The Junior Tour of Ireland is on at the moment. It’s not a big European event but it is the biggest junior stage race in Ireland or Britain. Nowadays it also attracts most of the best American junior squads. Past winners include Eddie Dunbar, Luke Rowe, Sam Bennett, Ian Stannard etc and most prominent British or Irish pros raced it (Wiggins, Martin, Thomas etc).
This year it has been a battle primarily between the US Hot Tubes team and the Irish National team, with Hot Tubes so far mostly coming out on top. Canadian Nicolas Rivard, who won the junior Tour of the Battenkill earlier this season is in yellow after five stages.
To follow up. The day after, it was the GP Luxembourg, with mainly the same startlist. So i'm thinking they split up the race into two one day races? This time Ballerstedt won. Brenner 7th. Toumire in the peloton. Almost half of the riders DNF according to https://firstcycling.com/race.php?r=11732&y=2019
Hessmann crashed, before the crash he was still within podium reach. Also Ballerstedt said after the race that he is injured, but idk how, and that he will end his season after the Euro's. Would be one favourite for the world's gone and the dominant german team weakened.
He is talking about major health problems but is not specifying. If he is ending his season after tomorrow it must be serious but not sure, because why is he racing then? Brenner is there and could have filled in. Germany definitely don't lack adequate replacement within this Junior generation for the road race as well. It is a strange situation.
So apparently Ballerstedt had severe back pain the whole race today with increasing stomach pain in the latter part of the race as well. At one point he said to Brenner that he couldn't go on anymore and that Brenner had to do it. Brenner was heavily marked by the others though and so Ballerstedt went himself. Hardest race he ever did according to him.
Andrii has been tremendous in Brenner's shadow all season. He's usually not too far off in the classifications, but doesn't nearly win as much. He would've done much better in the Saarland GC if not for a 30 k TTT with his inferior Ukraine team, as well as coming 6th in the Peace Race.
Mathias Vacek seems to have a different skillset than his older brother, he has a good sprint and a pretty decent engine.
I'm kinda surprised that Italy didn't bring Lorenzo Milesi for the ITT.
He's a few months older and Brenner and finished 2nd in the NC ITT, ahead of Tiberi, who finished 6th in the EC ITT.
Milesi has a Football background and only started cycling one year ago after an injury. He's still really raw and bad at riding in the bunch, but he seems to have a great engine.
Ponomar seems to have really good tactics. He made two moves. One to bridge to break and second one to win. Exactly the right ones without wasting much energy in between. Did same to win a stage at Morbihan
Doesn't need to be about burning out. More realizing you have reached your limits earlier then other riders and will not be able to become a pro rider. Your improvement from 18 to 25 years old, is not linear. It might just peak too early. If you are unluckily you have your peak already at 18. Or you are just a better rider at that age because you train more (impact can be very big). Quick look at his strava account I see he did 18k km this year. Compared to what I see the better Belgian junior rider - for the few I know- ride, he did 50% more (12k versus 18k). And more riding is mostly just being a better racer (and your young body needs to be able to handle...).
That goes back to a difference I once noticed. Often US teams with young riders come to Belgium to race in the summer.
I saw the Americans 15-16 years old, win a race where the coaches noted: 'it is good to see the hard work pay off'. Where as at that age the Belgian riders are just cycling a few hour a week. The idea there is 'work' in cycling or even 'hard work' they have never heard of. It is just fun and doing races. Taking it serious is for later.
But anyway. Hope Quinn can become the good rider he hopes to be (and maybe already is. And I see he enjoys his racing).
British road and CX future star Lewis Askey has won the Junior Tour of Wales, notable previous winners include Charly Wegelius, Johan Vansummeren, Dan Martin, Alex Dowsett, Dan McLay, Hugh Carthy, Scott Davies, Eddie Dunbar, Fred Wright, Tom Pidcock and Ben Tulett.
Due to a hectic month of August, i completely lost track of some of these races. While he isn't exactly the next Brenner or Evenepoel, Ramses Debruyne is starting to make a name for himself in the junior ranks. Also in Aubel - Thimister - Stavelot Juniors, he put down a good performance, with a second place in GC, as a first year junior.
Speaking about Brenner, he won the first stage of Giro Della Lunigiana, ahead of Piccolo. Followed by a group of about 30 guys (among which Tiberi, Debruyne, Ponomar, Vacek jr...) at about 30 seconds.
The Italians will be strong in Yorkshire but they have to get creative to beat Brenner and also Simmons.
In the shade of Brenner, great performance from Wilksch (who rode the Junior track WC not long ago) and especially Hessmann on a mountain ITT.
Hessmann was very unlucky yesterday as he was leading the race solo, until a puncture with 20k to go stopped him. Said he was still feeling strong and could have won.
Brenner and Simmons are flying once more these days, that ITT duel, along with Finn Fisher-Black, in Yorkshire will be neat. Both winning solo today, both winning multiple stages in Lunigiana and Rüebliland.