Groves sprints in 10th in first appearance for team at Brussels Cycling ClassicSat 7 Sep 2019
2019 stagiaire Kaden Groves has sprinted to 10th place at Brussels Cycling Classic in wet and miserable conditions today.
The 20-year-old Australian was led out by experienced campaigners Michael Albasini and Tour de France stage winner Daryl Impey in his first race for Mitchelton-SCOTT, finishing behind stage winner Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) in a close sprint.
Controlled for a sprint:
An early breakaway of seven morphed into a lead group of 10, including Chris Juul-Jensen, in the last 40km but no one was allowed too much space to move as the peloton kept all the escapees within striking distance.
Wet narrow roads had the peloton strung out, and at times split, in the pursuit but with 11km it was back together and headed towards a reduced bunch sprint.
Groves had Albasini and Impey for support and they hit the front in the final three kilometres. As the sprints came from behind in the final burst to the line, Groves had to hesitate momentarily before he recovered to sprint to 10th position.
"It was a straight forward start with BORA and Quick Step controlling the race before some groups started going off the front with Chris in it taking the pressure off for us."
"The guys looked after me all day and I felt pretty good in the beginning. It was an unreal feeling having Albasini and Impey guide me through the final, they did the perfect job and I was happy to be in the front and race for the win."
"I didn’t have the legs to go so early so I needed to wait for a wheel, I am disappointed with my sprint but like I said it was exciting to be racing for the win."
David McPartland – Sport Director:
“It turned out to be a mini one-day Classic. We knew the roads were pretty small, especially in the last part of racing and we knew there was a small forecast of rain but it was more feral than we expected and it definitely had an impact on the race and made it more selective.
“Kaden had a great race to be there in the final. He was there lining up for the win with just a few hundred metres remaining and at the end of a hard race, it was definitely a good effort and good start to his stint with us.
“We definitely got things started a bit earlier than plan in the lead out. We had one side of the road and with only two guys to cover the last three to four kilometres we managed the best we could before Kaden out in his best effort with the legs he had left.”
Brussels Cycling Classic – Results:
1. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) 4:25:35
2. Pascal Ackermann (BORA-Hansgrohe) ST
3. Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) ST
10. Kaden Groves (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST