Ben Foames, 19
Goma Dakwerken, Zottegem, Belgium
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.