Joe Kiely follows in Geraint Thomas’s footsteps with a yellow jersey at major race
PUBLISHED: 12:56 13 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:57 13 August 2018
Geraint Thomas is not the only British cyclist to return from the continent with a yellow jersey in recent weeks – as Welwyn Wheelers’ Joe Kiely did exactly the same at the Assen Youth Cycling Tour in the Netherlands.
The prestigious week-long stage race attracts some of the sport’s most-promising youngsters with 20 countries represented on the start line.
And Kiely ended up reigning supreme in the U16 novices category.
The tour was raced across six days and numerous age groups and comprised two time-trials. including a shorter prologue effort, two criterium circuit races, a road race and a classic stage, featuring the dreaded northern European cobbles.
Kiely just missed out on the win in the prologue by a mere 0.03 seconds but he jumped into the race lead on stage two, winning a criterium and gaining a seven-second advantage over Gustav Wang.
Kiely lost the jersey to Wang on stage four, a time-trial, but he regained it a day later in the omloop road race thanks to a time-bonus for finishing fourth.
And the bonus seconds would give the overall win as he sprinted to second on the final criterium stage to win from Wang by three seconds.
In total 14 Wheelers made the trip across the North Sea with some great performances throughout.
Expertly led by head coach Francis Gallagher, the riders enjoyed warm-up, cool-down and nutrition delivered in a manner Sir Dave Brailsford at Team Sky would have been proud of.
They even had the luxury of having umbrellas held over them by coaches Graeme Anderson, Richard and Dan Maynard while they waited to start on one particularly hot stage.
Euan Woodliffe placed fourth overall in category seven, and was never lower than seventh on each stage, while Caelen Miller was a solid 39th overall with a fifth, sixth and two seventh places on the individual stages.
Beth Bennett was 51st overall and Dylan Starkey 26th in category five while Callum Moir placed 29th in category six.
In the U16 novice girls Iona Moir was 24th and Ellen Bennett 46th.
Archie Peet got an excellent third on stage two of the novice second year’s race on his way to 15th overall, while Charlie Rollins was 59th and Rizwan Hameed was 63rd.
Joe Bennett, Nathan Blackmore and Jamie Dene were all in the thick of the action on the final stage of the junior race as they raced to 23rd, 30th and 58th overall respectively.