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Finally a youth race in Antwerp: “Extra incentive to get in the spotlight” (Road Cycling)

© Tommy Maes


Finally there is another competition for newcomers and juniors in Antwerp, more specifically on Sunday in Kalmthout. First-year newcomer Senne Bradi is keen to achieve a good result. The motivation is there naturally, because there are a lot of family along the course. Although the flat roads are not really in his favor. “Give me tough rounds.”

“I prefer competitions with a more challenging profile,” says Senne Bradi from Hoevenen, who will turn 15 at the end of May. “I feel much more in my element there. I’ll give it my all on Sunday. But in a competition that involves climbing, I have a much better chance of coming to the fore. Our team trained for a few days in Sankt-Vith at the beginning of the Easter holidays. That went well for me there. That’s why I’m already looking forward to Ghent-Wevelgem, which is on my program next Sunday. And later in the season, the climbing races in the Ardennes are also clearly noted. These are organized for youth by Belgian Cycling. This also applies to the BK time trial on May 1 in Geraardsbergen. It is said that a tough course awaits there and my chances of a good result are increasing.”

“The BC Time Trial Championships on May 1 in Geraardsbergen is a goal. A tough course awaits there and then my chances of a good result increase.”

Senna Beard

Newbie of WAC team

The WAC team rider started the season with an impressive second place. “That was a surprise for me too. I rode to the line with two others and sprinted to second place. In Damme I reached the top ten for the second time with a seventh place in a rainy race that included a number of cobblestones. So things are going well so far.”

Registration is not an easy task

Because Bradi registered well in time for the competition in Kalmthout, his participation is assured. Not every rider who wants to start can say that at the moment. A maximum of 120 riders may start for the novices, 150 for the juniors.

“There are a lot more registrations for both competitions,” says Swa Eliaerts of the WAC team. He knows that from a good source. “Once the maximum number has been reached on the day of the competition, no one can and is allowed to join. Even for those who come from far away and then report, they can go home without any hesitation. That is why most riders register weeks in advance. You can register and unregister until midnight, the day before the competition. If they forget, they will be fined. Only those who can demonstrate on the day itself that they have a valid reason not to start will be spared.”

“To give Belgian riders priority, foreigners are only allowed to register a limited number of days before the race. So many riders will have to wait anxiously on Sunday to see whether they can actually start. This is how things are going in youth cycling at the moment. That’s not really a good evolution, to be honest.”

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– 2024-04-12 16:55:39

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