Cycling events a rolling succes with youth

Feedback was overwhelmingly positive towards the Axel Merckx Youth Foundation Cycling series.

YOUNG CYCLISTS who took part in the Axel Merckx Youth Foundation Series held in Penticton during the weekend got to experience a mini Tour de France (stage race)

YOUNG CYCLISTS who took part in the Axel Merckx Youth Foundation Series held in Penticton during the weekend got to experience a mini Tour de France (stage race)

Feedback was overwhelmingly positive towards the Axel Merckx Youth Foundation Cycling series.

Ron Hayman, of Cog Events and co-organizer of the AMYFC, said parents and kids were pleased with what they experienced during the Labour Day weekend.

“Everything was on time and weather was absolutely perfect,” said Hayman. “We had no issues with courses.”

Of the 90 cyclists who participated, Hayman said about 10 kids from Penticton, Naramata, Summerland and Kelowna were involved. Hayman said he would like to see more local kids come out.

“I think our challenge has been the ability to reach interested families,” said Hayman. “I think with some follow up on this and then a bit more work on getting the word out next year, I think this is going to snowball.”

The event, which receives financial support and marketing from Merckx’s foundation, introduces youngsters to the sport of road racing in a safe and fun environment. The event was also the final stop of the Axel Merckx Foundation Youth Development Series with cyclists experiencing classic bike race competitions including an individual time trial, a small circuit race and a road competition.

“I think the format worked really well,” said Hayman, adding that organziers will debrief to see what worked and figure out what can be improved. “Rarely do kids get to experience them all.”

Helping the event be a success was the support and efforts of volunteers, the City of Penticton and Barb Haynes, the executive director of the Downtown Penticton Association. Hayman expressed gratitude to them all.