Bob­bie’s on the ball for the Slip­stream­ers

Harefield Gazette - - SPORT -

HILLING­DON Slip­stream­ers ace Bob­bie O’Brien was vic­to­ri­ous in the European Youth Tour in Hol­land to be­come only the sec­ond Bri­tish girl to take the ti­tle in 52 years.

O’Brien got off to a light­ning start in the week-long race and was the fastest girl in the open­ing time trial, be­ing beaten by only two boys in her age cat­e­gory.

More than 800 rid­ers turned out for the event, with com­peti­tors aged from eight to 16 tak­ing to the tar­mac.

Through­out the twist­ing and tech­ni­cal course she av­er­aged speeds of more than 40kph, which was piv­otal in her as­sault to­wards the front.

O’Brien, wear­ing the pink jer­sey, man­aged to con­tinue to build on her lead with some im­pres­sive sprint­ing and tac­ti­cal rid­ing.

She then showed her re­silience through­out the wet and windy clas­sic stage as the con­di­tions played their part.

How­ever, the 10-year-old ex­celled in the fi­nal time trial, ex­tend­ing her ad­van­tage by a few more sec­onds to fin­ish 21 sec­onds ahead of her near­est ri­val.

Based in the north­ern Dutch area of As­sen, the pres­ti­gious event is one of the tough­est on the cal­en­dar. The pre­vi­ous roll of hon­our in­cludes cur­rent fe­male Olympic road race cham­pion Anna van de Breggen of Hol­land.

O’Brien’s broth­ers Fin­ston and Joe also trav­elled with her to the con­ti­nent and both fin­ished in the top 10 of their re­spec­tive age groups.

The three sib­lings will now travel to Italy for a train­ing camp be­fore the in­door velo­drome rac­ing at the end of the year.

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