With over 60% of the riders on the Great Britain Cycling Team having progressed from Go-Ride Clubs, the Go-Ride programme provides a key step on the performance pathway.
As the track team continues winning medals, the Go-Ride Track Clusters are providing many cyclists with their first taste of track riding.
What are track clusters and who can access them?
Track Clusters were initially set up for regions that wanted to access the Manchester Velodrome but following the success of these sessions Go-Ride Clubmark clubs are now joining together to access Manchester, Lee Valley, Newport and Derby Velodromes. This guaranteed track time generated 1,887 opportunities in Manchester during 2014.
What is the benefit to clubs?
Track Clusters guarantee regular track time for Clubmark clubs, which is often unachievable or irregular at some facilities. The grouping of clubs also gives a regular opportunity for the pooling of resources and the sharing of ideas between coaches, whilst British Cycling also supports the development of coaches for the Track Clusters. The cost is distributed evenly and kept down for clubs and their riders, with any profits reinvested into developing the Track Clusters.
Over the weekend of the 3/4 January British Cycling ran an exclusive discipline-specific Track Award for qualified Level 2 coaches who are members of Go-Ride clubs from across the four regions that regularly use the Manchester Velodrome and all of the places was quickly snapped up. These new Level 2 Track coaches will now be able to assist with the delivery of track cluster sessions, ensuring a better quality experience for riders who will be receiving up-to-the-minute tips and advice and ensuring the sustainability of the clusters.
What is the benefit to the riders?
Riders have the obvious benefit of access to world-class facilities as well as quality coaching. They can go from their first taste of the track to being a fully accredited rider through the track cluster process, giving them the best opportunity of emulating their track heroes such as Laura Trott or Ed Clancy. Riders have access to exclusive accreditation opportunities,.
Now qualified, riders over 15-years of age can attend SQT sessions, enter track leagues that require accreditation and attend sessions at other velodromes across the country. By providing accreditation, riders are therefore offered more opportunities to train, test themselves and race, securing the future for the Great Britain Cycling Team and our success on the world’s grandest stages.
The cluster sessions are not just about the track, there are also a number of MTB cluster sessions across the country, with the South West sessions now going strong. The sessions are organised on a monthly basis by Justin Knox, Go-Ride Coach for the South West, and rotate around a number of different venues. The skill-based sessions, which require flat pedals, aim to provide riders with skills to progress in this fast growing discipline.
The North West have followed suit with the first MTB cluster session held in January, with 20 riders, aged 9-16, from three Go-Ride clubs benefiting from the expertise of both British Cycling and the National Cycling Centre Mountain Bike coaches. The aim of the cluster sessions is to improve riders confidence and technical skills in this popular discipline. The initial session focussed on technical skills on the flat using crates and logs, which then progressed onto the MTB Skills area.