Thursday, April 20, 2006 6:45 AM

First European road race for the season. GP Ricoto 15th.

After only arriving in Italy on Monday after a 12hr car drive from Bordeaux, we found out that rest of the team had a race the following day. So Matt Goss asked the coach what the chances were of us being able to join them at the race. Luckily enough our coach had entered us in the race, so on Tuesday morning we were up at 5.30am with a 2hr drive to a little town near Verona in front of us.
Little did Matt and I know, that this particular race was meant to be one of the hardest Under 23 Professional races for the year. It was a 150km race, which included a 6laps of a 19km circuit which was kind of flat but had a 3km climb in it which averages about 6% and peaked at 15%. After the 6laps we did another lap of the hill but with out the flat section. Then we had a 35km lap with an 11km climb averaging about 5-6% with some steep pinches. After the top of the climb it was a 15km decent to the finish.
It was pretty much a race of attrition and I my legs felt pretty good on the small circuit but when we got to the big penultimate climb it was all about going as hard as you can for ass long as you can and see where you are at the top. For me that ended up being 2nd group on the road. The first group wasn’t too far ahead of us but with the short run all down hill to the finish there was no chance to catch them. With the rain being rather persistent the descents were quite slippery and dangerous. Coming down the final climb I just sat at the back of the group and had a rest and then about half way down I attached my group and proceeded to time trial on my own to the finish. I managed to hold them off by 100m giving me 15th place across the line. I was 2nd across the line for our team with Dan McConnell placing 8th just behind the front group. For the full results click here.