John Herety

“Run­ning the Worlds and in­vest­ing in the grass­roots of the sport is great but we also need a strong do­mes­tic scene”

Cycling Weekly - - News -

he £15m of fund­ing for cy­cling in­fra­struc­ture the govern­ment an­nounced last week, as part of York­shire’s bid to host the World Cham­pi­onships, is great. Fa­cil­i­ties where par­ents can go and drop chil­dren off at a young age, where the ba­sic skills can be given to those cy­clists in a safe en­vi­ron­ment, is a fan­tas­tic thing. Tra­di­tion­ally cy­cling has al­ways re­lied on clubs to ful­fil that role but in these times a venue with ap­pro­pri­ate fa­cil­i­ties and ac­cred­ited staff is eas­ier for par­ents of 10-year-olds to trust.

In races too you have big­ger fields now. In my day it was 40, max­i­mum 60, riders in a field; now 80 is stan­dard. Now they can get more cir­cuits which have been deemed safe for those sizes.

But I’d like to sound a word of cau­tion. Run­ning the Worlds and in­vest­ing in the grass­roots of the sport is great but we also need to make sure we have a strong do­mes­tic scene.

My fear is that if we cham­pion those closed cir­cuits too much then we might be pushed onto those cir­cuits. That would take away some op­por­tu­ni­ties for road rac­ing, in par­tic­u­lar mul­ti­day races, at a do­mes­tic and semi-in­ter­na­tional level.

Races galore

It’s those types of races that pro­vide the bridge between cir­cuit races and city cen­tre cri­teri­ums and the heights of the Tour of York­shire, Tour of Bri­tain and the like.

Those races are a step­ping stone for our riders at Jlt-con­dor and give them some­thing to aim for. Ob­vi­ously we can’t ride World Champs, Tour of York­shire is ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to get into, Ridelon­don has now gone to World­tour level, and the Tour of Bri­tain is go­ing to be­come more and more dif­fi­cult, so af­ter that, why would you have a team?

I’d like to see all these events that are given the go-ahead in the UK with govern­ment fund­ing told that they should put on a race that has in­ter­na­tional teams, a 2.2 level race event, that gives do­mes­tic teams an op­por­tu­nity to race against in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion.

It’s right to in­vest in the elite and grass­roots of the sport but let’s make sure there is a clear path­way between the two.

Olympian and for­mer na­tional road race cham­pion John Herety cur­rently man­ages top-flight do­mes­tic team Jlt-con­dor

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.