During their second week in Belgium, the InForm TM Insight MAKE boys have continued to enjoy the challenges and triumphs of European racing.
With plenty of impressive results, Carter Turnbull’s was the highlight. After riding in the break for most of the 115km Roeselare race, he dug deep to cross the line for an impressive third. The boys displayed some great teamwork, with Turnbull’s teammates instrumental in controlling the peloton, and Jarrad Drizners finishing with the second group in sixth.
Lucky enough to also catch stage one of the Tour de France as it took off in Belgium, the boys enjoyed watching some of the world’s best, as well as riding parts of the course pre-race.
Here, in their own words, David Williams, Tom Benton, and Ben Jones share some insights from the past week.
Race at Rozebeke, Kermesse, 104km
This was a super tough course with lots of climbing and crosswinds; a very, very technical course. Carter Turnbull, Rudy Porter, David Williams and Jarrad Drizners all followed the moves early on.
Eventually the winning break went away with Jarrad Drizners, who was able to follow the best eight riders all day.
A rider slipped up the road on the main climb on the last lap and held on the whole way, with two others shortly behind. Jarrad has a really strong ride, sprinting in for second in the battle for 4th
Race at Herenthout - 113.4km
Being the first race with high winds, thoughts of splits were evident in determining the outcome of the race. At lap 4 of 14, a group of six formed bringing together Luke Plapp, Carter Turnbull and Tom McFarlane.
With the gap blowing out quickly, there were constant attacks with aims of creating a chase group to get across. Eventually the hot pace meant a group of around 15 set clear from the remainder of the peloton, which contained Drizners, with it charging across to make the front of the race 20 riders strong with 4 laps to race.
From this group came another breakaway with Plapp and Drizners in a group of 7, which would go to the line. With Plapp controlling the break for a sprint, a late attack from the eventual winner was able to hold on after the masses of work from Plapp and Drizners.
Drizners finished in 6th and Plapp in 7th.
Race at Moorslede-Slypskapelle - 111km
The team of those favouring a flatter kermesse were met with what would become an unusual race relative to previous editions. The main break escaped on lap 4 of 15 which contained the ever consistent Luke Plapp in a group of 10. With this move blowing out, it looked follow the script of precious races, with the peloton never seeing that move again. However at lap 9 the break was well in sight with the gap coming down to around 50m.
With the boys thinking it was curtains for this original break, a group of 4 escaped across which motivated the break to work harder and peloton to sit up, allowing this original break to rapidly increase their gap again. A few laps later a group of 10 managed to escape the peloton containing Benton which would eventually reach the lead group with half a lap remaining. Unfortunately for our boys in the lead group, the eventual winner broke away solo on the last lap, with Plapp unable to gain any freedom due to being heavily marked all race.
He would be our best finisher in 5th place.
Ben Jones: Brakel kermesse & Tour de France Stage One
My first race up was a kermesse in Brakel, It was 10km by 9 laps of a hilly circuit. The pace was on from the gun and I found myself in a three-man break away. We were away for about four laps, then were brought back by a reduced bunch. By the 7th time around, the legs were feeling cooked from the break away at the start of the race, so while I didn’t finish the race the way I would’ve liked, I learned a lot from being competitive early on.
We were very excited to ride out and watch the world tour riders take on some iconic climbs in Belgium such as the muur van Geraardsbergen and the Bosberg. After finding a back road to the top of the Bosberg, we found a good spot to view the race after about 45mins the race came past and the atmosphere was crazy even more so because greg van avermaet was in the break. We then headed back into oudnardee to watch the finish of the stage, which saw Austrailan Caleb Ewan finish in third.