Following the trip to Southport on Saturday, the team packed things up and travelled straight down to Llandudno, in North Wales, for the infamous Great Orme Road Races on Sunday morning.
Unfortunately Luke Cheetham was unable to travel on as he was feeling the effects of a cold and decided it would be better to rest up.
We arrived in Llandudno late afternoon with glorious weather that was forecast for several days ahead!
After checking in at the hostel, it was decided to take a road trip around the Great Orme circuit so that all the riders could familiarise themselves for the following morning. That evening we had a very good Italian meal together, ensuring the lads were fuelled up before bed! Lights out at 10pm, and the lads soon fell asleep showing signs of fatigue from the earlier racing and subsequent travelling.
It was an early start on Sunday as the racing started at 9am. The riders set their alarms for 6.30am and arrived for breakfast at 7:15. This allowed time to pack up, clear the rooms and get to signing on for 8am.
After signing on the riders rode along the promenade to the bottom of the Great Orme road where they then began their 20minute traditional warm up on the rollers, making sure their legs and lungs were ready for the race ahead.
Tom Ashcroft decided to ride up in this event using his dispensation from B to A category. This enabled the Inspire VCUK Racing Team to have six riders in the race: Halley Woods, Dan Gibson, Lewis Hartley, Cory Edmondson, Nathan Hawthorn, and Tom.
Around forty riders started the Youth A race which entailed 3 laps of the six kilometre Marine Drive cliff edge circuit. The race started at the bottom of the climb near the Grand Hotel and after around 3km reached the highest point on the circuit which was then followed by a 2km fast descent and 1km flat section to reach the end of 1 lap.
The first part of the climb was neutralised (not sure why) but once the flag dropped the pace ramped up and attacks commenced. Devon Round was one rider from MSW who really put the power down going up the steepest sections of the climb.
As the peloton passed the finish line after lap 1, Lewis and Halley were comfortable at the head of the fractured bunch with Dan also in the same group. A little further back in separate groups was Cory, then Nathan and then Tom. To be fair, Cory and Nathan had both experienced some mechanical issues and were doing very well considering. It was also great to see Tom, the youngest rider in the race, battling up the climb against much older and more experienced riders.
On the final lap, Lewis was leading the riders up the climb setting a fast pace and looking very comfortable as riders continued to get shelled out the back. There were several riders, including the eventual winner, who were actually dropped up the climb but managed to re-attach on the descent.
The finish is a frantic one, as the riders pass the Grand Hotel the course dips slightly before rising for around 200 metres before reaching the timing mat. The race speed was over 30mph as the riders began the their sprint for the line. It was Jack Ford from Holmfirth CC who took the win followed closely by Brad Dransfield from the Kirklees Academy and then Huw Owen from Energy Cycles in third. In the same group was Halley Woods in 6th and Lewis who was pipped into 8th, both very commendable results for 1st year riders.
Dan, Cory, Nathan and Tom rolled over from 15th to 27th place, each having their own stories to tell!