Welwyn Track League ready to welcome more future Olympians
- Credit: JUDITH PARRY PHOTOGRAPHY
A proving ground for future Olympic champions in Welwyn Garden City is ready to open its door for another exciting season.
The Welwyn Track League has been held at the Gosling Stadium velodrome since it opened, the facility becoming the base for Welwyn Wheelers Cycling Club in 1959.
Peter Waghorn, who was awarded the MBE in 2013 for his services to cycling, held the stewardship of the competition between 1968 and 2014 and it is now run jointly between the Wheelers and Verulam Cycling Club in St Albans, their Doug Driscoll being the named organiser.
And over the years the league has seen Olympic medal winners Laura Kenny, nee Trott, and Ryan Owens in action as well as the likes of World Tour road racers Ethan Vernon and Alex Dowsett.
Kenny spoke about it in her book with husband Jason, 'Laura Trott and Jason Kenny: The Inside Track', where she revealed that the pressure of Olympic finals melted away once she got on her bike, transporting her to those Friday nights at Gosling.
She said: "And then I just ride around. It's the Olympics and I am actually enjoying every pedal stroke. At the absolute pinnacle of my sport and I am having a whale of a time.
"No longer is this pressure. It's fun, just as it was when I was 14-years-old and on a bike my dad have saved up and bought for me."
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Last year's league saw 150 people sign up as the sport came out of lockdown but because of the pandemic's interruptions, more novice sessions to help newcomers get acclimatised to the track will be put on.
The dates and information can be found at www.welwynwheelers.org.uk/track-novice-sessions-2022
All the training sessions are run by volunteers and organised by Welwyn's head coach Francis Gallacher.
The Wheelers are rightly proud of the velodrome and their connection with it and produced a video to highlight the positives, with the league given pride of place.
The video is on the club's You Tube channel at www.youtube.com
For details on dates and entry requirements for the league go to www.welwynwheelers.org.uk/track-league