Wednesday, 4 May 2016

After over two months of action junior spring classics campaign has come to an end. Let's take a brief review of the five most important races and their winners. Below is the first part with a review of first two classics: Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne Juniors and Guido Reybrouck Classics.

Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne


Season opener, Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, was a strong indication of who will impress in the whole classics campaign. The 120km race included Oude Kwaremont for he first time and it was a crucial point of 2016 edition. The biggest favorites of the race: Alexys Brunel, Jasper Philipsen and Clement Betouigt Suire were part of the elite group formed after the Kwaremont. 

Hayter and Philipsen on attack on Oude Kwaremont (photo: ethanhayter Instagram)

Once the leaders were almost caught by 30 men peleton, six riders went clear again: Jarno Mobach, Mathieu Burgeaudeau, Clément Betouigt Suire, Jasper Philipsen, Etthan Hayter and Andreas Kron. This was the decisive move with just 17km from the finish. When everyone was already looking forward to another sprint duel between Philipsen and Suire, Ethan Hayter attacked with six kilometers to go and quickly gained a gap over the five chasers. The strongest guy of the day, Ethan Hayter from Great Britian Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne 2016 with 47 seconds over Betouigt Suire who managed to beat Philipsen on the line.

Ethan Hayter wins solo (photo: directvelo)


Ethan Hayter shared his feeling with Directvelo after the race

"It's fantastic, I really do not expect it. I was hoping to do a good race, but not to win! The day was really tiring, with a wind that was sweeping the roads. Especially after the Oude Kwaremont, when the race was shattered. At five or six kilometers to go, I decided to try my luck. The rest of the group hesitated a little, and then I continued my effort. I really thought to be gone too soon. But I could finally get my greatest victory, after failing to second place in the Junior Keizer last year. I hope now pick selections for the World Cup. Both on the track and on the road. "

Ethan Hayter surprised many but his win in Kuurne was just a start of his amazing (and unlucky in last part) classic campaign. Jasper Philipsen and Clement Betouigt Suire confirmed that they are not only the fastest guys in junior category but also impressive on cobbled classics.

Race podium: Suire, Hayter, Philipsen (photo: directvelo)
 Results

Guido Reybrouck Classic 

Few weeks later second important cobbled classic took part in Belgium, this time in Damme. Guido Reybrouck Classics was affected with strong winds which caused a lot of crashes and pretty defensive racing. Big group reached the local laps in Damme.

Riders going through the cobbled section (photo: Joeri De Connick)


Despite crashing on the first lap, Jasper Philipsen not only managed to came back to the peleton but also made a move with six other riders. finally, after several attacks group of just two riders went clear: Jasper Philipsen and Ethan Hayter. Philipsen was the first to attack and half a round later he was joined by Hayter. The duo worked well together and it was clear that one of them will be the winner. Hayter tried to attack with three kilometers to go but Philipsen managed to respond. On the finish line Belgian rider was faster and won the race. Tristan Five won the bunch sprint from the peleton ahead of his team mate Jordi Meeus. Impressive ride by whole Acrog Balen BC team, three riders in top 4.

Jasper Philipsen spints to the win (photo: Joeri De Connick)


After the race winner shared his thoughts with cyclingsite.be:


"At the start of the race was quite hectic. Because of that, there were many crashes and punctures. It took a relatively long time for the race to be splitted. There were several strong attacks but it was hard to force something as the wind was blowing. So we came to the local rounds with an almost compact peloton. The first local round I've fallen through my own fault because I wanted to take a water bottle from another team and so on the wet cobblestones The crash gave me an extra adrenaline and I made a move with six riders and managed to broke alone. Half round later I was joined by Ethan Hayter and we were able work well together. I relied on my sprint and proved that it was the right choice "

I have asked  Ethan Hayter to share his thoughts on the race:


"I didn't have good legs at the start. The race also started with very fast pace which obviously didn't help! I stayed in the group for a long time and then started getting involved. I followed and bridged to a couple a moves but they didn't stick. Then there was a group of six of us but they weren't strong enough and after some attacking it ended up me and Jasper away. I then attacked him later with 3k to go when he didn't expect it, but he was strong enough to close the gap. It came down to the sprint and I wanted to close him but left too much space and chose too big a gear, and he got the jump and that was it. Happy with my second place."

Podium: Hayter, Philipsen, Five (photo: Joeri De Connick)
 Results


 

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