Team Microgaming - Isle of Man rider Jake Kelly, 17, continued his good form in the British National Junior Road Race Series with eighth place in round five at Lichfield.
The bronze medalist in the 2012 British National Junior Road Race Championship was part of a chasing group which almost closed a gap on a seven man breakaway which were clear at the finish on the Curborough circuit. Chris Lawless (Champion Systems) won taking the sprint ahead of Ryan Mullen (Planet X) and Harry Tanfield (Team Wallis). Kelly led his group over the line and in the overall series standings is the only rider to have scored points in each of the five rounds so far and he is the top placed Team Microgaming-Isle of Man rider in equal 17th place with 40 points. Alex Peters (Mosquito Bikes) leads the series with 139 points but Kelly’s performance in the series has been impressive given that this is his first year racing as a junior. Kelly also scored points in last week’s Tom Simpson Memorial junior road race finishing in the top 20.
Other events in the British National Junior Road Race Series are Hatherleigh Junior RR, Exeter, on July 8; Bath RC Junior RR, Milton Keynes, on July 22; and the Junior Tour of Wales on August 25-27. The eight race series is still popularly known as the ‘Pete Buckley Series’ as for many years it was named in memory of the Manx rider who won the Commonwealth Games gold in Jamaica in 1966. Over the years the junior series has been a proving ground for many Manx and British pro riders. The last Manxman to win the series was Team Sky professional Peter Kennaugh in 2007. Manxmen Steve Joughin and Mike Doyle also won the series before going on to pro careers in the 1980s.
Microgaming has been the title sponsor of the Isle of Man national cycling team since 2008. This season the team is also supported by Eurocars which has supplied a team car for the squad.
Photo caption - Jake Kelly, left of picture, in action at the recent Sleepwell Hotels Isle of Man Youth Tour. Photo copyright of Richard Allen.