DEVO: Garrison 19th at ZLM Tour


(April 18, 2017) – USA Cycling’s Development Programs were in action in two European races this past week. The U23 men contested the ZLM Tour in the Netherlands on April 15, while the Junior Men raced in the three-day Ster van Zuid Limburg in Belgium.

U23 MEN – ZLM Tour (181k)

The 181-kilometer ZLM Tour course is flat, gaining less than 500 meters in total elevation, and is historically dictated by the wind. On Saturday, the strong 30 km/h winds made for an aggressive start.

Team USA’s plan was to be in front as a team and put as many guys in the initial split as possible. After 30km, the team had two riders in the front group of 30 – Curtis White (Delanson, N.Y./Rally) and Ian Garrison (Decatur, Ga./AXEON Hagens Berman).

“Two in 30 was not ideal, and we made some mistakes with other guys being out of position, but it also wasn't bad,” said Nate Wilson, U23 manager.

White played a big role, for as long as he could, at keeping Garrison in the front with Garrison surfing the wheels all day. Ultimately, that front group of about 20 came to the line for a sprint. Garrison tried a solo attack at 4km to go, and held on for a bit, but eventually got caught, which left him without a lot of gas for the sprint. He finished 19th, 11 seconds back of winner Christopher Lawless (GBR), who outsprinted Jasper Philipsen (BEL) and Jeremy Lecroq (FRA). Sean Bennett (El Cerrito, Calif./Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis) rode in a strong group behind that almost made the juncture with the front group, and came home 25th, 48 seconds back.

Other American riders contesting the ZLM Tour were Zeke Mostov (San Francisco, Calif./Aevolo), Cooper Rombold (Bellingham, Wash./Metier Racing & Coffee) and Gavin Hoover (Manhattan Beach, Calif./VL Technics-Experza-Abutriek Cycling Team).

“In terms of results, it was a bit of a disappointment, but this style of racing is a skill set which is critical, yet at the same time one we don't get to practice all that much,” added Wilson. “ZLM underlined the value in having our European base in Sittard, with easy access to these races. We learned invaluable lessons to apply forward.”

Full men’s U23 ZLM Tour results.

JUNIOR  MEN – Ster van Zuid Limburg
U.S. Juniors get ready for the Ster van Zuid Limburg in Belgium
U.S. Juniors get ready for the Ster van Zuid Limburg in Belgium
The U.S. junior men’s team raced in the three-day Ster van Zuid Limburg in Belgium, April 15-17. Sean McElroy (Palmdale, Calif./Team Specialized Juniors) was the top American finisher in all three stages. He placed 23rd in the opening 126km stage, was ninth in Stage 2 (117km), finishing in a pack 30 seconds behind the winner, and finished with a strong 13th place in the third and final stage of 116km.

Other U.S. riders competing in the race were Isaac Bryant (Maplewood, Minn./LUX Stradling p/b Specialized) and Evan Clouse (Park City, Utah/Hot Tubes Development Cycling). Both riders gained valuable experience every day and grew from that experience as they both posted their best results on the final day, with Bryant finishing 37th and Clouse 58th.

Full Ster van Zuid Limburg results.
The U23 men’s team will take on the Arno Wallaard Memorial in the Netherlands on April 22, while the junior men race in the E3 Harelbeke in Belgium. Meanwhile, the junior women will partake in their final Nations Cup event, the EPZ Omloop van Borsele stage race in the Netherlands, April 21-23.

This Article Updated April 18, 2017 @ 02:10 PM For more information contact: