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GB World Junior team heads to Holland

Britain’s best youth riders are on their way to Holland to contest the World Junior Championship for Team GB. Although there is a team prize, the racing is geared towards finding individual world champions in the 65, 85 and 125cc classes. The race is a showcase for the future stars and a great stepping stone to make it into the professional world of motocross by experiencing competition with a similar feel to an MXGP weekend.

Since the contest started in 2004, previous winners include the very best in the sport such as Jett Lawrence, Jeffrey Herlings, Tim Gajser, Jorge Prado, Maxime Renaux, Zach Osborne, Ken Roczen, Eli Tomac, Jordi Tixier and Pauls Jonass.

There have been three British winners in the event’s history, all in the 85cc class – Steven Clarke in 2005, Conrad Mewse in 2013 and Eddie Wade in 2017. Although simply qualifying for the main races is the goal of many riders, Britain really does have a chance of podiums or wins this year as we have strong competitors in all three classes.

In the 65s, Cohen Jagielski has already won at European level this year while John Slade has been fine-tuning his Supercross skills in the USA as well as UK outdoor racing. But don’t count out Jett Gardiner, Elliott Shawyer or Tommy Wood from great results.

In the 85 class, Hayden Statt and Robbie Daly are capable of running at the front, and are joined by super-quick riders Alfie Geddes Green, Finley Pickering and Blake Ward Clarke.

And in the 125 class, all year Jamie Keith and Josh Vail have been battling hard in the ACU British 125 championship and are in incredible form. Charlie Richmond, Jake Walker and  Sonny Rooney are also 125 mounted and are capable of stunning results.

The team have had better preparation than ever before, thanks to being in year two of the revamped team programme under the management of former British two-stroke champ Dave Willet. With help and support from ex-racers-turned-trainers Glen Phillips, Ashley Wilde and Lee Dunham, there has been a series of test and training days for potential riders both in the UK and abroad.

For the first time, this included sessions on the track at Circuit Kamperweg Heerde in Holland, the sandy venue for this weekend’s racing.

Willet said: “Last year was a challenging yet rewarding experience. The riders worked tirelessly to stay focused, and the efforts put in by every single person involved on, and off, the track was inspiring.

“And again this year, the dedication and commitment that the riders and their families have demonstrated has been remarkable. They are all determined to put their all into this prestigious event.

“These are the most promising and talented young riders in the UK and by providing more support to them, we are already seeing a raising of the level thanks to a positive environment.

“We have backers who continue their enthusiasm and commitment towards the Junior Worlds Team and we are confident that we have a fantastic group of riders and supporters to really show off the level of youth racing in Britain.”