Dietze Impresses on Team Debut
With a few climbers, some young new faces and a triathlete representing the team at the Shimano Super Crit on the weekend, we were optimistic about our chances heading into the race. The final round of the first edition of National Criterium Series would see some hot racing at the notoriously fast St Kidla Cycling Club White Street course with a bunch kick almost a certainty.
Some huge names packed the start line including Trek Segafredo duo Koen de Kort and Ryan Mullen as well as Grand Tour stage winner Simon Clarke amongst a number of world tour riders all set for Australia’s most famous criterium.
The team plan was simple, try to be active in the race before lending a hand to Henry in the predicted bunch sprint. With the average speed hovering around the 49kmh mark for the entire 75 min+5 lap race, being active was proving to be tough as the power needed to get off the front was extreme. Youngster Blake Agnoletto gave it a few cracks but unfortunately weighing in at about 50kg doesn’t help on a pancake flat course and no real break was ever established throughout the race.
Coming into the last third of the race, David Randall did his best to use his experience to place Henry Dietze up towards the front. Henry rode an extremely smart racing remaining in the top 30 wheels all day, no mean feat for a 16 year old racing against seasoned professionals. Unfortunately he was caught up in a crash with 15 minutes to go but jumped up unharmed to slot back in after the lap out.
A hectic finish where the race officials decided to end the race a lap early due to rain sent panic through the bunch but Dietze showed maturity beyond his years to finish 6th behind a very stacked top 5. With a world champion, a couple pros and two of the best domestic sprinters in Australia, 6th was a super impressive ride by an exciting talent.
The race also marked Sebastian Presleys last in Van D’am colours. Seb joined us mid-year and has been impressive ever since. Some solid results including 10th overall at the Tour of Tasmania has seen him picked up by continental team Olivers Real Food Racing and we wish Seb all the best in his future career.
You also might be wondering why Matt de Vroet didn’t get much of a mention in the race report. Turns out becoming a triathlete doesn’t do much for your bunch confidence and Matt spent most of the race riding last wheel as the ticket inspector for the peloton wondering why no one else had completed a pre-ride swim. He was then only just piped to the line by Seb for about 100th but assured everyone he would’ve won the race had it ended with a 10km run.