A team reshuffle at Vitus First Tracks Race Division sees newcomer Gary Donaldson join the fold as Drew Armstrong parts company.
A former roadie turned MTB rider, Donaldson will make a full transition to dirt with the Vitus First Tracks Race Division.
For Armstrong, after a promising debut season with the team in 2019, a combination of completing school and starting a new job sees the teenager deciding to move on.
2019 was a great year for Armstrong with the youngster winning the Irish Enduro Under 21 category, claiming a winning result in the U21 category at Tweedlove and finishing 23rd overall in the Enduro World Series standings.
Below is the official statement from Vitus First Tracks Race Division on the team reshuffle…
Vitus First Tracks Race Division Update
A wise man once said “Nothing ever stays the same.Well in these unprecedented times that has certainly been the case for everyone and it’s been no different for the Vitus First Tracks Race Division.
The past few months have been challenging to say the least but at the same time it has been interesting to see how teams and individuals have applied themselves.
Keeping the stoke alive has brought out the best in people. It certainly has been a time to get creative and with all the extra time, some of those wildest ideas have been turned into reality.
For the team it has been a time for reflection and making the most of it. With all the restrictions in place racing has been put on hold so getting down to some training and honing the skill set has taken over.
After months of having all fingers and toes crossed there is now some light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully we can get back to some normality soon.
For Drew Armstrong things have been all change. He has just finished up at school, started in a full time engineering position and has decided to part ways with the team. He seems unclear what the future holds for him and is taking some time to decide what is next for him.
Drew Armstrong: “I have decided to part ways with the Vitus First Tracks Race Division following a brilliant 2019 season where I was Irish Enduro Champion, 23rd in the EWS global standings and 3rd at the National Downhill Champs on my Enduro bike. I decided to leave the team as it didn’t plan out the way I expected it to. A lot is changing at the minute. I’m done with school, I’m a full time apprentice engineer and I haven’t ridden a bike properly in 4 months and I’m itching to get back at it. Huge thanks to all the sponsors involved with the team and I wish them well in the future. Hope everyone is keeping well in these uncertain times.”
The recent announcement from Cycling Ireland indicates that off road racing may not happen in 2020. However, the team is not all about racing. We are as much about riding bikes, creating content and generally having a bit of craic. So long as we can inspire people to grab their bikes and get out there, it’s job done!
So we thought let’s get some fresh blood on the team. Someone who can be fast on any bike and loves getting out there like the rest of the team. Step up Gary Donaldson!
The hardened Omagh man with a background in road cycling and an expert in having a laugh. Gary switched his focus to Enduro about a year ago so he can have fun and hang out with his mates in a less serious environment.
If you haven’t heard of Gary yet it’s because he has only done a handful of Enduro races. If you have watched him practice or been out riding with him you know the talent is there and with time, a little bit of experience will take him a long way.
The man also loves grabbing his camera to capture that moment and always has a project in the pipeline. All done in his natural hilarious manor so make sure and give him a follow on your socials.
View this post on Instagram
Why is he always posting about bikes????? 🔥Link in Bio for full video🔥 Here’s a small overview of the whole bike thing from the last couple of years. It’s slightly long winded so if you make it to the end fair play! Let’s me friends. Hope you enjoy, something cool happened last week. I’ll let you know the crack on Friday sure glack! #bike #mtb #leatt #wtb
Gary Donaldson: “I’m excited to join the Vitus First Tracks Race Division. After making the jump from road racing back to MTB a little under a year ago it’s been awesome to find my feet within the discipline. It’s a privilege to get the opportunity to ride with the lads on the team and learn from their wealth of experiences. Hopefully we can get a decent result or two and have the craic with the team along the way! The drive is there, so it’s great to have some backing now as well.”
Glyn O’Brien: “I would like to take this opportunity to wish Drew all the best for the future no matter what he decides to do and hopefully we see him at a race soon. He is a great racer so thanks for all your efforts. I first came across Gary at a street Velodrome event a few years ago and thought this lad has got some skills for a roadie! Since then I have learnt that he enjoys riding all sorts of bikes and got to know him better through his mate Kelan Grant. No surprise he’s knows how to go fast hanging out with a crew like that! We welcome Gary to the team and hope to get back racing shortly, until then let’s enjoy the ride!”