Why Ed Clancy OBE feels inspired by our cycling classes in Doncaster
Ed Clancy OBE is a busy man!
He’s currently gearing up for next year’s Olympics which means he doesn’t always get down to the Doncaster cycle track as often as he would like to. Having said that, he certainly makes the most of any visits he does squeeze in.
We caught up with him to ask him about his recent experiences down at the track with the CB team.
Why do you like getting down to the academy?
Not too long ago, the Clancy Briggs Cycling Academy was just a dream. Now I get down there and can see the whole thing coming to life.
The van, the bikes lined up and the kids rocking around on a Saturday morning in their Clancy Briggs jerseys alongside the coaches all kitted out. It’s good to see what was not so long ago just a vision, really coming to life.
As it is with the Olympics at the moment, I’m not there in person as much as I’d like to be, but all being well I will be down there a lot more in the not too distant future.
What do you do when you visit?
More often than not I’m overseeing things, seeing how the logistics work, are we getting the kids in and out smoothly - especially important now we’re adhering to Covid guidelines.
Really it’s just amazing to see the actual product - our amazing cycling classes in Doncaster.
When I see it all on our social media feed and look at the website it looks great, but what really sets us apart is the actual product, the quality of our sessions and our coaches.
The coaches do let me help(!) but it is that way round. They coach me! I learn a lot from those guys about how to get the best from the kids and what sessions the kids enjoy the most when learning to ride.
Since you have breaks in between visits, is it really easy to see how the kids are progressing?
Obviously we had the first 12 weeks of training and then like most businesses, had to close up shop for Covid. So when the kids then came back, some had been riding their bikes a lot and some were a little rusty.
But quite quickly once they were back to the sessions you could see a big step change in their skills and ability.
What’s more obvious is the confidence that I see in the kids there - every time I see them, they’re making more friends, learning and teamwork and camaraderie, it’s really cool to see.
Have you made it down to any of the sell-out British Cycling Talent Development nights?
I’ve been down to a few and I really do enjoy them.
I pretty much started there myself - the British Cycling talent scouting process - but it looked different when I was a kid.
I feel incredibly proud that we’ve been entrusted by British Cycling to take care of talent development for this area.
When I get stuck into the coaching the older kids at the Talent Development Centres, their skills are already quite developed and I really feel like I can pass on the intricate skills that help you in your racing career. They really soak it up so I thoroughly enjoy it.
But having said that, I don't see it as any more important than getting the kids on the balance bikes at an early age and getting them onto a pedal class. That’s what we’re all about - getting the kids going from as early as 18 months and encouraging a lifelong love of cycling.