Sunday, 25 October 2009

National School of Racing

Scottish Cycling's Paul Newnham reports on a cyclocross coaching event held recently:

Fantastic weather greeted 59 of the best young riders in Scotland for a full day of coaching at the Ingliston showground in Edinburgh last Saturday (17th October). Riders from all regions of Scotland were invited to take part in the session, and to be put through their paces by the coaching team led by Talent Coaches Paul Newnham and Mark Mckay.

The first part of the day’s activities looked at the basics of group riding and also gave the riders a chance to show the coaches their existing skills with a one lap blast around the cross race course. After a quick bite to eat and drink the riders delved into learning the core Cyclocross techniques which included mounting and dismounting, shouldering the bike, cornering and off camber riding. As the session continued it was clear to see the improvement in the rider’s abilities, and everybody was really getting the skills they needed to be smooth skillful Cyclocross racers.

On to the final part of the day and the riders now had the chance to put what they had learnt into practice and race three short handicap races around the course that included fast road sections, tight switchbacks and hurdles. As the races progressed the coaches were all very impressed with the commitment of the riders and how everybody got stuck in and kept riding as hard as they could right to the very end. To conclude the activities riders were debriefed in their small groups and given a homework sheet to take away with them for future race success.

After 5 hours, multiple laps and many new skills learnt the riders went home tired but really excited to put their new found skills to good use at the Scottish series round the next day. The coaches were very impressed with the attitude and commitment of the riders and with record numbers of riders at the first round of the Scottish National cyclocross Series at Plean, the future for cyclocross in Scotland is very bright indeed!

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