Travis Barrett, who won the Cape Town Cycle Tour in 2020, managed to finish in a credible 14th place in De Kampioenschap van Wes Vlaanderen single-day road bicycle race in Belgium on 8 August.
The race was 137 kilometres and had 90 cyclists, with 55 riders finishing the race. ‘The racing was on from the start, with lots of small groups trying to get away early in the race. I found myself in quite a few of the early moves, but some of the bigger teams weren’t always happy with the representation, so they would all be shut down,’ said Barrett.
Around 1 hour and 45 minutes into the race after full gas racing up until then, a group of 13 cyclists slipped off the front and that would be the move that stayed to the end. ‘I was a bit too eager and active in the first half of the race and didn’t follow the winning move, which meant the rest of us would be racing for minor placings,’ explained Barrett.
In the second half of the race, the rain began to fall in addition to the heavy winds, which again kept the racing aggressive to the end. In the final kilometre on the circuit, there was a small climb, about 500m long, before a fast and technical 500m descent to the finish.
‘I knew if I wanted to get any sort of result I would have to use that climb as a launchpad, so around 1/3 of the way up the climb, I attacked the group and managed to hold on until the finish with the rest of the peloton not far behind.’
Barrett, who has been cycling since the age of 12, will be doing some local racing in Belgium for the next two months and has been selected to represent South Africa at the 2021 UCI Road World Championships on 24 September in Leuven, Belgium.