Alex Tracey of GAPMTB, aged 9, together with his coach Killian Callaghan of Callaghan Bike Coaching and 3 other competitors (Diarmuid O Sealbhaigh, Daragh O’Sealbhaigh & Jamie Kennedy) travelled to Oberhof, Germany to compete in the Specialized RockShox Rookies Cup, a European Downhill Race Series exclusively for children aged 8 – 18.
Alex Tracey in full stealth mode at the Rookie Cup, Oberhof, Germany, June 2022.
The kids were blown away by the scale of the race however they didn’t let that phase them as they started their practice runs on Saturday.
“Really enjoyed the racing experience, happy with my result (5th) Can’t wait to race again!!” Diarmuid O’Sealbaigh. Diarmuid and his brother Daragh regularly frequent the GAP with their full family of mountain bikers.
Qualifying took place on Saturday afternoon after the morning practice, Alex was delighted to qualify in 5th place in the U11s category. He went into the race knowing he could make up some time and that he did knocking a massive 6 seconds off his quali time. Alex finished 5th of 17 riders and just 0.345s off 4th, he was thrilled to spend some time on the big Red Bull Hot Seat sofa.
“The lads did really well over in Germany at IXS Cup. Big eye opener for them with their first time being in a foreign bike park, getting on a chairlift, riding big proper tracks and riding against so many other fast kids their own age! Darragh, Jamie, Alex and Diarmuid put in a lot of training before they went & it paid off as they’d great results! Looking forward to seeing what the future holds for these fast kids!” Killian Callaghan of Callaghan Bike Coaching.
Unfortunately, due to age restrictions, Alex is not allowed to race in Ireland for another 3 years and so he will continue his adventure in mainland Europe for now with Schladming, Austria next on the list. He hopes to complete the full series next year.
We are absolutely blown away by Alex and his Team mates. To look and talk to them they are just these sweet kids, but them hop them on the bike and they just have that drive there. So impressed. It’s a huge deal for them to be able to get away like this and compete abroad, it will stand to them. A production of this scale, the level of organisation that goes into the event, its huge! I wish we could say we had something like this in Ireland for them, but at the same time it’s great to take them out of it to get a feel of what it’s like racing abroad. They’ll have a taste for it now.
Killian Callaghan will be running his Callaghan Bike Coaching camps this summer in the GAP for all levels of youth MTB in July. The camps run from Stage 1 (5-16 Years) Priced between €80 and €100 for two days coaching, links to book below: –
5/6th July: https://eventmaster.ie/event/9GjMCw5HWJ
11/12th July: https://eventmaster.ie/event/rzxrhPmS9y
18/19th July: https://eventmaster.ie/event/v3r6hPoSb4
25/26th July: https://eventmaster.ie/event/w3wOcPySRQ
And if your child is looking for a race experience themselves but maybe doesn’t want to embark on travels abroad just yet, the GAPMTB have just announced the next edition of The GAP MTB Kids Enduro Race Experience, August 24th, 2022. This is a fun, non-competitive event that’s perfect for youths to gain race experience in the GAP’s relaxed environment.
€50 Entry includes:
🔥 2 Hour Coaching Session with highly skilled professional MTB coaches
🔥 A Mix of Authentic Timed Enduro Stages
🔥 UPGRADED GAP Goody Bags
🔥 Individual printed timed results from the stages
🔥 New BONUS stage
⚡Coaches are TCL qualified and race at National and International levels!
⚡This edition participants will receive an upgraded GAP MTB goody bag jam-packed with extras!
⚡There will be three categories to cover every ability, ensuring your child is getting an experience tailored to their skill level. (Improver -> Intermediate-> Advanced)
More Info and Link to Book: – https://www.sientries.co.uk/event.php?event_id=10156