London 2012 Hopeful to Host Mountain Bike Masterclass at Lee Quarry in Bacup
An Olympic mountain biking hopeful will be coming to train at the Adrenaline Gateway and leading a skills workshop with local women.
Mountain biker at Lee QuarryAnnie Last, the current UK National Mountain Bike Champion and two-time U23 World Mountain Bike silver medallist, will be holding a skills masterclass for women at The Adrenaline Gateway, Rossendale, on Saturday 3 March 2012. Twenty one year-old Annie is from Bakewell, Derbyshire. She had her best ever season in 2011, establishing herself as one of the most exciting female riders in the world.
She is very much a developing athlete; yet she already has a reputation as one of the most technically-gifted female riders on the World Cup circuit, with a tenacious approach to racing.
With the Olympics approaching, Annie is currently training hard towards her 2012 season goals of a medal at the London Olympics and winning her first world championship. She also rides for the riding for the Milka-Brentjens MTB Racing Team.
Annie is passionate about her sport and has ambition to inspire more females to ride mountain bikes and give them the confidence to take to the great outdoors with their family or friends; an environment where they can experience the sense of achievement, the traffic free riding and the health and fitness benefits that come with her sport.
Annie said: “The opportunity to represent Great Britain at the London Olympic Games is one I want to take hold of with both hands. I am working as hard as I can everyday to be the best prepared I can be. I am still a young developing rider and I am up against the best bike riders in the world, but with the home crowd behind me I believe I can do myself, my family and the nation proud.
“A medal is a challenging target as GB has never medalled at the Olympics in mountain biking before, however I will give everything I have on the day to achieve it. The World Championships in Austria follow the Olympic Games three weeks later, and I will be looking to win my first world title at these championships.
“I had the idea of running the skills masterclass while riding at our technical training venue in Lee Quarry. I’d like to see more women take to cycling, in particular Mountain Biking, and putting something back into my sport in this way is something I am really passionate about continuing to do.
“I hope the sessions will provide fellow female riders with the skills to get more out of their riding. In particular I like the idea of mums being able to feel more confident to go to parks or trail centres with the kids and enjoy traffic free riding, and post ride tea and cake! A big thank you to Rossendale Borough Council and Lancashire County Council for their support for my first masterclass. They have created a great training venue at Lee Quarry that has helped me improve as a rider and I am really pleased I am able to hold the first of these events there.”
Phil Dixon, Annie’s coach, commented: “Lee Quarry is a fantastic facility which is constantly developing and is a regular skills training venue for Annie. The quarries have been very much a part of our winter training preparations for the Olympic Games.
“We are here every week from October to the end of December taking advantage of the challenging trails the quarry is renowned for. Annie has worked hard at her technical skills for many years and she is technically one of the best riders in the world. I think the sessions are a fantastic idea and her willingness and determination to put back into the sport at a young age is a reflection of the type of character she is.”
Councillor Andy MacNae, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration at Rossendale Council said: “Lee Cragg Quarries are a fantastic resource and are now among the best mountain bike facilities in the country. We now want to support programmes that give local people the skills and confidence to enjoy these trails. We are delighted that we have been able to support the Olympic hopefuls in their training, and also that Annie will be supporting our community in this way.”
County Councillor Michael Green, Cabinet member for economic development, environment and planning said: “The Adrenaline Gateway is highly regarded by mountain bikers as one of the best facilities in the country. For this reason it’s now attracting the top riders such as Annie.
“It’s also great to see some of our local riders being encouraged to develop their skills by professional riders in this way.
“Lancashire County Council is delighted to see the quarries being used to their full potential. Working with our colleagues Rossendale Borough Council, we have been supporting their redevelopment for a number of years.”
The skills masterclass series has been designed to provide an opportunity for females of all riding ability to get together and learn how to improve their technical ability, be that basic balance and coordination or an introduction to something more challenging.
The class is free of charge for participants and will include learning how to set up a bike with Annie’s mechanic. It’s aimed at mums who want to develop the confidence to take the kids for a ride, those who ride a bike and want to venture off road for the first time, or keen bike riders who want to learn how to continue to improve.
Ten women have already been selected for the first masterclass, with half of the participants coming from the local Brownbacks Racing club (www.brownbacksracing.co.uk) based at Lee Quarry, along with half from her own fan base. Additional skills classes will be held later in the year, so this will not be the only opportunity to learn from one of the world’s best bike riders.
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