Our Belgian Massimo reports on what was an eventful LBL. The U23 edition takes place a week before the pro race, and always provides a fantastic fight right to the line.
"After 30k on the top of the first climb I attacked together with Logan Owan - the winner of last year, 10k further 4 guys came with us and another 10k later another 6 guys came across the gap making a strong group with 12 guys. Unfortunately the collaboration has not good at all and the guys from bmc closed the gap after 90k."
Sean MacKinnon got away in what looked like a promising group containing an Australian from their U23 squad and the flying Eddie Dunbar who gained a good advantage throughout the race, but were unfortunately caught in the closing stages. Sean is proving that is form is very good, and that we can expect lots from him in the coming races.
Massimo continues "Then just before cote de la redoute someone crashed towards the front and I was behind so had to start as last guy on the climb where it all splinted. Upon trying to get back I noticed my tyre was getting flat and then annoyingly my race was over, having to ride the last 10k with a flat tire."
Entering the velodrome and the last few hundred meters, the four escapees were denied the chance of sprinting without interruption for the title- that's because a trailing group of 21 riders entered the velodrome just as the four leaders were about to wind up for the sprint at the end of the 177.9-kilometer race in Belgium.
Bjorg Lambrecht (Lotto Soudal U23) took the win ahead of James Knox (Team Wiggins), with Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton Scott) in third and Barta fourth.