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Racing on Belgian Blocks

Craywinkelhof – Omloop Van Het Hageland, Cynisca’s first race in Belgium, was a valuable learning experience for our team. It was the first time several riders started a Belgium spring race. In true fashion, the race was cold, windy and harder than the cobbles the riders raced across.

It was exciting for Cynisca to line up with some of the bigger World Tour teams and put our hard work and training to the test. By the end of the race, the team recognized many things we can improve upon in the faster, flatter European races just by being in better position.

The lessons learned at Craywinkelhof helped Cynisca have more success at Le Samyn des Dames. With their heads held high, seven Cyniscas toed the line at Le Saymn with only a day in between races for recovery.

Le Saymn was a solid race for our Cynisca squad. Focusing on teamwork and positioning, the team put three riders in the final front selection and raced all the way to the finish. Émilie, Kyleigh and Pauline shared the work keeping each other safe in the final 20-30k. Unfortunately, a mechanical took Kyleigh out of the race in the last 10K, but Émlile pressed on for a good finish in our fourth race of the year. Overall, the riders felt more in control and comfortable navigating the tight, twisty roads of Belgium.

Unfortunately, the next race, GP Oetingen, was cancelled about an hour before the start due to extreme weather conditions with dangerous snow and ice on the cobbles. The riders and staff were disappointed as they felt their fitness and understanding of Belgium racing was finally starting to click. As Oetingen was the final race in our Belgium racing block, the riders decided to brave the elements as a team and went out for a hard training ride to blow off the steam from the cancelled race.

The cobbles put our equipment to the test, but they were no problem for our Ventum bikes with Shimano wheels and components and Vittoria tires. The tough yet lightweight frames and wheels rolled smoothly over the cobbles with precise, worry-free shifting on the tough climbs.

Claire also raced in Escanaffles and Ooike kermesses.

As most of the riders headed to warmer climates after Oetingen, Claire remained in Belgium for some keremesses and sportif events. You can read her reflection on her Belgian experience here.

Strength and Potential for Upcoming Races

Our young team shows a lot of strength and potential for the upcoming races whether in Europe or the US. In the next two months, Cynisca will be racing on two fronts. The USA squad is excited about returning to home soil and testing their legs at some upcoming stages races including Redlands Classic, Tour of Gila, the Walmart Joe Martin Stage Race plus US Nationals. The riders can come back to the States and use their strong fitness to contest for the top of the podium at these races.

While our US riders are back home, we have an experienced and talented squad that will tearing up the tarmac at several races in France and Belgium. No doubt, they will be ready to make a big impact on the races and will fight for the wins. Click here for a glance at all of our upcoming races. And follow us on Instagram, FaceBook or Twitter to keep up-to-date on our whereabouts and results.

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