The WCPP Under-23 Team has just returned from a successful visit to the Les
Voies du Roi Nikolas (Paths of St Nicholas) Stage Race in Montenegro, part
of the Former Yugoslavia.
The seven-stage race was UCI ranked 2.6 which excluded only Division One and
Two Pro teams. Six mountainous road stages averaging 140km in length and a
25km time trial ensued that the team had a good work-out. With the majority
of the GB Team still in their late teens, they showed great organisation and
team-work to more than hold their own against some top continental amateur
and feeder teams.
Jamie Alberts and Steve Cummings worked their way up the General
Classification all week, assisted by 13th and 4th respectively in the time
trial. Going into the exceptionally tough last stage, Alberts and Cummings
held 8th and 10th overall respectively.
The team decided to sacrifice Cumming’s position concentrate on making the
most of Alberts’ climbing skills. Alberts duly attacked on the final 20km
climb and, although unable to get away alone, he did sufficient damage to
raise himself to fifth in the final standings.
Manager John Herety was very pleased with his riders’ efforts:
“The lads rode well. Jamie and Steve produced really good time trials –
which, incidentally, they rode on standard road bikes, not specialist TT
machines. And of course, Jamie did a great job on the last day – he attacked
the leaders three times on the final climb. The weather was awful
throughout, but they stuck at it.”
Other teams present included the French national track team and the feeder
team for Second Division Cantina Tollo Team (Italy). It was from the latter
team that eventual winner, Valery Kobzarenko (a 23 year old Russian), came.
The GB Under 23 men’s team is part of the Lottery funded World Class
Performance Plan. The team aims to develop and showcase the talents of young
male riders with the ultimate aim of securing Professional contracts for