Ulster Cycling News

Good Fun at First Ulster Track School

Saturday 11th February saw the inaugural Cycling Ulster Track `School` take place in Newtownards; home town of Ireland’s current top Track rider and Olympic hopeful, Martyn Irvine.

This was a classroom based day, and a departure from the normal track training sessions held at Orangefield.

14 invited riders comprising Youths and Juniors attended what was an informative and fun day aimed at educating young riders in various aspects of Track cycling.

National Development Track Coach Brian Cardy delivered the bulk of the session, assisted by Nicola Oldham and Anthony Mitchell along with Coach Tutor Gary McKeegan who gave an extremely useful talk on the role of a Coach.

Whilst it was a classroom based day, riders also got their hands dirty, literally, covering basic track bike mechanics. This ranged from a preliminary `M` check of the bike to the changing of wheels and sprockets and an introduction to track gearing and how to make alterations
The infamous `Wattbike` also made an appearance, with all riders tested over a short sharp effort, similar to that made in some disciplines of track racing. The tests took place before lunch, to give everyone an extra appetite.

The pilot programme, which will hopefully be repeated later in the year, was aimed at providing riders with skills and information which it is not always possible to teach track-side.

These new skills will be put to good use in the year ahead, with Nicola Oldham explaining the provisional Track Calendar for 2012.
Important dates include the School Games in May, where a 1-day track event is added on to a 2-day road racing programme.

The venue for the National Junior track championships in July will be Orangefield, with the venue for the Youth Championships, on the same day, still to be decided.

The National Youth Inter-Provincial trophy was on display, with preliminary details of the proposed 3-round series for 2012. Nicola gave clear instructions that the trophy is to stay in Ulster at the end of 2012!

Rounding off the 2012 Track season will be the UK Inter-Regional Youth Track Championships, a full-on Olympic Omnium programme in which Ulster has fielded a team in recent years.

For some present these new skills will be put in to practice straight away, with an 8 rider squad heading to Newport this weekend for some half-term indoor Velodrome experience.
The 8 will have over 5 hours track time with Brian Cardy and Nicola Oldham in charge.

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