Major boost for cycling in Ellon

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YOUTH cycling in the Ellon area has been given a major boost following the huge success of British cyclists at the Tour de France and at the Olympics.

Ythan Cycle Club has announced that cycling facilities will be included in the new academy site in Ellon due to open in 2015. A one kilometre cycling track has been incorporated in to the design of the school for use at weekends.

The track can be used for traffic free training purposes and for closed circuit racing.

Ythan Cycle Club chairman Colin Allanach said: “We at Ythan are delighted that the architects at Aberdeenshire Council have had the foresight to include provision for the track. We have been involved in consultation exercises with the council and the school and we have managed to incorporate a track into the campus design.

“The track will be used for training the Ythan Cycle Club youth cycling squad, Ythan QL, and for events such as local and national races. Over the past few years Ythan have developed the youth side of our club and now have four fully qualified British Cycling coaches with another going through the training process at the moment.

“ We run cycle skills and fitness sessions for under 16s at the car park behind Ellon swimming pool on Saturday mornings.”

On August 26, in conjunction with the Ellon Pedal Car Race, the club will be running a series of youth cycling races around the closed roads in the centre of Ellon.

Colin added: “These races will be a chance for local youngsters to test their prowess against some of the best young cyclists in Scotland. Who knows, the next Victoria Pendleton or Bradley Wiggins may be amongst the cyclists racing in Ellon.”

It is an exciting time for the local cycling club, with three members bidding for glory at the Paralympic games starting on August 29.

Fiona Duncan and Lora Turnham will be riding a tandem at the velodrome competing in the kilo, pursuit, road time trial and bunch road races. Neil Fachie will be riding the kilo and match sprint races.

In another development for local cycling, Ythan Cycle Club is part of a community planning-based group, comprising Aberdeenshire Council, Community Groups and the Formartine Partnership Limited looking at the future development of cycling in the Formartine area.

The group aims to look at the provision of cycling facilities in three main categories - commuting cycling, leisure cycling and competitive sports cycling.

Colin explained: “The first step for the group is to look at what cycling provision the locals want. This may be tracks to local sites of interest, more provision for cycle lockers, BMX or mountain bike facilities or cycle lanes incorporated into the existing road network.”

A series of local consultation meetings will be held shortly for anyone interested in cycling to come along and put their thoughts forward.