Ben Foames, 19

Goma Dak­w­erken, Zot­tegem, Bel­gium

Cycling Weekly - - News -

How’s Bel­gium? It’s re­ally nice. East Flan­ders isn’t your tra­di­tional flat Bel­gium: there are hills and cob­bles ev­ery five min­utes. When­ever I’m out near the French bor­der, there’s al­ways mas­sive groups of peo­ple rid­ing that I jump on the back of.

First time in Bel­gium? I’ve been here since March but I was here for a few months last sum­mer as a ju­nior, get­ting rac­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. I’ve found it a lot dif­fer­ent this year with the step up to U23 rac­ing, es­pe­cially the speed and dis­tance.

Pleased with your year? I found it hard at first and had some bad luck with me­chan­i­cals and crashes in the early sea­son, but I never let it put me down. That fed my mo­ti­va­tion and since then I have got in more break­aways, grabbed a few top-10s and be­come more ac­tive. I’ve also mixed it with rid­ers on World­tour de­vel­op­ment teams.

What have you learned? Not to go half-hearted; you have to go all in and put your­self out there, take the risk and not hold back. I’ve learnt that a re­sult won’t just come to me, I have to go out and get it. What type of rider are you? I see my­self

as more of a punchy rider, some­one who tries to get in break­aways, at­tacks and makes the race hard, not wait­ing for a sprint.

Next sea­son? I’ve re­signed with the same team and I want to im­prove in stage races next year. Tar­get­ing the gen­eral clas­si­fi­ca­tion is a big goal of mine, but I’d also like to come away with ei­ther a sprint or moun­tains jer­sey. I’m look­ing for­ward to com­ing back and im­press­ing this sea­son.

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