Women’s Alkmaar Track Training Weekend  

The Cycling Ireland Women’s Commission organised a successful track training weekend in Alkmaar, The Netherlands, on the weekend of February 18th to 20th.   

The trip was attended by eleven riders, including experienced track riders as well as riders new to the discipline in what proved an enjoyable weekend for all involved.  

The group undertook three training sessions across the weekend led by Herman Schenk and learned basic track skills before progressing to sprint training, madison training and flying laps. 

Only two of the group had previously cycled on an indoor velodrome while the rest of the group were experiencing an indoor velodrome for the first-ever time. 

The group were also given advice and tips from track veteran and World Masters champion Orla Hendron. 

Clara Hogan, who is new to the discipline, said: 

“Learning new skills with people I had never met before seemed daunting at the beginning. This weekend has been an absolutely terrific experience to learn everything from bike handing skills to what it's truly like to be on track. We were blessed to have such an experienced and well knowledgeable coach in Herman and get the chance to learn from experienced Irish and Dutch riders too.” 

UCD Cycling rider Catherine Mahoney said:  

“I had to keep reminding myself: look where you’re going, not at your wheel!  Once I picked up a bit of speed and convinced myself I wasn’t going to skid out on the steep banking, riding up high was such a thrill.  Our wonderful coach Hermann gave us no time to get nervous.  We got right into it with flying sprints, standing starts, derny work, and madison handoffs.”   
“Now that I’ve caught the bug, I am looking forward to training and racing more in Dublin.  Track cycling is an amazing discipline in our sport, and we are lucky to have such a welcoming track scene for cyclists of all levels of experience.  Huge thanks to Jen Bates and the women’s commission for all their hard work organising the weekend in Alkmaar, I’ll be there for the next!”