Talented young rider Stephen Dent contacted Strada for wheel support for the 2018 season, we were happy to help with Scope Cycling rims and Aivee SR2 hubs. Stephen set off for Belgium shortly afterwards for a season racing, here’s his first report:
I have written a little report along with a few photos I have from my first month below. The wheels have performed great. The shallower front is perfect for the crosswinds too! They seem to be getting plenty of interest at the races too.
The racing here is like nothing else. I had heard what is was like but I never quite appreciated how hard it would be. The races are constantly just in one line, attack after attack. In the first race I was dropped in the cross winds but since then I have been improving consistently and I am now starting to scrape the top 20. The field sizes here are normally a 175 man field, which normally includes a few ex World Tour pros! The Scope wheels have performed great in the cross winds as well as handling some of the most infamous cobble sections without a hitch.
As well as the racing, the training over here in Belgium is just incredible. Although sometimes there isn’t much need to train when there is the opportunity to race over three times a week in March! I’ve been here for just over a month now and I’ve not scratched the surface of the potential training routes. The public have so much more respect for cyclists here too, so you are given plenty of room. I have ridden over all the famous climbs including the Muur, Koppenberg and Paterberg which are all on my door step! They are way harder then they look on the TV, Especially the Koppenberg in the wet.
From a living perspective I am in a great place. I’m living with four other riders from my team, three British and an American in a very modern, 5 bedroom apartment. We are all getting on really well. It’s been hard adjusting to being completely self sufficient. Budgeting myself has also been hard, constantly trying to resist temptation in Lidl from things I don’t actually need. I also tend to forget to put my stuff in the washing machine… Due to our location however we are really close to the Flanders Classics, which means when we are not racing we have the opportunity to watch! The other day we went out to watch Ghent – Wevelgem and we are off to watch Tour of Flanders this Sunday!
I’m very grateful for the support Strada Hand-Built Wheels have given me, and hopefully I’ll have my first win on the Scope’s soon.
Many thanks, Stephen