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The Lewis Balyckyi Memorial Criteriums – Blackpool Saturday 30.05.15

Saturday saw the Team joined for the first time by new signing, Youth B rider, Tom Ashcroft. It was also quite a big day for the Team as The Lewis Balyckyi Trust is a charity that the Team support (and the Team’s DS, Jed Hartley is the organiser of the event !) so the boys were looking for a good showing.

The weather was as the forcast promised, dry and bright, but very windy. Hardly a surprise as the 2km circuit took in the lower promenade at the Bispham end of Blackpool seafront, a great but challenging circuit, perfect for some hard and exciting racing.

The Under 16 and Under 14 boys started their 18 lap race together which meant Tom was in the bunch with his new teammates, although a number of the Under 14 riders found the pace a bit too hot from the off and there was soon a number of smaller groups forming off the back of the leading bunch. Tom held on for about a third of the race (longer than some of the Under 16 riders !) but eventually slipped off the back of the Under 16 bunch and form a four man Under 14 leading group with the stronger of the Youth B riders.

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Meanwhile in the Youth A race an early 2 man breakaway was brought back with some strong contributions from the VCUK boys followed by a spirited solo attack from VCUK rider Halley Woods. With the rest of the Team trying to control the pace of the bunch to let Halley slip away he built up a small lead.

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However with the strong wind it was not the day for an early solo break to succeed and Halley was brought back into the fold after a couple of laps.  The front group continued together with a rider or two dropping off the back each time up the climb onto the  top promenade through the park.

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VCUK rider Luke Cheetham suffered a minor crash on the treacherous descent back onto the lower promenade but was able to sort his bike out and rejoin Lewis Hartley, Daniel Gibson and Halley Woods in the front group.

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About two thirds of the way through the race Daniel decided to chance his arm and was able to get into a two man breakaway with the rest of the Team again doing what they could to control the bunch and give the breakaway a chance of success.

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The gap hovered between 12 and 20 seconds for the remainder of the race with Daniel’s breakaway partner just getting the better of him in the finale but still giving Dan a creditable second place after some great racing.

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The rest of the boys finished safely in the chasing group with Halley 8th, Luke 9th and Lewis 10th and it was great to see them working as a Team and looking out for each other during the race.

Tom did himself proud in his first outing for the Team, finishing second in the Under 14s Youth B race.

A great day of racing for a great cause with some solid results for the Team. Thanks to the events many sponsors and to Jed Hartley, his team, the BC officials and all the helpers and marshals for a fantastic event and also Team sponsor Martin Holden for the very high standard of event photography.

Furthermore, the event was supported by many of the Inspire VCUK racing team sponsors with Champion System UK offering up four fantastic winners jerseys for various race categories.

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Love Beets Juice, Creative Nature, Higher Nature and GoCoCo all provided product or voucher prizes with Paul Hewitt Cycles, Secret Training CC, Pedal Precision and Brite Ride Cleaning providing some fantastic raffle prizes.

All this support helped to make the event a tremendous success by raising around £4000 for the Lewis Balyckyi Trust.

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