Kiltarlity mountain cyclist prepares for World Cup debut in Austria
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MOUNTAIN cyclist Douglas Goodwill will hope to prove he is ‘summit’ special when he makes his World Cup debut in Austria.
The Kiltarlity teenager is preparing to compete at the UCI Downhill World Cup in Leogang on Saturday.
The Charleston Academy pupil (16) is the youngest rider in the newly formed UCI Mountain Bike Team 555 Gravity, who are based in Muir of Ord.
The team currently has two elite riders, Luke Williamson (18) from Hampshire and Calum McBain (22) from Aberdeenshire and two juniors Ryan Brannen (17) from Stirlingshire and Goodwill who says he is looking forward to taking on the best in the world.
“Racing my bike internationally has been my dream since the age of six when I watched my first World Cup at Nevis Range in Fort William,” he said.
“I have been working towards this moment ever since.
"I was really looking forward to race my first World Cup in Fort William last month.
"Even without spectators it would have been unbelievable racing my home track against the best in the world.
"But unfortunately it had to be cancelled due to COVID19 restrictions – I was gutted.”
The team was established by Mark Goodwill, Douglas’s Dad and owner of OrangeFox Bikes based in Muir of Ord.
His dad said he established the team to give talented riders in the UK the chance to realise their potential in international competition.
“The team was set-up to help develop the exceptional young talent we have, particularly in Scotland and realise their dreams racing downhill, on the World Stage.
“As downhill is not an Olympic discipline it unfortunately receives virtually no support from either Scottish Cycling or British Cycling and therefore you need to make it happen yourself.
We are in a very fortunate position being able to do this and hopefully we can continue developing our four riders and supporting new, young talent, of which there is no shortage, in the years to come.
“It has been a busy year and a very fast learning curve ticking boxes and jumping through UCI hoops to become a UCI registered Team Manager and Team.
“Most teams employ a full-time manager, but I’ve had to fit it in with running my bike shop. Even organising travel from
Scotland to Austria has been incredibly difficult with the UK recently being classed as having a COVID variant.
“ We had to drop tools and come a week early in order to quarantine in Austria which has also escalated costs.”
Douglas says he is determined to make the most of arriving early in Austria to learn about the course as he prepares for this weekend.
He says the tracks in Austria are tougher to what he has experienced previously, but he is up for the challenge.
“It was so good finishing Austrian quarantine and being able to ride in the Alps” said Douglas.
“The tracks are very different to the UK, much harder packed and fast.
“The first race is in Leogang and much of the course will be on stone with a
relatively short, steep wooded section with lots of mud and roots – conditions we are more used to in Scotland.
“I just can’t wait to get started with practice on Thursday after being couped up in a chalet for five days.”
The team are looking to race Crankwork, Innsbrook, Austria before moving on to France in preparation for the second round in Les Gets at the beginning of July.
The third round is in Maribor, Slovenia and Douglas is hoping to be selected to represent Great Britain as a junior for the World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy before racing the fourth World Cup in Lenzerheide, Switzerland in September.
However the team will not be taking part in the final round in West Virginia, USA due to the cost of getting there.
The team are looking for sponsorship opportunities and for more information email contact firstname.lastname@example.org