Ronde Van Vlaanderen Beloften
Oudenaarde-Oudenaarde (167,5 km)
Alejandro Ropero from Granada took part this Saturday in the Tour of Flanders sub23, the amateur version of the De Ronde that takes place a few days later on a lower mileage, although with many of its great cobblestone orographic attractions, without missing the Kapelmuur, the Oude Kwaremont or the Paterberg.
Otura’s rider managed to cross the finish line, although he was unable to do so among the 77 cyclists in time. “I don’t know if they put me in control or out of control, because with fifteen kilometres to go I stayed out of the group I was in, but I finished. I would say it was the hardest race I’ve ever participated in and I wouldn’t be too far off track”, he said shortly after reaching the finish line.
Andreas Stokbro, who came from the recent Giro de Sicilia, won the U23NationsCup, the third event of the UCI National Cup. Belgium’s Cédric Beullens and Britain’s Jake Stewart completed the podium. Stokbro was no stranger to the cobblestones challenge, as he has been participating since 2016 (the year of his debut, when he left): he had finished fifth in the 2018 edition.
“I really enjoyed the pavé sections and the experience was incredible. We knew where we were coming from and how hard it was going to be,” adds Ropero. Questioned by what surprised him the most about this race, the Andalusian cyclist does not hesitate: “The continuous nervousness that had fought the position. And then, obviously, also the fans who were in the cobblestone sections of the climb. You could see a lot of people cheering and it was very shocking”.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)