We spoke to Scotland’s Stuart Balfour at the start of the season but word has been trickling back that 21 years-old from Heriot who is a Rayner Fund rider with Cotes d’Armor-Marie Morin Veranda Rideau, ‘en France’ has been ‘doing the biz.’
‘Best have another word,’ we thought to ourselves…
Top 10 in the Tour de la Manche and best young rider – tell us about that one, Stuart.
“I was really happy to get a result on general rather than just a stage result as I feel it shows more than just a one-off result but being consistently good throughout the four days of racing.
“To be a GC rider is the sort of rider I want to be as I feel I have a good broad spectrum of skills with time trialling, climbing and on the flat parcours.
“So to finally get a solid GC result and come away with the young riders’ jersey was definitely a big confidence boost but I feel it is a result I want to build on in coming stage races and I believe I can improve on it.”
Romain Bacon won that one – strong guy, ex-Auber 93 and French Champion, tough opposition…
“Yeah he is a strong rider, especially in the TT and he had a good team, CC Nogent behind him to control the race but there was a lot of strong riders there, for example Max Cam who won the first two stages, and the riders from Rouen and Sojasun, so it was nice to get a result with some of the bigger riders in France.”
A very strong ride too from you, we hear, in the Boucles Serentaises?
“Boucles Serantaises was a decent day as it was still early in coming back from breaking my collarbone in the first Coupe de France and my third race back.
!I was happy to get a solid result but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit disappointed as it was a day I really would have liked to win; it was in my birthday and my parents were there, but sadly I didn’t quite have the legs on the day so had to settle for fourth.”