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Report: Go-Ride Hits Park and Ride

Report: Go-Ride Hits Park and Ride

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Go-Ride Racing Hits Somerset

Event Date: Sunday 7th June 2009

Taunton's Park and Ride site recently provided a tight and twisty circuit for the 1st race of the Bike Somerset Go-Ride Racing Series. The venue will host a further 3 events on 28th June, 12th and 19th July 2009.

The versatile site allows race organiser and Go-Ride Coach Dan Coast to create a range of different courses which help develop the key skills a young rider needs to be a successful circuit racer. All you need are some multi coloured cones and you can create a twisty circuit to develop cornering, long straight sections to develop sprinting and tight chicanes to develop even closer bunch riding.

The day started off with introductions and a brief outline as to what happens at a British Cycling open event. Riders and parents were told about signing on procedures, gear checking and BC's age category system. Go-Ride Racing is entry level competition which acts as a stepping stone up to open competition and by providing information on competition procedures at this level, riders will know what to expect when they make the step up to open competition.

Once the formalities were out of the way riders were asked to select a numbered and coloured bib assigned to their respective age categories, red for U16's, blue for U14's and yellow for all other ages.

Dan then delivered some essential coaching points which would ensure the novice riders got the most out of day's racing. Riders were then given the opportunity to warm up on the circuit that would be used for the races. The circuit selected included 3 chicanes 2 double right handers and 2 long straight "ish" curves of around 200m in length.

Once everyone was happy with the circuit, the parents that were kindly acting as volunteer marshals for the day took up their positions to protect, guide and encourage the riders as they looked to record a time in the first event, a standing start 1 lap Time Trial.

Riders started with one foot on the ground and a good start was essential. All competitors safely completed the 800m course and recorded some impressive times. After a quick break and some further coaching points the racing moved onto group events. As the numbers for the day weren't huge (thanks to an incorrect weather forecast!) the U16s and 14s were amalgamated, as were the 8s, 10s and 12s to give two race groups.

The first bunch race is a particular favourite of Dan's and is used at all of his school coaching sessions. It's basically a paced elimination race, competitors ride behind a pacer who ensures the group stays together, then at the pacer's discretion they swing off the circuit to start the race for the line as in a Keirin. However unlike the Keirin the last rider across the line is eliminated, the pacer then rejoins at the head of the bunch to slow everyone down and the process is repeated until 3 riders are left. The race then goes to a straight forward sprint to decide the winner.

With the help of parents and a trained commissaire, the racing got underway with the U16s who, whilst going really well, managed to crash during the last paced lap. The win was awarded to Jonny Copper by default as the only rider to avoid the crash.

With the younger group of riders up next and some scared faces following the crash, Dan took the time to re-address the coaching points and emphasise the key things to do to avoid crashing. We are pleased to report the younger riders' event proved to be incident-free with Cori Robbins taking the win.

After another short break and some more coaching points it was time for the next race. The race was a re-run of the paced elimination race but this time riders had to line up behind the pacer in a reverse order from the result of the previous race. The rider who had been eliminated first was this time allowed to take the number one position behind the pacer with the winner of the previous race starting from last place behind the pacer for each sprint lap.

This offered more of a challenge to the winners from bunch race 1 as they would have to work harder in order to come around a greater number of riders during the sprints. This also provided extra encouragement to the riders who had been eliminated in the early rounds of the previous events. The format worked well and provided a new winner in the younger category with BMX rider, Connor Cutler being first across the line in the final sprint.

The final race was a standard scratch race over 8 laps for the U16/14s and 4 laps for the U8/10/12s. After taking onboard all that the riders had learned during the day, both races made exciting viewing with several attacks being made in an effort to create gaps. Despite numerous efforts the U16/14s race ultimately stayed together until Sam Roberts from Weston Super Mare launched an inspired attack up the inside with one and a half laps to go. The gap grew and Sam crossed the line to take a well deserved win.

The younger riders were obviously watching the older group very closely as their race followed a similar pattern but a slightly later attack allowed Cori Robbins to open a commanding lead and pull out a 10m advantage at the line.

The day finished with a quick debrief and all riders and parents reported that they had enjoyed the day thoroughly and were eagerly looking forward to Round 2 on the 28th June. We would like to thank all the parents who helped with marshalling, judging and general support of the event.

Riders wishing to take part in the next 3 rounds should download an entry form from the British Cycling website and bring it with them on the day. Go here to find out more and download an entry form.

Time Trial Results below, overall results are in the results section here

1 Lap TT (800m)

U 16s

Harry Symons- 1.13
Jonny Copper- 1.21


Sam Roberts - 1.13
Tristin Robbins - 1.16
Josh Gale- 1.17
Jack Towle - 1.31
Rachael Mulqueen -1.33


Cori Robbins- 1.27
Connor Cutler - 1.28
Molly Brown - 1.32
Hannah Towle -1.55
Reece Cutler -1.56
Lex Plant - 2.17


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