CYCLING: Fast racing in Belgium for Rugby’s Rob O’Connor

Rob O'Connor with his trophy from the Tour of Abberleys last month
Rob O'Connor with his trophy from the Tour of Abberleys last month

Cyclist looking forward to returning for World Masters Championships in August

Rugby veteran cyclist Rob O’Connor has just returned from racing in Belgium, which he found very fast and enjoyable.

Along with recording 16th and 13th places his best result was a 6th place in the East Flanders championship at Schelderode near Gent.

Rob said there was a fantastic atmosphere, with events all on closed roads and an average speed well over 40 km per hour.

He is looking forward to making another trip before the World Masters Championship, which will be in Belgium in August, although having looked at the course last week, he knows it is a very tough circuit with fast twisty descents and several tough climbs, one being the finish.

Last month Rob O’Connor, who rides for Kuota Bikes GSG Technical Wear, won the Tour of Abberleys three-day stage race in Worcestershire, over the first Bank Holiday weekend. It’s the toughest race on the UK Veteran Circuit, with four stages over three days of hilly country roads.

Rob won the first stage a technical eight-mile time trial by 40 seconds, defending it over the next two stages. On the fourth and final stage, which went up the fearsome Shelsley Walsh climb, Rob took second place on the stage, giving him the outright win from Yorkshire’s Andrew Donaldson.

Rob said it was a real honour to win this race again, having won it once before in 2015.