Track is back in Dundee thanks to welcome boost

Track is back in Dundee thanks to welcome boost


You may recall that earlier this year we launch the Springboard Fund, and with Discovery Junior Cycling Club one of the clubs to receive support we caught up with them to find out how the funding has facilitated their events.

The Dundee-based club has a strong Mountain Bike Section as well as a Track group that is based at the club’s spiritual home of Caird Park – the Mark Stewart Velodrome. The club has recently seen the track facility resurfaced, with the infield area being covered with tarmac as part of the Regional Performance Centre development.

As part of the Springboard Fund, a new funding opportunity to support the recovery of cycling events in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, Discovery JCC were one of several organisations across the country that applied for funding. The club applied for funding for two sessions, as Club Secretary and Coach Martin Harris explained:

“Discovery Junior Cycling Club were delighted to receive support from Scottish Cycling from their Springboard Fund. We applied for funding to help with Youth and Women’s sessions.”

It was hoped that the women’s-only session would act as give riders a taste of competitive track racing, as Harris continues:

“The first session was a women’s only session held in April with a view to encouraging riders to take part in May’s Dundee Summer GP track event. The three-hour session started with the basics of riding a track bike and progressed to some coach led racing for the events being run.”

The club also hosted youth track clusters at the Caird Park track, with Discovery JCC partnering with Johnstone Jets and Scottish Cycling’s Performance staff to assist in delivering four sessions this year: 

“Nearly 40 riders took part in the sessions, giving the riders feedback and coaching on the events that will form a part of upcoming Omniums. Individual Pursuit starts were a principle focus, as well as learning how to plan and manage an effort over two laps, taking into account wind direction!”

“Thanks for the coaching support from Anna Fairweather (who coached both Youth and Women’s sessions) as well as Alistair Aitken, Edd Shackley and Sarah Rowe.”

As well as just coaching sessions, the Springboard funding was used to support events at the Tayside facility. With a weekend of track racing on the 28th and 29th May taking place, where Discovery JCC partnered with fellow North East club Deeside Thistle to put the event on, the fund was put to good use, as Harris explained:

“On the Saturday, the British Cycling National Youth Omnium Series event was organised by first time organiser Doug Easthaugh of the Deeside Thistle. They were delighted that Discovery JCC had earmarked some of the funding for subsidising the facility hire for this event. 42 youth A & B riders made the trip to Caird Park for the racing, with plenty of Scottish interest amongst the groups. On a slightly windy day, but dry throughout, the youngsters raced exceptionally hard with some very close competition throughout the age groups.”

You can read results from that event here.

The following day saw Discovery Junior CC host the Dundee Summer GP which incorporated Scottish National Youth Omnium Championships for Youth B and C riders in the morning, before Youth A and Senior racing in the afternoon, with one or two alumni in attendance.

“We were delighted to see a number of Discovery riders racing for the first time, bringing back memories of the early years of the club. Murray Alcorn collecting his first Scottish Cycling Championship medal under the watchful gaze of graduates Mark Stewart and Alfie George.”

The senior races saw many of the riders from the previous session try track racing, as Harris explained:

“We were excited to see a few experienced riders from previous events, as well as a number that took part in the Springboard women’s session in April, in action. Six of those who took part in April ended up racing.”

“A lot of riders were racing on track for the first time, using the experience gained at that session as well as our regular Tuesday night coaching sessions. A big thanks must go to all the club volunteers and helpers as well as the Timekeepers and Commissaires that helped to ensure the meeting ran smoothly, until the rain came on.”

Despite the Scottish weather cutting short the day’s action with the final points races being cancelled in the Youth A, as well as men’s and women’s events, a great day of racing was held with so many riders coming from across Scotland for a great day of track racing.

As for the next event at the Mark Stewart Cycle Track, Harris hopes that they’ll be more racing action later in the season.

“The club are planning to host another open meeting on Sunday 18th September, races for all categories.

Thanks to Martin Harris and everyone involved at Discovery Junior Cycling Club for their time, and we certainly look forward to seeing the latest event at Caird Park in September. Stay tuned over the coming months as we bring you more Springboard Fund success stories.