Teenager Douglas Goodwill ready for mountain bike World Cup debut after Covid called off Fort William round
A Highland teenager prepares for his first UCI Downhill World Cup race in Leogang, Austria on Saturday.
Douglas Goodwill, 16, a student at Charleston Academy, Inverness, is in full swing after the Fort William round was canceled due to Covid-19.
Gravity prepares goodwill for action
Douglas is the youngest rider on Muir of Ord’s new UCI mountain bike team, 555 Gravity Racing.
It is the only UCI team in Scotland and one of six British teams allowed to compete with the best in the world.
The team currently has two elite runners, Luke Williamson, 18, from Hampshire, and Calum McBain, 22, from Aberdeenshire, and two juniors, Ryan Brannen, 17, from Stirlingshire, and Douglas.
The local teenager is preparing to live his dream.
Douglas said: “Cycling internationally has been my dream since I was six, when I watched my first World Cup at Nevis Range, Fort William.
“Since then, I have been working for this moment. I was really looking forward to my first World Cup in Fort William last month.
“Even without spectators it would have been amazing to race my home track against the best in the world, but unfortunately this had to be canceled due to Covid restrictions. I was emptied.
555 Gravity was created by Mark Goodwill, Douglas’s father and owner of OrangeFox Bikes, the bike shop in Muir of Ord.
He explained: “The team was created to help develop the exceptional young talent we have, especially in Scotland, and fulfill their dreams of downhill, on the world stage.
“As downhill is not an Olympic discipline, unfortunately it receives virtually no support from Scottish Cycling or British Cycling and so you have to do it yourself.
“We are in a very lucky position to be able to do this and I hope we can continue to develop our four riders and support new young talent, which is not lacking, in the years to come.”
The organization of travel was trying for the team
He added: “It has been a busy year and a very quick learning curve ticking boxes and jumping through the UCI hoops to become a UCI registered team manager and team.
“Most of the teams employ a full time manager, but I had to adapt it to the management of my bike shop.
“Even organizing trips from Scotland to Austria has been incredibly difficult, with the UK having recently been classified as having a variant of Covid.
“We had to give up tools and come a week earlier to quarantine in Austria, which also drove up costs. “
The tracks abroad are denser
Douglas described the differences between the tracks here and in Austria.
He added: “It was so good to finish the Austrian quarantine and to be able to ride in the Alps.
“The slopes are very different from the UK, much denser and faster – and the views, just wow.
“The first race is in Leogang and much of the course will be on rock with a relatively short, steep wooded section with a lot of mud and roots – conditions we are more used to in Scotland.
“I can’t wait to start training on Thursday after being locked in a cabin for five days. “
The team plans to race Crankwork, Innsbrook, Austria, before heading to France for the second round in Les Gets in early July.
Round three will take place in Maribor, Slovenia, and Douglas hopes to be selected to represent Great Britain as a junior for the World Championships in Val di Sole, Italy, before competing in the fourth World Cup in Lenzerheide. , in Switzerland, in September.
The final round, Snowshoe, West Virginia, USA, will have to be missed due to the cost to get there.
- The 555 Gravity team is always looking for sponsorship opportunities. Contact [email protected] for more information.