Banbridge CC’s Paul-Antoine Hagan has made a very promising start in what was his debut race in Belgium. Paul-Antoine is currently based in Belgium as a guest of well-known cycling host Martine Verfaillie, who works closely with Dany Blondeel of the Belgian Project to place young Irish cyclists in Belgium during the summer months and give them an opportunity and exposure to regular international competition. The placement follows a busy few weeks for the Banbridge CC rider who recently made his UCI debut in a senior elite UCI race at the KreizBreizh Elites (2.2) in France as part of a strong Irish national team alongside Matthew Teggart.
Martine Verfaillie is well known to a number of Banbridge CC riders who have enjoyed her generous hospitality over the years. Taking part in his first race in Belgium yesterday, the Dadizele-Moorslede 1.12B, over 120km for Elite & U23 riders, Paul Antoine wasted little time in joining in with the action and demonstrated his ability to sniff out the right move to make the break of the day.
The break faltered, with Paul Antoine finishing in eth safety of the bunch, but his aggressive racing nature will no doubt earn him some local fans and respect among his fellow competitors.
Many thanks once again to Martine and Dany who continue to provide the opportunities to numerous Irish cyclists every year, and of course best of luck to Paul-Antoine in the coming weeks.
All photos courtesy of Martine Verfaillie.