Kermis racing in Belgium can be a hard fought competition. The level of your competitors is higher, there are different styles of racing to learn and a lack of local racer knowlege making every move a potentialy dangerous one.
This is why the coveted “W” in a kermesse is so special for a foreign racer in Belgium. It shows the ability to both race strong, but also smart. 2013 has been a good year for guys at The ChainStay, but up until just this past weekend we hadn’t seen a win. Saturday saw one of our young ‘Nieuwelingen‘ (15-16 racing age) racers, Ian McShane, with our Vertex Cycling Development Camp take the house’s first win of the year in Borchtlombeek.
After placing twice in second place in the previous two weeks Ian was able to bring all the elements of mastering Belgian kermis racing together and pull off a spectacular win. Ian planned his move for the right moment, used the course to his advantage and had the backing of several strong fellow campers in the peloton to cover any dangerous moves. It’s always great to watch the different elements we talk about in evening meetings come together from an abstract concept into a physical reality. This is why we (Vertex Cycling and The ChainStay) love to help develop young talent.
Ian hasn’t been the only successful racer of our camp. This past weekend saw our youngest racer Mark Yaroshevsky race in the front group of his Aspiranten (racing age 14) after the field of 40 riders shattered. He raced more with his head and helped his group chase down a dangerous break of 3 riders, including the Belgian champion, who gained almost 40 seconds at one point. After his group caught the lead group he rode at the front and kept himself out of trouble. Only a small bobble at the end caused him to loose his position for the final sprint. A lower placing than his last race, but much better in his execution of racing.
Our Junior group has been seeing good results. Braden Sherwood’s resolve has seen him more competitive each race he does, with fewer mistakes and more time in the race. Conner Simmons has been consistently finishing his races with a steady improvement in results each race. His adaptation to the longer races and more aggressive style of racing reveals his potential to improve well over time. Robert Monahan’s results have been the strongest of the group. His consistent racing at the front of the group and savvy racing style has seen him in his fair share of breaks. His race in Dentergem was one of his best, but an unfortunate move by a fellow breakaway rider saw Robert loose his chance to compete for the win and his being crashed out of the winning break.
Our other Nieuwelingen racers have road well in their races. Nick Collins best race so far has to be the criterium in Roselare (an opening race to the Post Tour professional crit) which saw Nick compete at the front and help break apart the peloton (helping Ian on his way to a 4th place). A few small adjustments to his racing style and he’s going to be a force to be dealt with in the future. Mateo Sanchez has lead a very consistent race campaign over the last 6 races, always fighting hard in the peloton and keeping himself in the mix. He is joining us for our August camp also, so he’s got time to improve with another three weeks in Belgium. Lastly we have Urko Peñagarikano from the Basque region of Spain. Urko’s is a strong rider and has been able to race at the front of each race and be competitive. Once he figures out the style of racing here he will be doing really well in Belgium.
Our July group with Vertex Cycling has been great and we are a little sad to see them leave, but with the departure of these guys we have a fresh group for our August trip to help mold, teach and develop into better bike racers. Our development camps are now filling up faster than ever, so if you are at all interested it is advisable to e-mail us with an email about your interest so we can get you on our waiting lists.