Riders unfazed by continental challenge
HILLINGDON Slipstreamers youngster Jed Smithson showed the continent what he is made of as he raced to first place at the 50th edition of the European Cycling Tour of Assen.
Smithson won four out of his six category two races in the Netherlands, under the watchful eye of head coach Dave George.
George, who led a 14-strong team of Slipstreamers into battle across 14 categories, was impressed with how the squad performed.
“Category two was where we made the biggest impact,” he explained.
“Represented by Jed Smithson (first), Joe O’Brien (fourth) and Ben Bisson (16th), we quickly showed that Slipstreamers should not be underestimated.
“In the first proper stage, Jed went on the attack to win the day with a 22-second lead over the bunch – a bunch that was led by Joe O’Brien over the line.
“Slipstreamers one and two on the podium, and I hadn’t even had breakfast.”
Finn O’Brien, Sam Gilbert, Stanley Kent, Millie Coleman, Bobbie O’Brien, Abigail Old, Nathan George, George Lewis, Isabella Escalera, Cameron Still and Ieuan Woods also flew the flag for the Hillingdon club in Assen.
“My expectation was that the riders may have been a little awestruck by the volume of the event,” George continued.
“And that they would take time to settle in, observe, analyse and learn from their first tour experience, and not make too much of an impact. How wrong I was.”
Meanwhile, Slipstreamers trio Carl Jolly, Joshua Murphy and Charles Page, along with London Dynamo rider Oliver, formed a formidable team and raced to a fifth place finish at the Prudential Youth Grand Prix in Central London earlier this month.
Page crossed the line in sixth, Jolly was 29th and Murphy finished 37th to help secure the result.