Wrapping up Rhodes
Rhodes GP (11/3) & International Tour of Rhodes (16-19/3)
It was all going according to plan until the weather threw out the rule book
The Rhodes GP was a promising warm-up to the Tour to follow, and both Felix and Jakub finished top 10, adding to our UCI point tally. Kiya, Yusuke and Yuhi all finished with the winning group too.
Coming into the Tour we had planned to have Marc join us but he was called up to the WT Team. This was a fantastic opportunity for him but it put us at a disadvantage as he was our main GC hopeful from the start.
Grim conditions during the Prologue threw a spanner in the works and not long after it had begun the stage was cancelled, cutting the race to three stages. Only Hijiri got to roll down the ramp before the heavens opened and it all came to a premature end.
Unfortunately, this also interrupted the race preparation for all concerned and valuable time was spent waiting around. This cost us dearly on Stage 1 – Kiya, Felix and Hijiri lost time. Felix was able to bounce back the next day and both he and Jakub finished with the lead bunch. It was an exceptional effort by Jakub as he and Kiya had come down heavily in a crash but battled on to finish.
On the third and final stage the going was tough for Jakub, with the injury to his hand costing him. Henrik was our strongest rider in the end, 46 seconds off the GC winner and 10th best young rider. Jakub toughed it out to finish despite his injuries. Felix and Kiya too were able to complete the tour while Hijiri had to abandon.
“There are definitely some positives we are taking from our time in Greece. We know what we need to work on - we got plenty of insight into the direction our training program needs to take for the next few weeks to get ready for our races in France.”