Last weekend, three of the Inspire VCUK riders had a track focussed weekend as they competed in the annual British Cycling Omnium Northern qualification contest.
On Saturday the 9th May the team (minus Lewis) rode in the Knowsley Youth Omnium which consists of five different track events: time trial, scratch, devil, keirin and points races.
First up was a 1 lap time trial, in windy conditions on an outdoor velodrome. Daniel Gibson and Luke Cheetham finished 26th and 28th respectively, whilst Halley was unfortunate to pull his foot out of his pedal to roll home at the very back of the field.
The second race was the scratch race, all our riders animated the race and finished in the bunch along with a lot of high calibre riders.
Next was the devil, and by far the most dangerous race with a few people in the bunch not looking before changing their line, or trying to get through gaps that just were not there!
The last race of the day was the points and with nothing to lose, Daniel attacked with a lap to go, giving it everything, but and was caught on the back straight by the chasing pack.
The level of competition in this event was very high with Olympic Apprenticeship riders fighting hard to retain their places on the programme and with riders representing the whole of the North of England (42 in total).
At the end of the day, Luke finished half way down the field with Daniel and Halley just a little further back…perhaps not the results they hoped for but what they did take away was a lot of experience for 2016.
On Sunday the 10th May, the same lads travelled over to the National Cycling Centre Velodrome in Manchester for round two of three.
The format was the same as the day before with each rider competing in five events. Being indoors, the time trial was not affected by weather and the lads were used to racing on the boards.
In the 1km TT, the boys had similar results to Day 1 with Halley finishing in 22nd place, with Daniel and Luke not far behind (mid to latter half of field).
In the remaining races, Halley showed he had more to give with two top 10 placings in the scratch and points races with only his TT really setting him back to 21st overall (mid-field score).
Daniel and Luke both consistently finished inside the top 20 for the remaining races with only their TT’s really hampering their overall result.
So, if these boys can get some practice in their individual pursuit (TT) before next weekend, but more importantly in the next 12 months, they should really be able to shine in 2016.
We always try and get a riders view on things, and here is a short summary from Daniel Gibson:
“On Saturday 9th May the team (except Lewis who is suffering from an injury) rode at the Knowsley Youth omnium which consists of 5 different races on the track.
First was a time trial which all riders finished well in but Halley pulled his foot out of the peddle at the start and lost a lot of time. Unlucky.
The second race was the scratch race, all our riders animated the race and finished in the bunch along with a lot of high calibre riders. Next was the devil, by far the most dangerous race with a few people in the bunch not looking before changing their line, a hard race in every aspect.
The last race was the points race and with nothing to lose we all face everything, I attacked with a lap to go and was caught on the back straight. Again all riders did very well and finished in respectable positions, a very hard day of racing.”