Starting the week posting about a busy time at the Bournemouth Veldorome running events and lots of schools sessions. This post is about the uptake of womens track cycling and my part in it. 3 years of the schools introductions and teaching youngsters how to ride brakeless track bikes has given me a wide view of the national picture, and giving schoolkids the chance to do something as exciting as riding track is something I will always have endless energy for. Starting this Easter I won funding from Active Dorset to run a project called ‘Girls on Track’ Specifically aimed at the Glenmoor girls school in Bournemouth, which happens to be next to the Velodrome. Having the ability to introduce the sport and take groups through the youth track accreditation series with the backing of Sport England. The first two sets of sessions have seen 12 girls enjoy the thrill and dynamism of fast bike riding in a the safe environment of the privately booked track space. We cover the basics of bike handling before moving onto bunched riding, sprinting and coach-led racing. Currently recruiting the next year 7s (12-13 year olds) from the local schools- girls who will be going to Glenmoor for their secondary education will have the chance to do something as an after school club, that many other will never try. Part of last weeks schools work included a visit from St Lukes, who have taken part in other activities at Slades Farm, including the first ever 3 inter-schools competition I organised and ran in 2012. Happily several of these girls have got the bug already and are looking forward to the series starting exclusively for them in September. some of these guys may ultimately progress onto the heights that Laura Trott has reached, starting at the same age as she did at Welwyn Velo, who knows?  Heres the Active Dorset write up from  website

St Lukes Year 6
St Lukes Year 6


This years events at Bournemouth  have included a youth Omnium that the promising 14-16’s competed in, including some of the local girls  that Ive been working with over the last few years. Members of Poole Wheelers and Bournemouth Arrows are able to take their club track riding to a more mature level, amongst the adults that are in their clubs. Experience from club track sessions serves them well for competition racing, and there are several girls from the area now reaching high standards in national racing.

Youth Omnium 2014
Youth Omnium 2014


Saturday 11th July we hosted the Bristow events womens Omnium and Derny Festival, within the entrants were both Molly Haycock and Rebecca Hurst, riding as Youth A’s alongside Cat 2,3,4 and the Elite Janet Birkmyre. Both local girls made valiant efforts in the racing, finishing above some of the other 11 entrants, despite not gaining firsts, getting to grips with seniors and beign at the front of these sort of bunches is fantastic experience, giving them confidence of the sharp edge of track cycling racing. in context last saturdays event was the 4th of 6 National events, the next to be in August at Reading Palmer Park and the final at Halesowen on 17th August. The national scene is all connected so it may be that Jess Varnish would be present at the final in her home town Halesowen, who knows. Heres  my write up of the Womens racing which mentions the best in the national picture,  and current leader Ellie Coster.

Womens Omnium race report.

The fourth in national Womens Track Omnium series 2014. With the top 3 points holders in attendance, Ellie Coster cat 2 ahead of the Elite cat Janet Birkmyre and third position cat 2 Flora Gillies. Points from today carry through to the August Reading event and final at Halesowen on 17th August. T.T.S began proceedings for the seeding in sprints. Ellie C. Bush Healthcare R.T South Wales making the 1st with a 37.71 500 metre 2 lap held start.

8 km. points race. Some early sprints showed one of the two Youth A’s Molly Haycock picking up points here in a characteristically varied speed race. Half way through number 23 Madeline Moore of VC St Raphael attacked hard to clinch the maximum points for gaining a lap, wherefter there was also an attack by Joe Macrae with a kilo to go, she led out the field to finish 5th overall ,The finish lap Arrows Molly H fronted the bunch until the experience of Ellie Coster and Janet Birkmyre swept up the remaining points. 1st     Madeline Moore 2nd Ellie Coster 3rd Janet Birkmyre.

500 Metre sprints next for the women, again superbly paced by Ellie Coster for the first overall. With two races of 4 in a group, and one of 5 riders, not much chance of any match sprint play showed the strongest sprinters dominate these.

Womens pursuits. Arranged purely by sign on numbers Niki Kovacs won these 8 lap pursuits, in a time of 2.42.18 closely followed by the other top 3 Women.

Womens final race. 8 K.M scratch. A tactical event with the experience of the seniors showing through right til the end. Joe Macrae putting in a 12 lap attack on her own out front, before being caught half way point where the race lulled into a steady bunch. With 3 km to go,  all riders together Rebecca Hurst doing well to get back in the bunch for a time. The final 2 laps yielded the finale with a tight shoulder to shoulder home straight dash between Ellie Coster, Janet Birkmyre and Madeline Moore and finishing in that order Ellie just a wheel up on second placed Janet.

Finally today just a credit to Amy Cantelo, who was one of only 5 under 12s to be selected in South Region from her participation so far. She competed in the National Youth Omnium at Welwyn yesterday coming 14th overall. Amy has been one of my students many times and I wish her all the best for her future racing. Well done Amy! Lots going on and lots of great ‘Girls on Track’ 2014

amy welwyn


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