The Cycling Ulster Youth Academy (CUYA) held their pre-season training day on Sunday 6th February.

The event was based at Pearse Og’s GAA club house in Armagh and was kindly hosted by Orchard Wheelers CC.

A representative of the CUYA said:

“With the club also promoting the Irish Youth National Championships this year in August, we took the opportunity to have a ride round the course that will be used. The weather may not have been ideal but hopefully it will be better in August but that is never guaranteed.

“We were very fortunate to welcome Derek Finnegan as our guest speaker and he covered the important topics of injury prevention and bike set up before the ride out, and after the ride out the topic of nutrition and many other issues were discussed.

“We also had Noel McLoughlin from the Cycling Ulster Road Commission along and he rode with the under 16 group to get a look at how they were getting on. The day was very well attended with over 30 riders taking part. They all set off together from the clubhouse and out the Hamiltonsbawn Road from Armagh.

“Once out the road the group was split into two groups with the under 14 and 16 riders going in the first group and the under 12 riders following behind, with lead car and sweeper vans for all groups. The under 12s completed the 6 mile cycle out to the circuit and then did 1 full lap of the course (approx 6 mile) before returning to Armagh, while the under 14s did 2 full laps along with the under 16s before they returned to Armagh. The under 16s continued on to complete 3 laps in total followed by a windy return leg back to the warmth of the GAA club where sandwiches and tea/coffee were a very welcome sight.

“Some of the points emphasised by Derek in the talks were to try and stretch after your rides, doing some basic core exercises to help improve your stability on the bike and the importance of routine in the lead up to races with no last minute changes in diet or bike set up which could lead to problems during the race. 

“The talks and advise were very well received by all present and the CUYA would like to thank Derek for his time and great advice, also to all involved in helping out on the day and who played in part in making it such a success. Hopefully this will be the first of many of these type of events, and there was a lot of positive comments from parents and many smiling faces on the youth riders as they left.”