Finally, young Irish rider Archie Ryan has confirmed he is back in training after a crash in a recent event in Belgium. He fell early on in the Youngster Coast Challenge last Friday, hitting one of his knees on the ground. That prompted a scare as he was out for most of last season due to a knee injury.
“It made my knee swell up so [I] had to take it easy for a few days,” he said. “But thankfully I’m back training again now.”
Ryan will be relieved not to miss the upcoming Volta Limburg Classic on April 2nd. He competes with the Jumbo-Visma Development team for young riders, but has been given a guest slot with the Dutch squad’s WorldTour wing for the race. It will be his first time to compete with the top-level team, one of the sport’s most successful.
“I’m really proud of how the we raced today as a team. In the end it was a question of my condition and my legs,” he explained. “We started pulling in the peloton pretty early and the guys did a great job for me.
“In the final it was super-fast and hard, I’m still missing the final punch a bit to close gaps and accelerate again and again. Within the last kilometre there was a crash that caused a bit of chaos and I lost the wheel of [leadout man] Danny van Poppel who rode a fantastic finale for me.
The Corkman now leads the overall standings of a stage race for the first time in his professional career. He is also first in the mountains classification, and fourth in the points standings.
The 2.1-ranked event continues on Thursday with a mountainous third stage starting and finishing in San Marino. It concludes with a 12-kilometre summit finish.metasports
Meanwhile Sam Bennett had a frustrating day in the Minerva Classic Brugge-De Panne in Belgium. He and his Bora-hansgrohe team-mates were crowded out in the run-in to the concluding sprint, with a chaotic main bunch in the finale making it impossible for Bennett and other sprinters such as Mark Cavendish to find a way through prior to the gallop.
Belgian rider Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) took the win in a photo finish ahead of Dylan Groenewegen (BikeExchange-Jayco). Bennett rolled in 17th, shaking his head.