Seth told the Belgian Project: “Shortly after winning the Irish Road racing title, I set of for some racing in Europe. Starting with the ‘Tour de Condroz’. A race in the Ardennes region with stunning roads and climbs. I went solo during the beginning of the race, to then be joined by 5 others. We fought for the KOM points throughout and I managed to win 3/5 KOM summits. This secured me the top step in this classification before we were swallowed by the perusing peloton. My teammate was extremely close to the victory but we had to settle for 2nd place. A very successful day out nonetheless“
“I continued to train around the roads and canals of Leuven to prepare for the rather hilly ‘Tour De Valromey’. We travelled down to the south of france a couple days early to find our feet in the area before the chaos would begin!
“The tour started with a Team Time Trial and even though my personal performance wasn’t my great, the team done extremely well to finish 3rd behind 2 very strong teams (AutoEder & Acrog-Tormans).
Stage 2 was rather difficult in the heat and was a shock to the system but with the majority of the categorized climbs out of the way i found myself still in the front group until there was a large crash on a narrow bridge. This barricaded the road and a group of us lost contact with the peloton and never got back together.
Stage 3 was a great opportunity for me to get a result as i like the look of the 94km course. Throughout the stage i contented for the intermediate sprints and claimed 2nd twice. Losing contact with the bunch on a short climb in the end due to bad positioning wasn’t ideal but i got back in near the top but the group had split in two and the chance of the stage win had gone“
“Stage 4 + 5 were extremely hilly with both stage having 2000+ meters of elevation. My role was to gather sprint points were possible and to look after two of our riders that were in the GC contention. Last two stages were extremely tough but extremely fun. I was able to claim 3rd place in the sprint competition which I am satisfied with given the talent that was at this race.
I now am heading to Austria to race a 3 day stage race before coming home”
Sam Coleman (above) and Adam Rafferty (below) both with “Team31-jollycycles-U19” the other Irish in the race, and as Seth bursary holders of the Belgian Project, soaked up a lot of experience doing a great job for their team… this 3 juniors are certainly respected in Europe, and well known for their efforts and work rate!!
The team of Adam and Sam on the podium too as second in the team classification!!
Resume Dany B: “I have seen a lot of talent growing up in Ulster and Ireland over the years, but Seth is something special, his character just right, and his work rate is phenomenal for such young age (17) Racing in one of the best junior teams in Europe will bring him on immensely, and without putting any pressure on Seth, I would predict a medal at the worlds in Glasgow for this Armagh lad…with a loving and supporting family behind him, a team that is perfect for his development, the world is his oyster…we have in Ireland a crop of juniors which will harvest plenty, proud to know most of them well…chapeau indeed!!”
All photos taken from Seth’s social media pages, with appreciation