Photos courtesy of Snowy mountain photography (USA)…with thanks
Foreword Dany: “I have known Dean since he was a U12 rider and together with his bigger brother Lee, I saw them both progressing in our beloved sport. Always will remember their dad Mark coming over to me at a CX in Dundonald (Belfast) and asked if his sons can have a photograph with me…they told me that they wanted to be part of the Belgian Project selection in the future…I was chuffed with such remarks of these East Belfast youngsters…Lee became a bursary holder a few years later, after an impressive year, and so did Dean this year…both well deserved. Dean is becoming an all-rounder…off-road and road he sheers the top in his class, top-ranked domestic junior, and also the winner of the Junior national road series in 2021 and MTB Champ, and many CX and road win’s to date…I could go on…but what makes him special is his attitude towards his sport…positive, approachable, willing to learn, and never giving up…Dean has the right sort of support and a credit to his parents (his biggest supporters) This year he joins the ranks of the “espoirs” a hard step up for any junior, but knowing Dean he will take it in his stride…many A1-A2 riders will have their hands full with this Belfast Flandrien…here below Dean tells his story of his race in Arkansas…thanks Dean for taking the time out”
“The cyclocross world champs was a great trip for me. I got two good days of practice done, then got to my race on Saturday. I got a really good start and got up to about the midfield. I got greedy though and kept the effort going too long which put me too deep into the red, and meant I started dropping back and losing my progress.
I gradually started to gather myself and worked back into a good pace. I then got the puncture on the third lap and I was about as far from the pits as I could be. After running half a lap, I got one more lap in before being pulled. I’m honestly not disappointed with how my race went, just because I learned so much from the whole trip. From following the pros in practice to the race itself. It will all make me a better rider, and more prepared for the future. The higher-level field exposed my strengths and weaknesses, so I got a good idea of what I’m good at, and the areas I need to improve. The staff gave me enough support and freedom to be able to work to my own schedule the whole time, which really helped me be at my best.
Thank you to all the team staff for the top-class support and keeping it fun, everyone involved at cycling Ireland for giving us the support to get to the world champs, and snowy mountain photography for the house and help keep everything going smoothly” regards, Dean