Foreword Dany: Christopher told me his story and his findings of Belgian Kermesse racing, as due to a cancellation of one of the Belgian project graduates a bed came free, and the Orwell Wheelers rocket pocket took the opportunity with both hands! I am sure this dedicated young man could go places in the future!! (All photos Martine)

Hi Dany: Following the Junior Tour of Ireland I traveled to Belgium to do some racing. I spent a month doing junior kermesse races which are usually on a course between 5 km and 10 km long and complete between 10 – 20 laps for a total distance of 85 km – 100 km. The racing was unlike anything else I had done before with fields often in excess of 80 riders meaning positioning was key, thankfully I never really struggled with the positioning side of things

“The racing style was aggressive with attacks happening constantly and riders not wanting to give each other an inch. I started out my campaign well with some promising results, finishing in the top 20 a few times and not finishing outside the top 30 for my first 5 races. Unfortunately I had a crash in my sixth race leaving me with some bad wounds. I didn’t race well the next few races due to these injuries but I was somewhat back to normal for my last two races where I finished 24th and 25th”

“Thankfully I was staying with Martine Verfaille who took good care of me when I crashed and throughout my trip, she took me to races and cooked dinner for me and the other boys, thanks Martine ?. I learned a lot during my time in Belgium and can’t wait to return next year” Thanks for reading, Christopher Marshall