Podium places for Davies as Verulam Reallymoving show their mettle on the continent

Verulam Reallymoving's Clay Davies races through Belgium.

Verulam Reallymoving's Clay Davies races through Belgium. - Credit: Archant

While most of the cycling world had eyes on France Verulam Reallymoving were focused on the Belgium side of the border.

A team from the St Albans-based racing team battled three races in three days with increasingly better results at each.

They started at Krombeke, just 22 miles from Dunkirk, with Gary Nugent competing in the 40+ race and Marcel Six and Clay Davies racing together in the main event.

Both Six and Davies struggled though on the pan-flat course.

Six, who is just returning from injury, finished 10th while Davies, who tried hard to get into a break, eventually found that effort combined with the travelling too much.

But things got much better for the Verulam strongman on a more hilly circuit at Ruien.

Temperatures were peaking above 30 degrees and the riders also had to contend with cobbles in the finish straight but Davies bridged the gap a break which formed on the third lap.

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He said “It wasn’t a smooth break, people wouldn’t give turns but even so within a couple of laps there was a gap in excess of four minutes.

“With one lap to go two riders chipped off the front, I missed this move so concentrated on the sprint.

“I knew I was the strongest rider there so with about 200 metres to go before the finish line I put the hammer down easily taking third.”

The team then moved onto Zwevegem on Sunday for another very hot race on a flat circuit but with two canal bridges.

It was clear from the word go that a break would go early and it formed during the second lap.

Six was in the large group but with the main bunch keeping them in sight, the gap wasn’t too big and Davies used that to jump across with a few others.

Their arrival caused a split among the leaders with a smaller group containing Davies jumping clear, quickly joined by Six.

Another disorganized break followed for the remaining laps with the main peloton many minutes back by this point.

As with the day before two nipped off the front to contest the win so Davies sat in and prepared himself for the kick.

A long straight on the run-in gave him the time to plan and despite taking the final corner as last man in a group of seven, he had the momentum and took third again with a seated sprint.