Last weekend saw the first race of the year and Paul Woods kindly provided us with his report of the action:
“There is always a sense of excitement in the lead up to the ‘Dolan Series’ as it is the first youth race in the north west cycling calendar and provides an opportunity for riders to test their legs before the national road races begin in April. However, this year the event seemed extra special as it was the first outing for the Inspire VCUK Racing Team. Although this was an individual event with every rider out for themselves, there was a real sense of excitement camaraderie among the team and team manager and coach, Jerrod Hartley, must have felt really proud.
The riders looked immaculate in their champion systems kit and the team gazebo and team car, showing the names of all of our sponsors, looked really great. A special mention for the Club Roost wheels too which looked fab and I’m told raced really well.
Whilst the Dolan Series is eagerly awaited it is also a really challenging event. The series is made up of races on three consecutive weekends, starting on 14th March, with each event having a short race of 8 laps and a longer race of 25 laps. Despite the fact that the first race is only relatively short, it is often likened to the ‘Grand National’ because it is fast and furious from the off and riders can be lucky to stay upright and finish the course. This year was perhaps not as bad as previous years, with just three crashes, however our rider Dan Gibson unluckily came down a few laps in, after a touch of wheels, and suffered some nasty road rash. Thankfully Dan was able to finish and recover for the next race and Lewis, Luke and Halley managed to stay out of trouble. Lewis did particularly well finishing 7th and beating many of the second year A riders in a sprint.
The second race is much longer but still started quite fast and the pace saw the main field spilt into a few different groups quite quickly. All of the Inspire VCUK riders kept up with the pace for the first half dozen laps or so and there were times when they were riding in a line directly behind one another when they rode like a team. As the race wore on Halley struggled to hold the back of the bunch out of a corner and was dropped and Luke later suffered a similar fate. However, they both showed strong desire and strength to continue working together and finished the race in a smaller group of riders behind the front group. Dan and Lewis did fantastically well and managed to finish with the front group of riders sprinting for the line and just behind the race winners.
I said to Lewis after the race that he made it look easy as he looked completely relaxed in the race. He just smiled back but I sensed it was an awful lot harder than it looked.
Dan was our highest placed rider and showed that he is made of tough stuff after his crash in race one.
Good rides for Halley and Luke and plenty to build on for all of the team.
Round 2 of the Dolan for Dan and Lewis next week while Halley and Luke head to the Velodrome at Newport for the third round of the Icebreaker omnium.
You can read the full results here – RESULTS
After the race Team Owner Jerrod Hartley spoke to the boys to let them know how we felt they got on:
“Great character from Daniel to come back from a crash and finish 7th. Lewis strong in both. Halley and Luke also getting good feedback. That is a very good start for all you boys in your first outing in the A category…loads of time to improve and prepare for national races! Happy DS!”