The road race for the European Junior and Under-23 Championship will take place in Anadia, from July 7th to 10th. The courses of both the road race and the time trial may be prone to some surprises.

The road will be the second leg in competition at the Junior and Under-23 European Championships, which will take place in Anadia during the months of June and July. During these four days of competition, there will be 10 titles in contention: four on the road races, four in the individual time trials, and two in the mixed relay team time trial.

After the mountain biking, the road riders will enter the competition on July 7th, with the individual time trials, which will start and finish near the High Performance Center, in the town of Sangalhos, Anadia. The first to enter the race will be the juniors, with the female sector competing between 10 am and 11 am, followed by the male sector, between 11 am and 12h30 pm. In the afternoon it will be the turn of the under-23 athletes, with the women’s competing between 3 and 4 pm and the men’s between 4 and 5:25 pm.

On a course through Portuguese roads, no one better than the national road coach, José Poeira, to unveil the secrets of this course that will have 22 kilometers for both juniors and under-23, in the men’s and women’s sectors.

“This is a time trial with a significant length. For juniors you could even say it’s a relatively long time trial. The course has a tougher start and some climbs, followed by some areas of false flat, which are prone to having head or side wind. This meteorological issue is important, because if it is a windy day, it can have a great influence on some parts of the course, making it more difficult. The time trial has another very technical part, in which the riders go passing through the houses, with a small top at the end. It will be important to manage this course carefully, warming up well in order to get off to the best possible start. This initial phase is very important and requires a lot of attention from the riders, because it will be one of the most difficult parts of the course. It’s a very beautiful and well-designed course. It’s going to be a great day”, says José Poeira, also highlighting that this course will be suitable for a rider who finds it easy to pass these small climbs.

On July 8th we will have a new addition to the European Championships for juniors and under-23s, since it will be the first time that the team relay time trial will be held in these categories. The course will have 44 kilometers, twice the distance of the individual time trial. This increase in distance is due to the fact that first the two boys from each nation will race 22 kilometers, and then they will surrender at the finish line so that the two girls from their team can also complete the same 22 kilometers. In this race, the junior category will compete from 10 am to 11 am and the under-23 from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm.

When the weekend comes, it will be time for the road races, on a circuit course, starting and ending at the Sports Complex in the city of Anadia. On Saturday, July 9th, the juniors will be put to the test. The women will cover 83.1 kilometers, corresponding to four laps around the circuit, between 10h00 and 12h30. The men’s sector will be competing between 2 pm and 5:10 pm, completing six laps around the circuit, corresponding to 125.9 kilometers. On Sunday, July 10, it will be time for the under-23s to close the European Road Championships. The under-23 runners will have to complete five laps around the circuit, totaling 104.5 kilometers. The under-23 men will have seven laps to complete, totalling 143.3 kilometers.

In this road race, the national coach, José Poeira, highlights the most important points of the circuit: “This course doesn’t have very complicated climbs, but there are some points to keep in mind. Inside Anadia there is a climb four kilometers from the finish line that, lap after lap, will bring some difficulty. At the end, the finish line is uphill, with a gradient of 5%, more or less. I think the whole course, with the various passages will end up bringing some difficulty to the riders, especially the various passages on the longest climb that we’ll have, which is on Monte Castro”, José Poeira pointed out, also highlighting that this point may decide the race.

“On the last lap, if that top is attacked well it can leave a smaller group at the front straight away. At that point, the race will for sure be shaken and hardened up and whoever stays in that small group will fight for the first places. This is a course for riders who pass well on the climbs and have some power. It’s not exactly for climbers, because it doesn’t have any climbs that are too hard.

As is perceivable through this explanation, both the time trial and the road race, especially the latter, will be very open competitions, where almost any type of rider can be successful. Last year, Italy, with five medals, two of them gold, and France, also with five medals, one of them gold, were the nations to obtain the best results in the Junior and Under-23 European Championships. With a race that is expected to be open, we will certainly have many surprises in Anadia.

For more information about the European Road Championships click here.


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