Last weekend, the Inspire VCUK Racing Team held their second youth training camp of the season, this time North of Lancaster.
The camp began on Saturday morning in Lancaster, at the Salt Ayre Closed Road Circuit, when our riders took to the grid for the first round of the North West Youth League circuit race series.
The league is held over several rounds through the season at various NW circuits. Each round will contest 2 races: a short sprinter race and a longer endurance race.
The team had Luke Cheetham, Halley Woods and Lewis Hartley taking part in the races, with Dan joining the team later in the day after some Birthday celebrations in the morning back home.
The first race was 4 laps, so almost over with the blink of an eye. This race was won by Alistair Leivers of BYCA, with Jim Brown in 2nd place and Will King 3rd. Luke and Halley both managed a top 10 (7th & 9th) and Lewis just behind in 14th.
For the second race over 18 laps, the boys all looked good in the bunch and all attempted to move up to the front of the race. Halley made a good attempt to break away but was later reeled in by the pack and, on the final lap, Luke attacked at the bell for a brave attempt at a solo win but was caught by the time the riders appeared from the trees.
In the end, the race was won by Yorkshire rider Jim Brown with all our boys finishing comfortably in the bunch.
After the race, the boys packed their overnight kit into some weekend support vehicles and then rode from Lancaster to Yealand Conyers (15 mile) via Morecambe and Carnforth.
For the overnight stay our riders were joined by a team from Salt Ayre Cogset (Elliot Reed and Sam Iddon) and a team from Furness Flyers (Chris Gunson and Jack Barton). Jordan Stansworth from the Achieve Cycling Team also joined up for the weekend. A great bunch of lads!
On arrival at the hostel, the riders first prepared sleeping arrangements and organised their kit for the evening ahead and for a long ride on Sunday. After this it was dinner duties with the riders cooking their own dinner consisting of chicken with pasta in an Italian sauce, followed by rice pudding. The riders hydrated with Love Beets Juice during dinner.
After dinner, the riders were handed over to Jennifer Lace for a 1 hour workshop on phycology / chimp management and the 100% concept, before settling down to watch an inspirational movie to end the evening.
In the morning we awoke to rain pelting the roads outside and unfortunately the weather forecast was very accurate! Breakfast was prepared in the morning with help from the riders and comprised beans/toast, porridge, bananas with everyone feeling a little tentative about the ride ahead.
A short brief was delivered to the riders at 8:50 and we left the digs at 9am in the pouring rain, heading out towards not so “Sunny Bank” near Capernwray. The original plan was to ride around 70 miles to Ingleton, Hawes, Sedbergh, before returning over Barbon Fells to Kirby Lonsdale and then Yealand.
With the weather as it was, there was no way this ride could proceed as planned. The outside temperature was 4 degrees and riders were getting soaked to the skin very quickly. By the time we reach Ingleton it had already been decided to cut the ride short and the route was diverted back to Kirby, with some riders already opting to hitch a lift in the support vehicle as they could not feel their fingers.
The group dwindled as we continued with around 4 riders retiring to the car. At the finish Luke and Dan showed a lot of character to carry on and finish the route back to Yealand, along with Sam, Elliot, Chris and Jordan. At the same time, the riders that did climb in the car had no choice – it would have been daft for them to carry on and risk hypothermia!
The fight for the hot showers ensued on arrival back at the hostel before the riders and helpers packed up their belongings and made sure that the place was left as we found it.
A great weekend was had by all that included elements of racing, training, team building, education and relaxation.
A big thanks to Janet Reed, Paul Woods, Andy Gunson and Jason Iddon for helping out at the camp #teamwork.