TOUR OF RHODES, TOUR de NORMANDIE
A SUCCESS FOR DUAL AEVOLO SQUADS
Apr 4th, 2022
The dust has settled on Aevolo's first Euro trip of the season. Both races, the Tour of Rhodes and Tour de Normandie, ended last weekend and each squad came away with a priceless experience, guaranteed to serve them in upcoming races. At Rhodes, stagiaire Jared Scott had our best finish with an impressive overall eighth place and second in the best young rider classification. On the final stage, Matt Warren had the opportunity to start the day wearing the red points jersey. Here are reflections from some of our riders.
"The Rhodes trip was, if nothing else, a positive development trip for me. It was my first time in Europe, my first time racing a UCI race, and my first time being up against international talent. With so many new sensations and experiences in such a short amount of time, it definitely required some adjusting. My main takeaway from the experience is that bike racing at that level is so much fun. Part of that enjoyment definitely has to do with the team atmosphere and support, which was absolutely unreal. I'm currently still soaking it all in, but I can't wait to get geared up to head back for more."
"Overall I had a great experience here. This different style of racing has helped me realize the things I need to work on and what it takes to be a better all-around cyclist. As a team, I feel that we took on the challenge well with a few podiums and second place in the GC at the Aegean Stage Race for Jared (Scott). I am pumped to get into the rest of the season!"
Tour de Normandie
At the Tour de Normandie (the third-longest stage race in France after the Tour de France and Paris-Tours), our squad rose to the occasion. With half of the squad racing in Greece, we added two guest riders, Luke Feuerhelm and Leo Gullickson. Gullickson was the youngest rider in the race at 18 years old.
"With the European peloton already in the swing of racing, the Aevolo lads were using this race to kickstart their 2022 season," director Jono Coulter said. "It took a few days for them to get used to the rhythm of the Euro peloton, but after a few days of getting shoved about on the narrow roads and reacting to rapid changes in speed, the guys managed to come into their own."
Unfortunately, despite Covid precautions, a couple of riders picked up chest colds during the race that took them out of the event. However, Feuerhelm, Shipley, and Gullickson took the line on the final Stage 7 into Caen, with Gullickson and Shipley rubbing shoulders with the top French and Belgian teams in the run into the finish.
"Realistically, the race was a bit of a kick in the teeth, but rather than shy away from the challenge, the Aevolo lads absorbed a few solid lessons over the seven days of racing and will head into the next European races a little better equipped for success," Coulter said.
"Overall, I'm happy to start my season in Europe. It didn't go exactly how I wanted because I had some back pain, but I'm just excited to race again. The team is great, we have a lot of fun, and I believe we will be able to accomplish great things together this season."
"Normandie was a demanding entry into the 2022 race season. The peloton consisted of the Continental level's best, and the punchy climbs and crosswinds made everyone prove their status. We had some untimely luck with sickness and injuries, but all around, the team fought with grit and learned quickly from mistakes. There's little room for error with such a fast pack. We all had moments chasing through a crosswind shredded pack because of poor positioning or trying to position well and forgetting to fuel properly. I found myself in the mix for the sprint on the final stage and am hungry for more. I know it was tough to go home without much to show on paper, but I believe the lessons we learned in Normandie will influence results for the rest of the season and beyond."