COLCHESTER riders impressed at the largest youth cycling event in Europe, the 53rd Jeugdtour Junior Cycling Tour in the Netherlands.

This year's event, held in the town of Assen featured riders from 21 different countries such as Australia, South Africa, the USA and New Zealand.

Racing was made up of a stage race over six days, opening with a short prologue, a criterium, a long classic stage, an individual time trial, the "omloop" with its cobbled sections and a final criterium around the race HQ.

The short prologue over 1.7 kilometres saw strong rides from the Colchester riders.

Bradley Taylor, in Category 4, averaged 18 miles per hour over the course, with fellow Rovers rider Jack Emerson in Category 6 averaging 18.8mph and Ollie Davey-Smith (in the under-16 category) 21.1mph.

Jodie Taylor of Team Terminator finished as third-placed girl and tenth overall in her category.

Day two was the "Gold Coast" crit, around a sweeping course in the Assen suburbs.

Jodie Taylor lost time on the General Classification leaders after getting caught up in a mid-race crash but her younger brother Bradley stayed with the main peloton to the finish and Emerson finished with the second group in his race.

The nieuwelingen race set off at a frantic pace and Ollie Davey-Smith along with Lee Valley Youth CC's Dexter Mansel-Thomas had an early finish after a crash ahead of them.

Emerson's race was a similar story but both Jodie and Bradley Taylor stayed with the main group, in their race.

In the long time trial on day four, Bradley Taylor posted a cracking 11m 12s for his 5.5km course.

Jodie Taylor chalked up 13m 8s for her 7.5km course while in Category 6, Emerson achieved a PB of 14m 23s over his TT, knocking 35 seconds off his 2016 time.

Mansel-Thomas completed his 13km in 19m 39s, eventually finishing at the midway point of the 140 nieuwelingen riders while Davey-Smith in the same category clocked 21m 25s.

The following day saw the tough omloop race - circuits around a course outside Assen that took in some fearsome cobbles.

In Category 6, Emerson survived until the chequered flag at the end of his 25km race.

Jodie Taylor, in Category 5, finished with the leaders at the end of her 21 kilometres and Bradley Taylor did well to finish.

In the nieuwelingen race, Davey-Smith and Dexter Mansel-Thomas - with a recurrence of a back injury - both made an early exit.

The final day was the tight criterium around the tour HQ.

In the Nieuwelingen 1 race, the 140 competitors split into two races due to the tightness of the course.

Davey-Smith won a final sprint against another rider by one hundredth of a second.

Mansel-Thomas finished in an excellent 11th place and when the times of the two races were combined, he finished 15th from the 140 starters.

Emerson stayed with the lead peloton for the duration of his six laps in Category 6, claiming the scalps of a number of top UK riders.

In the Category 5 race, Jodie Taylor progressed over her five laps to finish sixth girl.

Bradley Taylor held his own with the leaders for two laps in the Category 4 race before fatigue saw him drop back a little.