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Tekton takes podium in 1.1 race


Breeze
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SmileBradley Potgieter finished 3rd in <?:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Gent Menen 1.1 UCI race for Juniors on Wednesday<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

 

The team participated in the 4-day Kontich 2.1 UCI race from 6 ? 9 July.  The tour included an individual as well as team time trial.  The three road stages were very flat and saw big bunches coming into the finish everyday.

Bradley and Reinardt road exactly the same time in the prologue ? but were still 47sec off the winner of the day from Norway ? already proving that winning the GC will depend on the best prologue and team time trial results.  The other teams and nations had their national championships in the last 2 weeks and all were in pretty good shape coming to the tour. The Belgium National Track Team featured well and won the TTT. 

 

Bradley showed that he can be a very good rider on the flats and received the most competitive jersey after the first road stage.  He went into almost every attack and it looked as if the last break during that stage would stay away - only to be caught in the last 1km.

 

Both the road stages on Sunday and Monday included cobbled sections.  Sunday?s stage went over a 2km piece 8 times. The first 2 laps were fast and saw many crashes ? Bradley punctured but was able to get back on. As with all other junior races, the last lap would be hectic and dangerous. A major crash saw 3 riders off to the hospital. Bradley fortunately had the chance to choose between the rosebush and the cobbles ? he decided on the bush and was out of the final sprint and lots of thorns to deal with.

 

We are not a very superstitious team ? but a black cat crossed our path on the way to the last stage and everybody just fell quiet ? not sure what to make of it.  With Brad crashing the previous day and only small pieces of cobbled sections we hoped that Reinardt would be able to slip away with a group.  The roads were very narrow, which means small groups could go of the front easily ? however ? it also means that team cars can not pass when needed to go to the Peleton.  Reinardt punctured on the 4th lap of 10.  Magnus knew that I would not be able to reach them quick and gave Reinie his wheel ? which in the end caused Magnus to withdraw out of the race.  The yellow jersey from the Belgium National Team missed the big break of the day and his team had to chase ? they went real hard in the gutter, taking Hendri out of the race.  Bad luck comes in 3.  Both Bradley and Waldo came down hard on the cobbles and had to receive medical attention.  This left only David and Reinie in the race to finish in the bunch again. Results on www.cyclingnews.com.

 

BUT

 

Wednesday saw the bigger guys go to Gent Menen, a one-day UCI event.  After 4 years of begging we finally got an invitation. Bradley was still not feeling well after the weekend?s crashes ? but we have learned that this is his type of racing and Brad, Magnus, Hendri and Pieter went to start the race of 119km in Deinze.  It was raining (as always) ? but stopped after the first couple of kilometers.  There were 4 KOM sprints in the first 75km ? leaving 45kms to the finish for groups to be brought back.  The guys decided to sit in the bunch more and focus on the end results rather than the sprints.  There were a group of 9 riders contesting for the sprints and after the 4th KOM, Bradley went hard ? marked like a rabbit ? and could only open a gap of 7secs before being brought back. The bunch started to rail in the front group and with only an 18sec gap, Bradley saw his opportunity and crossed. He was then immediate countered by Thomas Chamon (BEL), who was definitely the strongest on the day as he also won the KOM competition. The 2 of them went of the front in the last 20kms.  The 3 Tekton riders in the front defended hard and sat every wheel that tried to cross.  However Kiryll Pozdnyakov from Israelon> was able to get across and the 3 of them could only keep an 11 sec lead to the bunch but could stay away to the finish.  Both riders with Brad were sprinters and pipped him on the line ? Brad could only manage 3rd

 

?We were not disappointed at all ? we knew that Brad had some bad luck over the weekend and will not be in top form ? but we are very focused on the Tour of Flanders on the 22nd   this month.  Bradley will rest this weekend and prepare for one of the most important one-day races for us this year.  Pieter, who is more a climber, rested last weekend and was able to race on Wednesday as well as this coming weekend. The team?s 4 climbers (David Maree, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Waldo Bergh and Pieter Botha) will go to Grand Prix General Patton, a Junior World Cup in Luxembourgon> this weekend ? hold thumbs!?

 

Still on our calendar ? excluding kermesses:

 

14 ? 15 Jul:       Grand Prix General Patton (UCI 2.HC LUX)

21 Jul:               Trofee Vlaamse Ardennen (UCI 1.1)

22 Jul:               Ronde van Vlaanderen (UCI 1.1)

27 ? 29 Jul:       Junior Rundfahrt Niedersachen (UCI 2.HC ? GER)

3 ? 5 Jul:           Liege la Gliege (UCI 2.HC ? BEL)

 

??..then we go home.

 

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