Scottish Cycling hosted a two-day, multi-discipline Youth Development Camp for Scotland’s up and coming youth riders in the April sunshine of Fife.
The camp, led by Scottish Cycling’s performance staff with support from volunteer coaches Sam Long, Sarah Rowe, Steven Moore and Matt Ball, delivered a holistic weekend of coaching and development for the Under 16 and second year Under 14 Track, Road and MTB XC riders; many of the invited riders have been part of Scottish Cycling's RACE National programme, which this camp aimed to build upon.
The aim of the weekend was to support riders with their preparation for the National Youth Omnium as well as Crit and MTB series, and was also a great opportunity to bring young riders from across the country together to meet up in a non-racing setting.
Sunday’s activities were based at Fife Cycle Park and started with the riders being put through their paces with an off-bike warm-up, led by MTB Coach Paul Newnham, before progressing into a chaingang on the cycle circuit.
The morning’s activities saw the development of key skills, such as racing in a bunch, and bridging over to a breakaway. The riders were then split into smaller groups to focus on working in the wind, with a “through and off” before making certain riders attack their group and riding an additional 250m loop before chasing back to their group in order to simulate a race situation.
After lunch, there was a focus on Team Time Trial with coaches and riders split between teams and groups, before progressing into circuit racing drills and finally a handicap team time trial, where the strongest riders from the sessions had to work together to catch other riders, with a view to developing team-working skills, which might be needed at events such as the School Games.
The riders then rode to their overnight accommodation: the National Scout Centre at Fordell Firs – just a few miles from Fife Cycle Park.
Performance Coordinator Isabel Sloan alongside Paul Newnham delivered a Lifestyle Planning Workshop in the evening before the riders headed off for their overnight recouperation.
After a relatively cold night in the cabins, Monday saw the riders and expert coaches, under the lead of Endurance Coach Evan Oliphant, partake in a 120km road ride, with the plan to increase endurance, and bunch riding skills, in the fantastic sunshine beaming down on the Fife hills.
Lunch on the ride was supplied by Scottish Cycling, with the performance team spending a lot of time preparing correct nutrition in order to reinforce good fuelling habits at this age.
After the ride, the riders then went home to rest and recuperate after a big couple of days of riding.
A massive thanks from Scottish Cycling to the volunteer coaches, Matt Ball, Sarah Rowe, Sam Long and Steven Moore for supporting the delivery of the session and the teams at Fordell Firs and Fife Cycle Park for their hospitality.
If you would like to get involved in RACE National Sessions then please find out more by clicking below: