Scottish Cycling launches Project Pilot

Scottish Cycling launches Project Pilot

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Ever wanted to ride on a velodrome? What about riding a tandem? And who hasn’t wanted to go to a major championship? Well, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity that isn’t to be missed.

With the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham fast approaching, and the inaugural UCI World Championships coming to Scotland in 2023, we’re on the look out for would-be female pilots to support our para-cycling team.

With the track events at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games serving up plenty of excitement, not least with Gold for Neil Fachie and Matt Rotherham as well as medals for Lewis Stewart, Jenny Holl, Fin Graham and Aileen McGlynn, this is your chance to potentially become the next national hero.

So what does it entail? Well on Sunday 26th September we’ll be hosting a Talent ID Day at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow, putting would-be pilots through their paces. We’ll be doing some physiological testing and some track riding, as well as assessing teamwork characteristics, as we look to unearth the next champion pilot.

On exactly what the Scottish Cycling Performance Programme are looking for, Sprint & Para Coach, David Daniell, said:

“With the Paralympics in Tokyo last month, the tandem racing is one of the cycling highlights and we have a strong history of Scottish success. At the Commonwealth Games, Scottish tandem riders have an opportunity to represent Scotland and compete alongside some of the best tandems in the world and we’re excited to launch this Talent ID day to find the next female tandem pilot.

“We’re looking for any female rider who is keen to get stuck into piloting – regardless of track or tandem experience - who has got the passion and dedication to challenge to be the next top pilot. The person is question probably isn’t even aware of the talent they possess, so if this opportunity even slightly sparks your interest, we’d urge you to give it a go.”

One of those decorated Scottish para-cycling pilots is Louise Haston, so we asked her to share her experiences with us, and she explained:

“I switched to track cycling at the end of 2009 after a two minute crash course at Meadowbank. Although new to the sport, I was given the opportunity to try riding the tandem in a year later -  I had no idea what this would entail, however I jumped in head first and absolutely loved it”

“Soon after I started travelling to Manchester on a weekly basis and trained with multi-Paralympic gold medallist Aileen McGlynn. I took to riding the tandem with Aileen really well, and actually preferred riding it to my solo bike. The fact you are able to help an athlete with a visual impairment made it so much more satisfying when we were able to ride together as a team.

“My partnership with Aileen led to us being selected to ride at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, coming away with two silver medals. I loved riding the tandem, and always having a training partner to share my victories and disappointments with, made the journey a little easier.

“If you have a love for cycling and fancy giving the tandem a go, then come along and see if you love it as much as I did!”

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