This was my last year of the Assen youth tour so I was hoping to produce something special. As always nerves were high on the first day and having done all of our route recon in the last two days the team was feeling well prepared.

As Juniors our start time was later in the day so as we watched each age category take their turn on the dead straight out and back course the tension rose. Each of us knew how to ride the course.

On the starting ramp. 5, the canal is on your right spectators to the left. 4, you are able to see the whole way down the course. 3, legs should feel fresh after an intense warm up on the rollers. 2, tense, ready. 1 rock back. Beep, explode as hard as you can out off the starting ramp. Its an all out effort so every rider sprints out of the saddle until they are up to speed. When this happens for me I settle down onto the tt extensions of the Orbit Software TT bike and click downj the gears. The trick is just not to think about the course and pile towards the u-turn as fast as possible.

Just as you sit up and start the apply the brakes the sprint effort begins to catch up with you. Take as much speed into the hairpin as possible and then try to re-create the starting efforts all over again as the bike turns and points back towards the finish. Back to accelerating, back to getting aero and lung busting efforts. Then suddenly its all over as you cross the line.

Having done the course before most of the welwyn riders did quite well. Of a field of 89 riders the positions and times were as follows. Sean was the only rider new to Assen and he still has another year left. He held his own on the decievingly difficult course/


Here is a short video of each of us going round the corner. This is really where the stage is won/lost. I don’t think I do too badly.
The added semi-commentary is by my father and another of the welwyn support crew.
The order is Sean, Sam, George, Me and finally Alex.

For the first time my brother also took part. He is in the age group below me and has had a season full of illness and injury. Just to be able to compete at the race is a victory for him. He came 139th out of 150 riders with a time of 1:31:680 without tri bars.

Daniel finishes the prologue