June 30th, ’14. New Zealander Ryan Wills has joined a new team, and with it has come swift success in the one-day Dwars door de Vlaams Ardennen. The 26-year old worked tirelessly for teammate Dmitri Claeys who finished a brilliant race off for the Vl-Technics Abutriek Cycling Team by taking the win. Also featuring Veranclassic-Doltcini’s Hamish Schreurs.
June 30th, ’14. New Zealander Ryan Wills has joined a new team, and with it has come swift success in the one-day Dwars door de Vlaams Ardennen. The 26-year old worked tirelessly for teammate Dmitri Claeys who finished a brilliant race off for the Vl-Technics Abutriek Cycling Team by taking the win.
Described by Ryan Wills as ‘a mini Tour of Flanders’ Dwars door de Vlaams Ardennen was run on a 158.2km course starting and finishing in Erpe-Mere and taking in some of Belgium’s toughest and best-known climbs. The first climb of the day was the Valkenburg, while other climbs included the Paterberg, the Eikenberg and the Taaienberg; climbs that have featured in the monument that is Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders). The last climb of the nine in total still left around 70km to ride to the finish; still with a great deal of racing to go.
From the moment the flag dropped the attacks flew with aggressive racing featuring throughout. After a lone attack early on the day was all about the small breakaway groups with a large leading peloton never really featuring throughout the day. After the race RoadCycling caught up with Ryan Wills to get his take on the day’s work. “We got up for the win which was cool,” he said, “It was just hard. It didn’t matter where you were in a huge bunch it was still hard. A lot of climbs and cobble sections, so it was splitting all the time until a group of 11 slipped away which had two teammates in and they went to the finish.”
In the end Dmitri Claeys had the endurance and power to escape from the leading group and go solo from there. Crossing the line the Belgian rider was clearly delighted with his performance, punching the air with satisfaction. Ryan Wills, his job well done, arrived home in “what was left of the bunch” inside the top 50.
Also finishing in the group with Wills was Veranclassic-Doltcini’s Hamish Schreurs; the Kiwi rider squeezing in inside the top 30 for 27th place. We caught up with him too, and he reflected on a race that had proven to be a little more challenging from his point of view. “I punctured early on 20km in just before the first climb which made the 1 hour really hard getting back on and recovering before the real fun in the hills started.” That said it seems Hamish enjoyed the race all in all, “Was a good race, really hard, a few cobble sections and quite a few back-to-back hills that split the race up.”
All in a day’s work for our boys abroad. The stage race scene beckons for Ryan Wills next – with potentially one or two one-day races prior to that – so keep an eye open for updates here.
|1||Dmitri Claeys||BEL||VL Technics-Abutriek Cycling Team|
|2||Gerry Druyts||BEL||Team 3M|
|3||Xandro Meurisse||BEL||Lotto Belisol U23|
|5||Mathias Ballet||BEL||FCP-Glascentra – Tops Antiek CT|
|7||Jef Van Meirhaeghe||BEL||Lotto Belisol U23|
|8||Tom Devriendt||BEL||Team 3M|
|9||Sam Lennertz||BEL||Vastgoedservice-Gold Palace Continental Team|
|10||Jens Geerinck||BEL||EFC-Omega Pharma-Quick Step|
|11||Dries De Bondt||BEL||Josan-To Win Cycling Team|
|12||Alphonse Vermote||BEL||Vastgoedservice-Gold Palace Continental Team|
|13||Jens Adams||BEL||Vastgoedservice-Gold Palace Continental Team|
|14||Laurent Pieters||BEL||VL Technics-Abutriek Cycling Team|
|15||Bert Van Lerberghe||BEL||EFC-Omega Pharma-Quick Step|
|16||Sibrecht Pieters||Royal Velo-Club Ottignies|
|17||Tim Vanspeybroeck||BEL||Team 3M|
|18||Sebastien Carabin||T.Palm-Pole Continental Wallon|
|19||Ruben Pols||BEL||Lotto Belisol U23|
|20||Tom Bosmans||BEL||VL Technics-Abutriek Cycling Team|
|47||Ryan Wills||NZ||VL Technics-Abutriek Cycling Team|
By: Ed Wright