Read about races 3, 4 and 5 in our series of 5 races in Europe during the second half of August below including a brilliant 3rd place from Ryan Christensen. Read about races 1 and 2 here.
3. 26th Aug: UCI 1.1 Druivenkoers Overijse
4. 28th Aug: UCI 1.Pro Brussels Cycling Classic
5. 29th Aug: UCI 1.2 Ronde van de Achterhoek
Race 3 (26th Aug) UCI 1.1 Druivenkoers Overijse
Druivenkoers Overijse is another long-standing Belgian one-day race. As an indicator of how far Tim Elverson’s teams have progressed over the last few years, not one of the eight Bike Channel Canyon riders managed to complete the course in 2017! In 2019 Max Stedman was first finisher in 61st place.
1. Druivenkoers Overijse team presentation
The 192km course was based around Overijse with 2 shorter laps followed by 3 longer laps featuring 6 short & sharp climbs per lap.
The strong field featured 5 World Tour and 9 ProTour teams with riders such as Remco Evenepoel and Julian Alaphillipe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) attracted by the course that included some of the roads that will be used for the World Championships Road Race scheduled for 26th September.
A 9-rider breakaway was brought back by the work of the Deceuninck-Quick Step team who then continued to animate the group placing 3 riders in a group of 6. Evenepoel struck out alone with 60km remaining and built up a lead of 1 minute before temporarily being interrupted by a burning vehicle. Evenepoel’s lead was restored with Deceuninck-Quick Step placing 3 of the first 4 finisher
2. Commanding victory for Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick Step)
Meanwhile the Canyon dhb SunGod team battled away in the following peloton with Rory Townsend finishing in 20th place 1min 38sec down, leading in a group of 31 riders including Ryan Christensen in 23rd place, Charlie Tanfield riding his first UCI road race for 2 years in 30th and Callum Macleod in 43rd. Reece Wood and Dan Tulett were further down the field and also after a 2-year gap, Ollie Wood DNF.
Race 4 (28th Aug) UCI 1.Pro Brussels Cycling Classic
The 205km route included infamous Belgium climbs such as the Muur-Kapelmuur and the Bosberg. This was Canyon dhb SunGod’s first appearance in this event and was also the highest level race undertaken by the team during this 2-week period being designated 1.Pro and reflected in the strong field of 6 World Tour and 9 ProTour teams.
3. Brussels Cycling Classic team presentation
4. Christensen, Tanfield and Wood to the fore in the early stages
Rob Scott fought hard to get in the first break of the day after 32km which contained 7 riders, though none of them from World Tour teams.
5. Rob Scott leads the early break
After 122km Druivenkoers Overijse winner Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick Step) attacked from the peloton taking another 6 World Tour riders with him. The pace increased significantly when these big name riders including Philippe Gilbert (Lotto Soudal), Marc Hirshi (UAE Emirates), Brandon McNulty (UAE Emirates), Victor Campenaerts (Qhubeka NextHash), Tosh van der Sander (Lotto Soudal) and Aime de Gendt (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) joined this breakaway. A few riders dropped away but Rob Scott hung in there gamely for another 20km before he lost eventually lost contact with the break.
6. Things get tougher for Rob Scott as the big boys join the break
With 50km remaining only the 7 World Tour riders remained in the break that was now 1min 30sec up on the rest of the peloton. As all the big teams were represented in the breakaway the chasing was left to Alpecin Fenix, Cofidis and Arkea Samsic.
With 19km to go, 5 riders took a wrong turn leaving just Evenepoel and Aime de Gendt to fight out the win. Unfortunately Charlie Tanfield crashed out of the following peloton with just 12km to go whilst at a similar time Evenepoel attacked to take a solo victory 50sec ahead of de Gendt.
7. Charlie Tanfield was riding well before crashing out with 12km to go
Tosh van der Sande came in 3rd with 3 further members of the breakaway at 2min 14sec with a rapidly descending peloton lead by Tim Merlier (Alpecin Fenix) just a further 2secs behind. Townsend 23rd and Christensen 39th both at 2min 16sec were also in this bunch.
8. Rory Townsend in the peloton
Race 5 (29th Aug) UCI 1.2 Ronde van de Achterhoek
The largely flat course of 205km was peppered with 20 short gravel or cobbled sectors between Bredevoort and Varsseveld in the Netherlands. With just over 50km remaining there was a lead group of about 50 riders with 6 of the Canyon dhb SunGod team still in contention. Christensen was in the front 6 riders who forced a breakaway for a couple of kilometres before being brought back into the fold.
Rob Scott briefly made a solo move with about 40km to go and then was joined by Christensen and Tulett in a further move at the 37km mark in a group of 13 riders. Around the 32km mark the chasing peloton seemed to stall though Rick Ottema (Metec-Solarwatt p/b Mantel) took off with Jim Brown on his tail and the two of them worked together to bridge across to the 13-man break which they joined with about 23km remaining. This gave the Canyon dhb SunGod team a commanding presence in terms of sheer weight of numbers with 4 out of 15 in the resulting break.
9. Christensen finishes a close 3rd behind van Uden and van Ship
Christensen got away in a split of 4 riders at the 14km mark and Hartthijs de Vries (Metec -Solarwatt p/b Mantel) joined them at the 12km mark. In the last few kilometres this group of 5 riders fractured with Christensen in 5th place hanging onto Jan-Willem van Ship (BEAT Cycling) who gradually closed the gap to the leading 3 riders who had also come back together. In the final sprint Christensen gamely fought his way up to a fine 3rd place behind the winner Casper van Uden (DSM Development Team) and van Ship in second.
10. MacLeod, Brown and Townsend after the race
Brown finished in 8th, Rob Scott in 10th and Dan Tulett 11th all in the second group 49 sec behind. Townsend was 22nd and MacLeod 51st in a large group at 1min 44sec.
11. Ryan Christensen on the Podium
This was a tremendous effort by the Canyon dhb SunGod team, demonstrating the skill, team-work and weight of numbers required to fight for that elusive win (just as happened at Lancaster and Rydale recently)!
All in all, a great two weeks of one-day races in the coastal Low Countries of western Europe.
Partners: The Canyon dhb SunGod team are supported by a whole range of partners without whom the team would never be able to operate.
Find out more about the team’s partners here.
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Article by Paul Stedman and Marina Stedman.
1: Simon Holt
2: Mark van Hecke
3: Simon Holt
4-8: Jhonny Serlippens / site Roger Baudechon
10: Ronde van de Achterhoek Facebook