Last week Herning in Denmark hosted the European Road Cycling Championships. For me it was my first ever elite championship race, fresh out of the U23 ranks.
On the team including myself was fellow teammate Damien Shaw and Sam Bennett. The plan for the team was to deliver Sam as fresh as possible to the finish for the sprint.
The course was pan flat with a few crosswind sections. None of which were long enough to break up the race, thankfully!
The race was wet and windy but well controlled by the big nations. Damien and I did our best to look after Sam as well as possible.
Sam showed his class all day. There was no panic when he punctured, he was well positioned all day and never missed a beat. Damien was as rock solid as ever.
Sam finished 11th in the sprint finish. Although he was aiming for the win which he was well capable of, it was a great result considering how messy the finish was without a proper lead out. As far as I know the top 3 all had full squads of 9 riders to look after them for the sprint which makes Sams result very respectable.
Personally I could write a book on the amount I learned during the race. Everything from the recon a few days prior to how the elite bunch rode was an eye opener and a great experience. Experience that I can hopefully use in the future. So I'm very thankful to the team and cycling Ireland for the opportunity!