Thursday, 9 July 2015

In the shadow of Tour de France there is quite a lot of junior racing planned for July. The first event was 52nd edition of Sint-Martinusprijs Kontich, Belgian stage race held last week.

Mikkel Honore on the podium (photo: Team Kel-berg Roskilde)

Mikkel Honore from Denmark, the defending champion, won again on Belgian roads. The podium was completed by two Belgian riders: Sander De Pestel and Ward Jaspers.

The race started with evening time trial on Friday. Team Kel-berg Roskilde (as you probably know, one of the strongest junior teams in the world) won despite Jacob Egholm's mechanical  over Monkeytown Cycling Team and Van Boer Group Team. Mathias Norsgaard was the first leader just ahead of Mikkel Honore.

Team Kel-berg Roskilde on the road for the stage win (photo:

The second stage around Antwerp was decisive. 29 riders went clear including Honore, De Pestel, Jespers and other big names like Nieuwpoort, Panis, Schelling and cyclocross superstar Eli Iserbyt. They managed to gain two minutes over the peleton and it was sure that the GC will be decided between those 29. In the final kilometers Sander De Pestel jumped away from a group of ten riders and finished solo, just three seconds ahead of Honore and Finish rider Jaako Hanninen. Thanks to his second place, Honore was the new race leader while De Pestel took two other jerseys: points and youth.

Sunday was Sasha Weemaes day as young Belgian won both stages: morning time trial and sprint stage later on. Mikkel Honore was fourth in the time trial and extended his lead in GC as De Pestel was tenth and lost a handful of seconds. The sprint stage didn't affect the GC but showed first sparks of Weemaes talent on international level. Last year, he was one of the strongest riders in U17 category and scored big amount of wins, almost as much as Philipsen. On both stages, Mathias Norsgaard was second.

The final stage around Kontich finished with a unusual bunch sprint and the GC didn't change at all. Dutch rider Tristan Rijsdijk won by a solo attack in the final kilometers, few bike lengths ahead of Batuhan Ozgur from Turkey (big surprise!) and Laurens Vandermeer from Belgium. Mikkel Honore was the final winner, the first rider in the race history who managed to defend his title.

Tristan Rijsdijk winning the final stage (photo: Het Nieuwsblad)

Final GC:

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