Today was the final in the series of 4 regional youth Omniums (we attended 3 of the 4 as one clashed with the TRC Giro d’betteshanger). Round one was at Lee Valley back on the 23rd April where Lance worked hard after a slightly disappointing 4 lap TT (1km) but the step up to first year U14 meant playing catch up was pretty hard, finishing 19th out of 26.
Round 3 (was last Sunday after the SITP race on Friday and a 2nd place in the Giro d’Betteshanger) took us down to Brighton to Preston Park to be part of the re-opening celebrations, (even managing to get on ITV local news) Lance tells me that the Preston Park track is pretty unique with an almost square shape, uphill section, downhill section to the banking in front of the pavilion, blistering heat and breezy conditions. Also at 580m (longest in the UK) a 2 lap TT was a tricky discipline to try and master on his first visit to the track. Lance worked hard, sneaking shade from other riders gazebos as the temperature soared (Thanet RC need to look at purchasing a gazebo so that we can fit in with the gazebo village that springs up at these Omniums.) As a lone rider from Thanet it was difficult as there was a lack of team mates in races but through the track league meets in 2015/2016 Lance has made a lot of friends with track riders but seeing a few more flashes of Thanet yellow on the track would be fantastic.
At Preston Park it was evident that Preston Park/VC Jubilee riders did really well, equipped with the local track knowledge but Lance tried hard, finding the TT tough and an early exit from the elimination left him pushing to launch of the front of a fast pack to scrape a point in the points race which took the last of his energy on the day! Finally finishing the day at 20th overall.
Today took us to Herne Hill velodrome (looking akin to a building site as work has started on the removal of the old derelict pavilion ready for rebuilding) Lance’s TT left him in the bottom 10 riders out of 33 starters, Lance dug deep and produced a solid performance in the Devil finishing 16/17th, In the scratch Lance just missed a crash, resulting in bruised elbow/arm as he got knocked by a set of handlebars but miraculously stayed upright, after a restart Lance pulled back a group to the leaders which left him spent so he finished 25th overall with just the points to go. In the points he stayed safe in the wheels and consolidated his 25th place overall for the day out of 33 riders.
All in all Lance has really enjoyed the experience, learnt a lot, improved across all 3 of the events, travelled to some amazing facilities and made many friends along the way all preparation for next year which hopefully will see him perform stronger as a 2nd year U14. We await confirmation of his final position overall but as only the top 5 go through to the actual nationals, he wished Oscar, Innes, Billy, James and Oliver (TBC) well for their trip to the Nationals and hopes to finish closer to the top 10 next year.

Written by Teresa Childs