JOE Evans is looking forward to next month’s European Junior Cycling Tour after tasting team success in the final Nations Cup event of the year.
The Dutch competition, which will take place in Assen over six days from July 28 to August 2, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and qualifying for that event is top of the Uttoxeter rising star’s priorities now.
Evans was part of the Great Britain Junior team who contested the Junior Peace Race in the Czech Republic.
The five-stage race is described as one of the toughest in the junior calendar and the Thomas Alleyne sixth form pupil was unable to build on his fabulous success in being crowned Isle of Man Junior Tour champion last month.
He was part of a successful team though, as Great Britain claimed the yellow jersey thanks to Matthew Gibson’s success in the second stage.
“This was an exciting experience in a country that I had previously never been to,” said Evans.
“We had the yellow jersey for a few days due to Matt doing a brilliant ride in the TT (time trial) to take the race lead.
“And although we couldn’t keep it until the finish just having it for a few days in such a big race was something special.
“For me personally the legs were not great and that has somewhat soured my own view on the race, but that’s just life.”
The Czech event, which took Evans and co through the Central Bohemian Uplands, the Ore Mountains and German Saxony, was the culmination of a hectic seven weeks, which has seen him also take part in events in Paris, Croatia and the Isle of Man.
“Overall the past weeks have been exciting, stressful and eye opening.
“I’ve enjoyed the racing, the time abroad and experiencing life on the road.
“My exams may have suffered because of that, but that’s a story for another day.
“For now the focus is fully on the Junior Europeans and hopefully being selected for that.”