Report from the track in Manchester from Navan’s Heather Beirne

Navan RC recently brought a group of Juniors and Yoth riders to the track in Manchester. Read on for the report from Heather Beirne, who also recently attended the training camps in Alkmaar organised by the Women’s Commission.

On the 20th of February, the youth members of Navan Road Club caught the early ferry to Manchester. I am very proud to say that there were far more girls than boys on this trip! This made a nice change, with only four boys and nine girls! This is due to the huge work that Julie O’Hagan did in the club. This was also the first year that Julie and Brian Taffe were not with us because they were occupied with newborn baby Brooke, we did miss them!


Navan R.C. arrived on British soil on Friday and organizer PJ Nolan had a surprise in store for us, he brought us tobogganing in Wales, which was great fun and something none of us had experienced before. Then that evening arrived at the Diamond Lodge hotel and were told to get a good nights rest (which we probably should have but didn’t)   


We had an early start the next morning when we arrived at the velodrome at 8:00 am. We all got fitted for our bikes and were ready for the track. Some of us had been on the track before and it was just a habit of getting used to the fixed gears, but for some of the younger members it was there first time. Everyone from Laura, aged 10, to Thomas, aged, 17 went on the track, practicing going up on the bank and back to the black line.


We had two or three falls but everyone got back up again. For the younger riders they had an hour training time with the track to themselves, but for those of us on it before we had three hours and did some racing techniques with the young experienced riders that do this training every week. It was a great experience to be in a large group of riders on the track and still keep going. Myself, Fiona Guihen, Thomas Corbally and Aidan Wall handled the challenge well, however when they put cones on the track for practicing control of the bike I didn’t fare as well as the others.


After the training we had a snooze and some food and went to the velodrome again for the revolution 24. Before-hand we watched the Madison championships. Revolution 24 lived up to the expectations of the sell-out crowd on Saturday and was platform for the spectacular last race from Arnaud Tournant. We had a table in the centre of the velodrome and were able to go and meet the cyclists inside. We met Bradley Wiggins, Jason Kenny and even got a photo with Gregory Bauge.


Nicole Farrell, Ciara Beirne and Conner Bartley were only some of us who did the Rollapaluza challenge over 5oo meters, but we all saw Matt Crampton beat Chris Hoy’s record. He set a record of 17:90 seconds. It was great to watch.


The following day we were wrecked as we headed on the ferry for home. It was great and I would like to say thanks to Pj, Thelma, Allen and everyone else that arranged the trip it was excellent and we look forward to next year.  

Heather Beirne