish line where Giacommo Begnoni beat Casper Pedersen, Jonas Bokeloh, Mitchell Cornelisse and Damien Touze. The same day we had a time trial and guess what, Kamna did not win it. Niklas Larsen was the strongest for sure as he gained 21 seconds on Sivakov and 22 on Kamna. Luckily for Kamna, Larsen wasn't a part of the elite group on the first stage so German National champion has kept his lead in gc. Final stage around Aarburg was for sure the hardest one and splitted the field. Magnus Bak Klaris won the stage just three seconds ahead of leading group where Niklas Larsen was in front gaining some seconds on current leader. Kamna was 18th with the same time as Larsen and it was enough to win the whole race ahead of Sivakov and Bouhanni.

Giacommo Begnoni winning the sprint (photo:
Final podium: Sivakov, Kamna, Bouhanni (photo:

The same weekend when Swiss race was held in Belgium we had one of the last one day races of the season: La Philippe Gilbert juniors which was pretty much insight Belgian fight. Jordi Van Dingen won ahead of Martin Palm and Stijn Bogaerts. The only non-Belgian rider in top20 was Briton Matthew Gibson. A week later we had Trofeo Buffoni, classic that usually brings a strong international field since it was run just a week before Worlds and was part of final preparation for many riders together with Basilicata and Lunigiana. European champion, Edoardo Affini has won ahead of first year junior (and a big, big talent) Nicola Conci and Australian Michael Storer. All three were later playing important roles during the worlds with Affini just missing medal in road race and Strorer getting third place in time trial.

Affini winning Trofeo Buffoni in his EC jersey (photo: FOTO RODELLA)

The final stage race of the season, held just before Worlds but actually too late to consider it as a preparation race, was Keizer der Juniores, two day event in West Flandres. The first sprinter stage won Enzo Wouters, sealing his title as a top sprinter in junior category. Alan Banaszek from Poland was second. First year junior from Poland didn't have much chance to compete on international level. He struggled to get any solid results except race in Grudziadz  where he won a stage, young rider jersey, points jersey and and was second in overall. Next year he could improve and become one of the top sprinters in junior category. The final day brought two stages: morning time trial won by Guillaueme Seye who become the new leader since there were no bonifications on the first stage. Final stage was of course the hardest one and Enzo Wouters showed class again winning uphill sprint ahead of Jordi Warlop and Emiel Planckaert. But overall win came to fourth rider on the day Stan Dewulf thanks to his solid performance in time trial in the morning where only Seye has beat him.

Enzo Wouters (photo: panel©graphy)

At the very end of the season traditional Chrono Des Nations took place. Filippo Ganna came and conquer as he beat second rider (French Thomas Denis) with over a minute. Martin Palm was third.

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