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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Patrick races to success on track

TOP performances in his four cycling events saw a Hexham youngster help his region claim the inaugural Track Youth Cup.

Patrick Lally

Despite being the youngest competitor, 11-year-old Patrick Lally finished second in all his races to clinch victory for the North-East in the British Cycling event.

The St Joseph’s Middle School pupil was picked to represent his region after impressing at the organisation’s Go Ride Olympic legacy sessions held in Manchester Velodrome.

British Cycling coach Dan Smart had seen enough promise from Patrick to take a punt despite his tender years.

And he justified his selection, his four runners-up placings contributing to the North-East’s combined points total.

His mother Jo, a cycling coach at Hexham’s One Life Racing triathlon club, said: “It was quite scary for him and it took a lot of effort, but he did great and we are all pleased with his achievements.

“The organisers made it feel like a professional event and it gave him experience of what it would be like to get on the track.

“He performed really well and even did better than he expected because he has never raced on a track before.

“He works so hard and is very competitive, so when he realised he was part of a team that really spurred him on to do well.

“We are very proud of Patrick’s sporting achievements and it is exceptional that somebody so young was picked to race for the North-East.”

His appearance in the Track Games was his first sporting event since suffering from bursitis, an inflammation affecting his achilles.

As a result of the injury, his leg was in a plaster putting him out of action for eight weeks.

Since his plaster came off three weeks ago, the determined youngster has been slowly getting back into the thick of things but has only been able to swim and cycle.

So his road to recovery allowed him to concentrate more on his cycling, paying dividends by qualifying him for the national event.

Following Patrick’s success, One Life is hoping his achievements might inspire other youngsters at the club to push on with their cycling.

In conjunction with British Cycling, the club will run a Go Ride session for girls to encourage them to take up the sport.

Jo said: “The games was Patrick’s first taste of racing on an indoor track and I think he has been bitten by the bug.

“We are hoping other children in the club will see what he has done and be encouraged by it and see that it is not an elite sport but everybody can do it.”