James Whelan wins the 2018 under-23 Ronde van Vlaanderen


James Whelan from the Drapac EF p/b Cannondale Holistic Development team has achieved his greatest cycling result to date, with an emphatic win for the Australian National Team at the Under-23 Ronde Van Vlaanderen overnight. The under-23 Tour of Flanders was James’ first ever race in Europe, which makes his triumph even more exceptional.

Fellow Australian teammate Robert Stannard also had an impressive ride, coming in at third.

The race started to take shape at the 80-kilometre mark where Drapac EF’s Cyrus Monk established a 12 man break for 50 kilometres; his strong ride eventually reducing the lead group to five riders. Whelan then bridged across to the lead group before soloing away to victory with 30 kilometres to go.

“It’s unbelievable to begin my first European race with a win at the under-23 Ronde van Vlaanderen. The racing was fast and hectic; however, the team did a fantastic job in the final to ensure a podium! Credit to the rest of the Aussie team for all of their help, especially Cyrus, my fellow Drapac teammate!”.

Monk was full of praise for the newly crowned under-23 Ronde van Vlaanderen champion after the race, “It was a great day out! I’m happy with a 10th place finish after spending my day in the break. Jimmy was definitely the strongest rider today, and a well-deserved winner!”.

This recent result caps off a remarkable start to 2018 for the Drapac EF duo; Cyrus and James are also the current under-23 National Champion and under-23 Oceania Champion respectively.

The pair now looks forward to next weekend’s ZLM Tour in Holland, where they will hope to continue their incredible trajectory in the 2018 season.

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