Andrew Fenn began his professional cycling career yesterday in Adelaide, Australia, at the Down Under Classic. He worked for Omega Pharma team-mate Gerald Ciolek and felt his way around the peloton in the pre-Tour Down Under criterium.

“Because a crit is not the same as a normal bunch sprint, it was quite difficult to try to keep the lines. It was obviously hard to sit there in the group with a new team and all new guys,” Fenn told Cycling Weekly. “It was good and enjoyable and I’m looking forward to starting the stage race.”

Fenn had the help of experienced professionals, such as Tour de France stage winner, Gert Steegmans. The Belgian team aims to win stages this week in the six-day Tour Down Under with Ciolek or Steegmans.

The two are passing on advice to 21-year-old Fenn, who joins Omega Pharma-Quick Step after winning a bronze medal at the Under 23 World Championships. He also benefits from his room-mate, Matthew Brammeier.

“They gave me advice yesterday, a couple of bits: how to ride in the line and things like that,” Fenn continued. “You sort of guess it, but it’s good to hear it from someone. [The criterium] was a bit short yesterday, but in the next days there should be more time to speak and go over everything.”

Ciolek finished 12th behind winner André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) in the criterium. Fenn helped position his team-mates, fighting with Sky, Lotto and Rabobank for position.

“It was my first race, which was always going to be a bit nervous. My job was just to help get the train going and drop Gerald off. The other teams had it pretty well set up; Rabobank had a great train going for Mark Renshaw until he punctured. It was trying to find the back of the other teams’ trains.

“My job is be involved in some of the lead-outs and to learn. Hopefully we can pick a stage win up along the way; I’ll do what I can to help them.”

Fenn heads home after the race ends on Sunday, but will only stay for a few days as he is expected in Mallorca next. He will race in the Challenge Mallorca and take part in the team’s training camp.

Related links

Down Under Classic: Greipel opens Down Under with win

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Tour Down Under 2012: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index