WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2018
We love inviting new and exciting cycling talent to take part in the Viking Pro Series and this weekend’s event in Dublin is no different.
THE PRO FEMALE CATEGORY
Making their headline debut this weekend will be Italian star Virginia Cancellieri. Virginia competes in both road and mountain bike disciplines so can offer both speed and control. A vital combination on the steep banking and cobbles of the Dublin track.
“I’m so excited…it looks so much fun” was her comment on Instagram as she prepared to leave her native Italy and fly to Dublin for round 1 of the Viking Pro Series.
Also making her debut will be Lauren Creamer, though living in England, she’s very proud of her Irish roots, so will be hoping to give the crowds in Smithfield Square something to cheer about on race day. Her background is road cycling, so will she be able to master both the banking and the cobbles quickly enough to mount a challenge to the more established riders?
Returning to the Viking Pro Series are Alice Staniford, Jess Greave and local favourite Michelle Muldoon. Last year Michelle failed to make it out of the Eliminators, can she make amends this year?
The favourite going into Dublin must be Rowena Price. Nearly always the brides maid and never the bride, Rowena has won more silver medal finishes than any other rider. Can she finally go on better this weekend?
THE PRO MALE CATEGORY
All eyes will be on the ongoing rivalry between the two legends of the Viking Pro Series, Dave Johnson and Patrick Robinson. Both have two SuperFinals titles to their name. But Patrick is currently in the ascendancy holding the 2017 title. Can Dave mount a dramatic come back?
Joining them in the battle will be debut riders Dave Egan. The local lad is a keen enduro / mountain bike specialist and should hold all the bike craft needed to keep the leading duo honest.
He will be joined by Commonwealth games cyclist James McLaughlin. He is rapid but can he control the speed into the steep and unforgiving corners?
Also returning to the Series will be Hungarian enduro rider Csaba Cenge. Yet to win a top three placing Csaba will be hoping for the top guns to faulter on Saturday and bag himself a big final for the first time.
HERE’S THE CATCH
The riders will be gunning for victory on the cobbles and taking no prisoners. With a cash prize on offer for the rider scoring the most Catch wins there will be no quarter given by the faster riders if their opponents make a mistake.
THE JOHNSON LINE
As always our Pros will have to master the art of going fast yet keeping their bikes under control and below the dreaded Johnson Line. The solid white line to the upper side of the banked corners is there to stop advantageous, and dangerous, wall riding to keep maximum velocity.
THE JOHNSON LINE
If a rider ventures over the line they run the risk of a penalty. As ever our regular referee Mr Jeggo will hold all the cards.
THE FAN BOOST
New to this season is the Pro Rider Fan Boost. After the initial elimination races one lucky male and female rider will be given another life thanks to a live crowd vote. So can the local heroes convince the fans they deserve another chance? Its literally up to you.
THE MONEY SHOT
Also new for 2018 is the prize money. The winning male and female pro riders will bag themselves a tidy sum of £500 if they cross the finish line before their opponents in the ‘Big Final’. Though nice to be able to bank the cheque, performing well in the regional events will boost a riders seeding for the all important and championship deciding SuperFinals in Canary Wharf on 16 August.
WHO WILL WIN?
Our predictions are to expect the unpredictable!