Wow! What a fantastic UCI World Youth Games this was, held in the Danish city of Viborg in the mid west of Denmark.
“Event Mastermind” Ole Kristensen and his teamspent 3 weeks on Nytorv square building the 6 man-made sections for this event not to mention the hundreds of hours spent planning and building off site too!.
Saturday saw the start of the 1/2 finals with Finn Johnstone representing GB in the Poussin class. This was Finn’s first time competing in a UCI event and he gave a valiant performance on the tricky man made obstacles and a notable ride on section 2 the “Viborg letters” dropping just 2 marks. Finn finished in 29th place out of 35 riders.
Next up was the Minime category, representing GB in this one was Sam Shepherd, Sam took a while to get into his stride posting a first lap score of 18 leaving him a bit of work to do to be sure of qualifying, Sam put in a great second lap dropping 11 marks to see him qualify in 12 position from 38 riders, the cut off for Sunday’s Final!.
Next to ride the impressive sections were the Benjamin class riders, Josh McParland and Bailey Dacker, both in their first year in this category. Bailey found the sections difficult on his laps and unfortunately didn’t qualify for Sundays Final. He finished a credible 19th from 32 starters with laps of 17 and 16. Josh faired a little better but gave himself a job to do on his second lap having made a slow start on his first lap dropping 13 penalties leaving him right on the cut off! Josh then woke up and posted a lap of 5 seeing him qualify for the Final in 9th place.
Last off on Saturday’s qualifying Heats was the Cadet Semi Final which featured our top two youth riders in the UK. Favourite for the overall win Charlie Rolls and last years Minime Champion Adam Morewood competing in this category for the first time. Charlie made light work of the sections sailing round the course with his usual speed and flair with zero penalties to qualify in First place. Adam also qualified in 4th place with ease, dropping just 2 marks.
Saturday night saw the team GB riders and families enjoy a meal together overlooking square on which the sections were undergoing a re model ready for Sundays Final.
Sunday… The Finals
Despite a couple of early downpours which was the general theme for the trip! Sunday proved to be the best day weather wise.
Josh was up first to tackle the much tougher sections from the 1/2 Final and proceeded with a near maximum lap salvaging 1 point on section 5!. Lap 2 saw 3 sections amended because of their severity which sadly didn’t help Josh posting a lap of 25 finishing in 10th place from 12 on a 3 way tie based on Saturdays qualifying results. Josh’s attitude during and after the final were very mature realising where he was struggling technically compared to his rivals from last year who were 1st and 2nd, vowing to work hard for next year!
The Minime Final got under way featuring Sam Shepherd. Sam got off to the worst possible start having a very early crash in section 2 which caught him by surprise and saw him slide down the narrow balance beam on his chest!! After the initial shock Sam got to his feet and after a quick look at his grazed chest he proceeded with the rest of the sections. This early setback took its toll on Sam for the remainder of the first lap with a total of 23. Sam showed great character to re- group for the second lap improving upon his first lap to post a lap of 19 which gave him 10th place overall. Well done Sam.
The Headline Final got under way next with UK favourite Charlie Rolls in action along with Adam Morewood, hoping also to make a mark in his first Cadet Final. The sections for the Final were much stiffer than those in the 1/2 final taking marks from everyone!. Adam rode extremely well with only a couple of errors on his first lap to go with his planned tactical dabs dropping 15 an improved and hard fought second lap gave Adam an improved second lap of 11, even with a heavy crash on the penultimate section that saw Adam ride on adrenalin for the final zone having an improved ride from his first visit! This gave Adam a fantastic 4th place overall, great result Adam.
Despite the severity of the sections Charlie rode with even greater speed and flair from that of the 1/2 Final. Charlie had two identical laps of 3 planned dabs to take the overall victory by an impressive margin of 7 marks from Oliver Wideman. It was fantastic to watch the skills on display in this Final and listen to people commenting on our newly crowned UCI Youth Games Champion Charlie Rolls. Brilliant ride Charlie well deserved.Despite the inclement weather the atmosphere and hospitality that was provided at this event was fantastic.
Commentating the whole weekend was our very own National Cup Champion and world Cup rider Andrei Burton. Andrei kept us all entertained and certainly added some insight into what was going on to the uninitiated!. Thank you.
Thanks also go to Jesper Lykke who is a true gentleman in sharing all his quality photographs capturing the spirit of the event so well.
On behalf of the Bike Trial Federation UK, our riders and families we owe a huge thank you to the whole organising team from the Viborg Trials Club and beyond for your hospitality and hard work that you all put in to make the weekend happen