VIKING PRO SERIES - DUBLIN
Round One Viking Pro Series Race Report: Dublin, June 16, 2018 We could not have been more excited to kick-off our Viking Pro Series in Smithfield Square, Dublin. The cobbled plaza, lined with modern cafes and unique hotels, makes for the perfect backdrop for StreetVelodrome racing. We were back, with a some familiar and some new faces in the rider line-up, with less rain forecast than last year, so who was there and how did it all play out?
OUR PRO RIDERS
PRO FEMALE - WATCH THE PRO FEMALE HIGHLIGHTS NOW
Our female rider line-up was an international field as we opened up the racing to new professional riders. We had Rowena Price - 2017 silver medallist and most experienced StreetVelodrome racer of the field. Alice Staniford - Professional level road racer and StreetVelodrome coach. Michelle Muldoon - Enduro racer from Dublin itself, having raced the last round in Ireland in 2017. Lauren Creamer - Professional level track and road racer, residing in Wolverhampton and proud owner of an Irish passport. Virginia Cancelliari - Italian cycling star and worldwide racer of fixie criteriums. Jessica Greaves - Experienced StreetVelodrome racer and world cup Downhiller.
NEW GIRL VIRGINIA GETS SOME INSIGHT FROM PRO CHAMP PATRICK
Qualifications created anticipation amongst the riders and spectators, with some unexpected results. Rowena Price, the female race favourite qualified in last place after getting a time penalty for crossing the Johnson Line.* This put her head-to-head against Michelle Muldoon, the fastest qualifier in the first knock-out races. Jess Greaves was not showing her usual form, qualifying in fourth place, beating only first-timer Lauren Creamer.
LAUREN RACING FOR SURVIVAL ON THE COBBLES OF DUBLIN
The head-to-head racing was ferocious, with £100 for the person with the most Catches up for grabs, nobody was willing to accept “just” a win. They wanted more! Jess was the first rider to be knocked-out, as Alice Staniford (the constant smiler) came through and took a narrow win. Next up was Virginia Cancellieri versus Lauren, with the Italian hunting down her prey and going through to the next round, whilst simultaneously taking the first Catch of the day. In an early race, which felt like it should have been in the finals, was Rowen and Michelle, meaning that of the 2 fastest riders, only one would be able to go through to the finals. Concentrating on a smooth run, Rowena still made a couple of mistakes but was able to knock-out competitor Michelle.
VIRGINIA FINDS HER PACE IN QUALIFYING
The medal races were between Michelle and Alice, competing in the minor finals for bronze, and Rowena and newcomer Virginia racing for gold and a big, fat cheque of £500! Michelle rode strongly to a confident third place. In the finals, the first lap was breathtakingly close between Rowena and Virginia, it was going to be anyone’s race right up to the last turn.
Rowena pulled ahead using strength and experience and took her first ever gold medal for StreetVelodrome. It was emotional and contagious to see her finally on the top step after 3 years of battling. Way to go, Rowena! We always knew you had it in you!!!
ROWENA GRABS HER FIRST VICTORY AFTER 2 YEARS AS A PRO
PRO MALE - WATCH THE HIGHLIGHTS NOW
Patrick Robinson - 2016 and 2017 StreetVelodrome champion and international urban downhill racer and professional mountain biker. Csaba Csenge - Downhill mountain bike racer for Hungary. James McLaughlin - Professional road racer and Commonwealth representative for the Channel Islands with his eyes set on the Tour de France. Craig Lawlor - Local BMX rider to Dublin Dave Egan - Local Dubliner with a background in top-level enduro mountain bike racing Cathal Harte - Local Dubliner who came along to “give StreetVelodrome a go” and became a pro rider after putting down the fastest amateur time.
LOCAL AMATEUR CRAIG MADE IT THROUGH AS A WILDCARD
This was one of our most diverse qualifications ever, with a large jump in times between the most experienced racers and the new-comers, despite their extensive experience on the bike in their respective fields, those who had mastered the banks of the ‘drome were the masters of the day.
JAMES FACED THE CHALLENGE OF THE COBBLES AND BANKING
Fastest qualifier was Patrick Robinson, who said “I know I am going to win today” with Csaba Csenge looking extremely fast but still nearly 2 seconds behind. The closest times were between 4-6th places, with only 1.5 total seconds separating Craig Lawlor, Dave Egan, Cathal Harte and James McLaughlin respectively. Nobody was taking any prisoners in the knock-outs, with Patrick catching James and Csaba catching Cathal, not only trying to get through to the next round, but also trying to accumulate Catches in hope of the £100.
CSABA PREPARES FOR TAKE OFF
A surprise turn of events was going to lead the underdog and crowd hero, Craig, right into the finals as in both of his knock-out races his components (Dave and Csaba) made mistakes and were DQ’d for crossing the Johnson Line. This unlikely BMXer and big grinner put on a big show for the crowds as he went head-to-head against Patrick, the outcome was almost a given, although Patrick wasn’t quite able to satisfy his thirst for Catches with Craig holding out right through to the end. A valiant silver medal and an invite to the SuperFinals for Craig, but the cash a glory went to the unbeatable man himself, Patrick.
THE DEFENDING CHAMP WINS AGAIN
Will anyone be able to bring him down off that top step?!
NEXT ROUND: WIGAN 14/15 JULY [DOUBLE HEADER]