Adam Lewis and three other riders are keeping rider journals for The British Continental this season. Adam, 23, rides for the Dutch UCI Continental team BEAT Cycling Club this season, an innovative team that markets itself as a professional cycling team based on a club. This is Adam’s third journal entry…
So the racing has finally begun. After what felt like an eternal winter, my road season began in Greece this month. A full day of travel was required to reach the island of Rhodes. Fortunately, we had a few days to recover and get a feel for the island before our first race which, was the one day International Rhodes Grand Prix (UCI 1.2). I was super keen to get the season underway: new team, new kit, new bike and morale was sky high heading into this one. It finally felt like race mode was switched back on the night before, waiting in my hotel room for the next day, getting the numbers pinned, team meeting, it all got the ‘pre-race’ nerves flowing.
I was asked along with two team-mates to help bring them back. What you do not realise when watching on TV is how hard a job this is
International Rhodes Grand Prix
Onto the race then, 185km in length circling the outskirts of the island, cutting inland to take in a 9km climb after 40km. With the rest of the route predominately flat, it was up in the air as to what was going to happen. My role for the day was to keep my powder dry in the opening phases and wait to see if there were any groups going on the main climb. With everybody in the peloton so keen for the first race of the year, no moves were sticking. The bunch did reduce to around 50 riders atop of the climb but as we approached the feed zone at 100km there was a big re-
Tour of Rhodes
Next up was the Tour of Rhodes (UCI 2.2), a
I’ll try to keep my overview of the stages short as not to bore you, so here goes…
With everybody so fresh it meant the race stayed mainly altogether as we hit the grippy finishing circuits. As a team, we tried to animate and make the race hard but it was not quite hilly enough to do so. The stage resulted in a reduced bunch sprint where Yves [Coolen] took 3rd for the team. We also placed three further guys in the top fifteen, taking the team win on the day. I came in at the same time as the winner, so it was all to play for on GC.
The hardest stage on paper and so it proved to be. The race split into pieces on the main climb of the day. I made it over in the front group of 25 along with two other team-mates. From then on the gap only grew to the bunch behind and by the time we reached the
We set out with one goal for the day: to bring home the yellow jersey. Simply put, after a solid team performance all day long we achieved the feat. It put the icing on the cake after some great days in Greece. Everyone returned back to Belgium super motivated to continue the success! Me personally, I ended the race in 12th place on GC, satisfied with my performance. Setting some new power PB’s along the way certainly helped the morale.
Motivation is still high; I’ve set myself some pretty hefty targets in April to work towards
Back to Belgium, back to reality
I’ve now been back in Belgium for a couple of weeks and it’s fair to say I’m straight back to reality. Being welcomed home by the infamous Belgium spring weather was a shock to the system, to say the least. I have raced twice here but, unfortunately, due to bad luck, I haven’t been able to turn my good legs into a good result. I came away relatively unscathed after being caught up in a huge 30-man pile-up on Saturday but it did put an end to my chances in the race. Nonetheless the motivation is still high; I’ve set myself some pretty hefty targets in April to work towards with Neo Pro Coaching.
I shall leave you with that for now, all I will say is myself and BEAT Cycling Club will be heading to the UK in April, we are privileged enough to be racing the Rutland Melton
Till next month!
Follow Adam on Twitter here.