Thursday, January 8, 2015

News Shorts: Hamilton solos to Crit Title; Verandas Willems announces roster

Chris Hamilton wins Australian U23 Crit Title
Coming into a race where he figured he would have no shot whatsoever, Chris Hamilton (Avanti) launched an attack in the final 200 meters to overhaul breakaway mate David Edwards (CharterMason) to take the win in the Australian U23 Criterium. Hamilton, who doesn't touch a road bike very often, got himself into a breakaway with 13 laps to go and worked quite well together. With 3 laps left, it was only Hamilton and Edwards out front together. The peloton was not able to bring them back and with Hamilton's late attack, he sealed the win in Avanti colors. Hamilton currently sits 3rd overall in the Elite Men's national MTB rankings in Australia and was the junior cyclocross champion in 2013 so he might be the most versatile rider in the U23 pack. He seems to be in some good form and might be a good bet to steal a podium in the road race.

Jesse Kerrison, in his inaugural race for BMC Development, took the bunch sprint for 3rd over Alexander Edmondson (SASI) and Luke Parker.

Verandas Willems (aka The Land of Misfit Toys) announces their roster

This team seems to be one of those teams that is either a one year stop for a journeyman or a team for riders that just can't quite get over the hump to a stable Pro contact. Their roster for 2015 includes:

Gaetan Bille
Joeri Calleeuw
Dimitri Claeys
Dries De Bondt
Thomas De Trocht
Jérôme Gilbert
Jerome Kerf
Daan Myngheer
Olivier Pardini
Christophe Premont
Kai Reus
Joren Touquet
Elias Van Breussegem
Sten Van Gucht
Stef Van Zummeren
Emiel Wastyn

So while not all of the riders on this team are household names, there are certainly some riders on here that seem to be out of place. Kai Reus? Ever since his terrible accident in 2007, it seems like he will get close to a breakthrough and then get pushed back again. Now on a Belgium continental team, will he be able to bounce back or is this the end of the line? Gaeten Bille, Dimitri Claeys, Jérôme Gilbert and Christophe Premont all have ridden on professional teams at one point. Joeri Calleeuw has dozens of wins in regional and national kermesses but can't seem to break out for some nice pro results. Hell, they even signed Dominique Cornu, the former U23 World TT Champion that seems to be floating around the continental ranks as he still harbors velodrome dreams. Combine this with some pretty strong young talent with the likes of Daan Myngheer, Jerome Kerf and Elias Van Breussegem. It is an interesting team to say the least and if everyone gets motivated and the stars align, then some heads could turn.

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