After a busy week of racing the curtain has come down on the National Youth and Junior Track Championships in Manchester. A new cohort of young riders have written their names into the history books as competitors, medallists or champions, following in the footsteps of Sir Bradley Wiggins, Laura Trott, and Jess Varnish.
A staggering 95% of the female competitors and 91% of male riders at the championships started their journey at Go-Ride Clubs, and it is thanks to the efforts of trained Go-Ride Volunteers that each participant was enabled to compete on the national stage. Whether riders joined their local club to develop cycling techniques in a traffic free environment or get their first taste of competition through Go-Ride Racing, British Cycling’s development programme has provided support every step of the way.
Laura Trott, Go-Ride ambassador, recognises the role that her Go-Ride Club, Welwyn Wheelers, played in her path to the podium:
“Without support from the volunteers at my Go-Ride Club, it’s possible I wouldn’t be where I am today.
“The Go-Ride programme is doing a brilliant job of harnessing the enthusiasm of young people and encouraging more youngsters to get involved. It really is going from strength to strength and it’s unbelievable to hear about the increasing numbers of young riders putting power to the pedals.”
Giving particularly impressive performances during the week were Lichfield City CC’s Sophie Capewell and I-Team’s Joseph Truman. Sophie took all three titles from her three events (keirin, junior sprint and 500-metre time trial), while Joe joined her in gaining a sprint hat-trick with wins in the kilometre time trial, keirin and sprint.
The proven success of the Go-Ride programme in giving young people an opportunity to progress from the playground to podium has been further emphasised this week. And with over 60% of the current Great Britain Cycling Team made up of Go-Ride graduates, it’s possible that future world and Olympic champions were racing during the week – and are riding week in, week out at any one of over 300 Go-Ride Clubs around the country.