European Tour of Assen (Netherlands) – 29/07/19 to 03/08/19 – U17- 6th GC – Ben Bright
Stage 1 – Prologue
The prologue was 1.7km long, so really short.  I’ve never been the best at prologues, but this one had a technical corner. Unfortunately one corner wasn’t enough to make up 15-seconds to the rider in first and I finished 48th.
Stage 2- Criterium
This race was an hour-long, so relatively short for a road race, so it was full-gas . The circuit was 1.7km long so the course was quite tight and grippy. Therefore the race was really fast, and sprints for every prime were all out. I thought if the opportunity to attack arose I would take it, but it didn’t so I spent the race rolling round the bunch getting used to the field of riders. I finished in 30th in the bunch.
3 – Classic
The course was A to B so there was no laps, it was also 75km and included a 1.8km cobbles section, so it should have shaken up the GC. I rode aggressively all race and survived the cobbles without losing time, I got into 2 breaks with one staying away for 10miles. Although all race the riders team with the yellow jersey was pulling back every gap and neutralising the race. I finished in the back end of the front bunch, after trying to hang on after my attack was caught.
4 – Time Trial
I recced the course the day before and knew that the wind would play the biggest part. On race day there were no tailwinds or head winds, it was all cross-head, cross-tail or cross , and 12mph wind. So it was a fast day, I averaged 42.8kmh with no aero kit, although the winner averaged a staggering 44.7kmh on a drop bar road bike. I was happy to win back some time on GC and go from 40th to 10th, and come 10th on the stage.
Stage 5- Omloop
The course being Omloop meant it was 3.9km long and included a cobbled section. I knew that I needed to make a move and had nothing to lose on GC, so I spent the race attacking and really pushing to get in a break. Frustratingly I missed the winning break, and rolled in with the rest of the bunch in 50th.

6 – Critirium
The circuit went round the campsite and did part of the prologue including a nasty cobbled corner, it was stormy during the night so the course was slick and sketchy. After yesterday’s disappointment I thought I would enjoy the racing and not get too annoyed with attacks. After the first prime an attack went up the road, the bunch didn’t chase so I decided to bridge, it took me a lap but I got across with two other riders. There was 5 of us in the break although one crashed and the other got spat, by the final lap there was 3 of us and we rode to the line, I finished 2nd in the sprint although the leader got DQ’d to 3rd for celebrating no hands. I guess a wins a win, despite it being a bit controversial.
All in all, I really enjoyed racing with a different field, and doing a proper stage race. I learnt how bigger teams in Europe work together, and how that can make racing harder. I’m pleased with 10th in the TT, 1st on the final stage and 6th on GC. Huge thanks to Mum and Dad for being my team crew and taking me to Assen.