After the resounding success of the Cycling Ulster Team at the Youth Tour of Scotland, we caught up with Team Managers Katie Neill and Kevin McCambridge to discuss their roles in nurturing Ulster’s young talent.

Katie, a second-year university student, brings a wealth of experience to the table, having participated in the Youth Tour of Scotland twice herself, in addition to the school games. Her journey through various cycling disciplines instilled in her a profound appreciation for the role of volunteers at every event and the invaluable support they provide to athletes. When Katie was approached to join the Road Commission, she seized the opportunity to give back to the sport that had shaped her, eager to share her insights and mentor the next generation of cyclists

Katie felt the team worked really well with her and knew that anything they were thinking, she had already thought about in the past and could guide the riders.

Reflecting on her transition from athlete to manager, Katie shared a poignant insight,
“I always thought I was the hardest working person at an event on my bike. Managing a team has shown me how much hard work goes on behind the scenes that I never realised.”

Meanwhile, Kevin, semi-retired at 22, brings a meticulous approach to team management, driven by his passion for supporting emerging talent. Drawing from his own experiences, he has instilled a culture of organisation and preparation within the Ulster team. From strategic planning to nutrition guidelines and race-day conduct, Kevin leaves no stone unturned in ensuring the team’s readiness for success.

“The first day was manic with 2 stages,” Kevin recounts, “but quickly learning that following a plan would support our success on the following stages was key.”

Looking ahead to the North West Youth Tour, Kevin is eager to continue his role as a mentor, offering invaluable advice and support to riders. As a coach, he emphasizes the importance of reflection, providing each rider with a notebook to jot down their thoughts before and after races, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and self-awareness.

Both Katie and Kevin are delighted with the team’s achievements and impressed by their conduct throughout the tour. Their unwavering commitment to the development of young cyclists is truly inspiring, and their contributions to the sport are invaluable.

Well done to Katie and Kevin for getting involved and sharing their knowledge, it is great to see them supporting our youth and gaining valuable management experience.

A special shout-out goes to Frank Campbell, whose steadfast support and guidance have been instrumental in Katie and Kevin’s journey.

If you’re inspired to get involved and support Ulster’s cycling community, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Together, we can continue to empower and inspire the next generation of cyclists.