Published: 29th Aug 2023 Images: Scottish Cycling

#PowerOfTheBike shines through with neutral mechanical support

Volunteers from the Scottish cycling community stepped up to provide neutral mechanical support for the small nations at the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships

We asked and our wonderful volunteers delivered! When the call came for volunteers to support the Tier 3 and 4 National Federations at the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, we were delighted at the response!

Scottish Cycling, as Official Activation Partner for the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, have been working closely with the team at UCI Cycling World Championships in the lead up to and during the Championships. With the Championships only days away, 12 volunteers stepped up to provide neutral mechanical support for the small nations, many of whom have very little resource behind their cycling teams.

Many athletes arrived in Scotland with only friends and family for support, so the neutral service provided by our volunteers alleviated any undue stress on the athletes, allowing them to focus on their race preparation.

The neutral support team were in action right from the very first weekend of the Championships with Doog Carruthers from Torvelo and Gav Rowley on the tools in Glasgow and then in Edinburgh for the Junior Women and Junior Men Road Races and the Elite Men Road Race respectively. Supporting nations such as Zimbabwe, Mexico, Brazil, Vatican City, Malta, Saint Vincent, Mongolia, Guyana, British Virgin Islands and Anguilla, Doog and Gav assisted with a range of requests from gear indexing and tyre pressures, to getting a Di2 front mech working again.

Then it was down to Glentress for the Cross-Country Mountain Bike events. Here, eight volunteers supported the small nations across the five days of competition. Maurizio Carlino-Rackett, Yewchen Chong, Robin Dunn, Jamie Monteith, Mark Kiehlmann, Patrick Kiehlmann, Ruan Vorster and Terence Vorster supported athletes from nations including Aruba, Greece, Argentina, Chile and the World Cycling Centre.

The World Cycling Centre provides support to riders from countries that do not yet have the resources, facilities or expertise to permit them to reach the highest levels (UCI World Cycling Centre, Aigle, Switzerland). Faced with mechanical issues such as snapped chains, snapped derailleurs, bent hangers and fitting transponders, our neutral support team ensured riders were back on the epic trails of Glentress to compete at the highest level in mountain biking.

Whilst the world’s best mountain bikers were racing round the trails of Glentress, the world’s best time trial riders were racing against the clock in Stirling. Eric Paterson of Injured Cycle Repairs was on hand to assist with any mechanical issues riders experienced before rolling down the start ramp. Riders from South Africa, Nigeria, Pakistan, to name but a few, were supported and Eric told us:

“I am very proud to have been a part of the events in Stirling to the TT races and teams who needed a wee bit of my help to their bikes up to speed”.

We hoped the neutral support would be a really positive experience for our volunteers and Eric is testament to that, telling us it has “been an amazing experience, and meeting some awesome people who are now new friends”. This is truly harnessing the #powerofthebike!

And just like that the final weekend of the 2023 Cycling World Championships was upon us and Doog Carruthers was again on the tools at Loch Lomond for the U23 Men Road Race and joined by Pete Davis for the Elite and U23 Women Road Race. Unfortunately, the U23 Men experienced a typical Scottish summer’s day for the penultimate day of the Championships, but the rain did not dampen spirits and any mechanical issues were sorted so that riders could take to the start line.

The U23 and Elite Women set off under brighter skies for the final day of the Championships with Doog and Pete there to assist the small nations with final bike adjustments, and with that the inaugural 2023 Cycling World Championships rolled to a close.

We would just like to say a huge thank you to each and every one of our volunteers who provided the neutral mechanical support, helping nations who needed it most and ensuring they had the best Championships experience they could!