This weekend saw the Isle of Man host the 2nd round of the British Cycling National Youth Circuit Series and Josh Golliker and Luke Goodwill were both competing in the u14s.
The race is held over 3 days with a prologue on Friday followed by a flat closed road race Saturday and a very hilly closed road race yesterday.
The weekend almost had a disasterous start with the boys crashing into each other warming up for the prologue but after some niffy repairs from the dads they were on the start line !
As the prologue was only 1.29km, just over 2 laps of Preston Park , even a few seconds made a big difference to your overall place. Josh placed 17th and Luke 5 seconds back 43rd. Luke was disappointed but knew he’d taken the dead turn badly and lost a few seconds. But the proper racing was yet to start !
Saturday was beautiful and sunny and the boys warmed up on the 2.7km closed circuit over which they would race 10 laps.
The racing was fast and after blistering 2 laps Luke lost contact with the front group but Josh was well positioned. Luke was joined by 7 other riders and slowly with Luke and 3 other riders working well together they slowly pulled back to the main group which took a massive effort but with 2 laps to go they were back on. The speed was very high in the sprint almost (60kph !) and neither Luke or Josh were able to move up but the whole front group were given the same time. After 43 mins of hard racing at 38km/h Luke was exhausted but happy to have made it back to the front group. Luke moved up 5 places on GC to 38th and Josh 20th of 55 riders.
After the finish of stage 2 we headed to the 7.5km hilly circuit to check out the parcours and realised stage 3 was going to be a very tough stage. The circuit had two climbs , the first similar steepness to Ditchling Beacon followed by a slight downhill and then a longer less steep climb and a fast downhill back to the start of the circuit. So it was back to get some food and an early night !
Sunday started misty but this soon lifted and we had another beautiful sunny day for racing.
The first lap set a brutal pace and quickly riders lost contact from the main group. Josh was riding well in the front group but Luke was just dropped from the main group at 10 secs couldn’t get back on the descent and on the 2nd ascent was joined by 5 other riders. The effort from Stage 2 took it’s toll and with 1 lap to go Luke was 4 mins down in a group of 6 but Josh was well placed in the front group. On the final ascent to the finish the front group exploded and Josh just managed to hang in and finish well 30 secs down. Luke gave it everything but had nothing on the finishing ascent finished 6:30 behind the front group. It was a very tough stage with nowhere to hide and riders continued to roll in for the next 15 mins ! Both boys were exhausted after racing for just under an hour. Overall GC after the 3 stages Luke finished the weekend 33rd and Josh 23rd of the 55 starters. Great performances against GBs best youth B riders.
Isle of Man Youth Tour is a great event. We’d never been to the island before and it was beautiful. We’ll be back next year and hope we can bring a few more PPYCC riders with us. Thanks to the organisers for a superb weekend of racing and to all the riders across the categories well done, it take a lot of training and determination to compete in these races.
Until next year ….