After a difficult year in 2017 with a broken collar bone Sam has approached 2018 with a measured approach building steadily to his main goals of hitting top form when arriving in Belgium in July.
The Giro del Mon consisted of a TTT and a road race on day one, a ITT and a Kermesse on day two followed by the Queen’s stage on Monday with 4 laps of a 20 mile course taking in the dreaded Stiperstones with gradients of 20%.
Day one didn’t produce any results but it put Sam in a good position to move forward on day 2 with George Sewell committed to helping him out.
The ITT over a flat 7km course allowed Sam to use his time trialling skills putting in a good ride taking 7th overall in the stage and 3rd U23 rider.
Moving into the afternoon Sam encouraged by his mornings performance started the Kermesse in a positive mood. On lap two a break went with most teams being represented and Sam was in it. The break stayed away all race putting 45 secs into the main bunch. Two of the teams had more than one rider in the break and so was able to play the team game giving it the old one two and attacking strongly. Sam came in with the main gallop securing himself 11th place.
The final day was always going to be a war of attrition especially with the National Hill Climb Champion in the field, and so it proved to be on lap one with attacks going in on the 20% grade. On lap two Sam, after being supported by George, was still in the bunch as it went over the top. George his job done called it a day.
As the race proceeded the rate of attrition was high, but Sam with his eye on doing well in his category pushed on and came in just behind the main bunch. Such was the difficulty of the stage only 50% of the field finished, but by pushing on Sam finished the third 3rd Cat in the event.
A tough event and the first time the lads have competed in a 3 day event so good experience for the future.
Next week the team are competing in the Nick Clark E123 race at Leighton Buzzard.