Teenager Cole McCullough finishes third at Dutch Masters as Lewis Spratt struggles with illness at Oldebroek

Cole McCullough completed a memorable few days of motocross action in the Netherlands when he took up an invite to compete at the Dutch National Championship motocross race at Boekel last Saturday.
Cole McCullough finished joint second at round two of the Dutch Masters at Oldebroek after two wins in the Dutch National meeting at BoekelCole McCullough finished joint second at round two of the Dutch Masters at Oldebroek after two wins in the Dutch National meeting at Boekel
Cole McCullough finished joint second at round two of the Dutch Masters at Oldebroek after two wins in the Dutch National meeting at Boekel

Before his scheduled round two of the Dutch Masters on Monday, the 15-year-old was immediately on the pace by qualifying fastest at Boekel.

He dominated race one, winning by over ten seconds and in race two went even better taking the chequered flag over fifteen seconds clear of his nearest rival.

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“I really enjoyed that and it was the perfect warm up for Monday’s Dutch Masters at Oldebroek,” said McCullough.

The Castlederg teenager made a great start at Oldebroek by qualifying second quickest, missing out on pole position by 0.097s.

This was on his new Woodside Logistics Group / Maddii Fantic by Milwaukee Racing race bike, which he will use at Sardegna this weekend for the opening round of the EMX 125 championship.

In the opening 25-minute plus 1 lap race, McCullough made a good start off the gate and was lying second by the end of the first lap, eight seconds behind the race leader, Holland’s Gyan Doensen.

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He closed the gap to the leader slightly before crashing with three laps to go after losing the front end. He managed to gather himself up and still finish a comfortable second by the flag.

A poor start in race two saw him down in 20th at turn one but the determined Ulster rider fought his way through to fourth by the end of the lap. He battled through to third behind Latvian rider Markus Ozolins but just couldn’t close the gap to challenge for second.

Doensen went on to claim his second win of the day for the overall victory, with Ozolins second and McCullough on the podium in third.

“That was a great weekend. The bike is going well and I’m feeling good so hopefully I can carry the momentum into this weekend for the EMX,” added McCullough.

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McCullough will stay in Holland training before heading to Sardinia for the EMX opener with round two on April 14 at Trentino, Italy, followed by round three of the Dutch Masters on April 21.

Omagh’s Lewis Spratt had a difficult weekend at Oldebroek. In qualifying, the teenager had to dig deep as he battled through a bad bout of sickness finishing 38th fastest out of over 50 starters to make it straight through into the two races on the Todds Leap McCullaghs Centra KTM.

“Coming into the meeting with the sickness meant I was on the back foot before I even got started," he stated.

"It wasn’t where I wanted to be after qualifying but at least I was definitely going to get two races."

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In his opening race, with not a great gate pick, he pushed his way through to into the top 25 before dropping to 29th by the chequered flag.

“I was happy with my progress until in the last couple of laps I was finding it quite difficult to breathe and was making loads of mistakes,” he explained.

With a better start in race two the local rider was inside the top twenty before a bike issue forced an unplanned pit stop.

“The engine started to sputter at the halfway stage of the race which meant I had no option but to pit. My dad fixed the problem and I rejoined the race but being a couple of laps down meant there was no chance of a decent result.

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"It was really frustrating as I knew I could have gained a good finish but although it didn’t go to plan there were also some positives to take awayfrom it.”

Spratt plans to return for round three of the series in a few weeks time.

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