The NXTG racing team rode the Lotto Belgium Tour this week. Sports director Brent Van Ballenberghe is proud of how the team rode in this four-day stage race that started with a short and very wet prologue.
Shari Bossuyt finished in 12th and Britt Knaven in 13th place. Julia Borgström, Amelia Sharpe, Catalina Soto Campos and Emily Wadsworth all did well and the team as a whole scored a fifth place in the team ranking.
Britt Knaven: It was a hard lap with an uphill slope from the start and a small descent towards the finish line. It was hard to judge how fast I should start but I think I timed the prologue well. I didn’t go too fast in that first, uphill part so I had enough energy left in the final kilometer. I didn’t take any risks in that final turn because of the rain. NXTG Racing was fifth in the team classification today which makes me proud because we only have U23 riders.
On day two from Blankenberge to Brugge the stage ended in a bunch sprint. Shari finished just outside of the top ten but both she and Britt moved to the top ten of the general classification.
Shari: Today was a hectic race with many crashes but we managed to stay at the front very well. The girls brought me to the front towards the finish line and I finished in 11th place.
The third day meant another great result for Shari. Julia Borgström explains:
Today was hard from the start and I was definitely suffering a lot! We had a little bit of bad luck in the team with a lot of mechanicals but overall, I enjoyed the sufferfest and it was amazing to see Shari smash it in the end.
The final day took the riders to the Muur van Geraardsbergen. In the run-up to the climb only 35 riders remained. Shari managed to stay with the best in the bunch and got her best result of the week: a fifth place. It also meant she moved up to a seventh place in the final overall.
Catalina Soto Campos represented the team in the breakaway of the day.
It was a good day out. Learned heaps being in the breakaway with Olympians and world champs, tried to protect the girls when it came to the final and happy to see Shari with an awesome result in GC. So much more to learn but I’m absolutely in love with bike riding and bike racing!
“The team had a great week in Belgium. I am proud of all of them. This holds a lot of promise for the rest of the season,” sports director Brent concludes.