Here at VeloVeritas we’re always banging on about riders getting themselves across the North sea to Flanders, so when one actually does, such as Dougie Young, it’s only right that we should pay a bit of attention.
It was Glasgow Wheelers’ Rab Wardell who tipped us off that his 20 year-old club mate Young is off to Oudenaarde on Tuesday for nine weeks – best have a word.
You’re at University, Dougie?
“Glasgow Caledonian University studying fire risk engineering – I started off doing environmental management and planning but wasn’t enjoying it and changed to this course.”
You’re off to Oudenaarde?
“Yes, Callum Gough has a flat there that he’s letting us use, Finlay Young and James Smith are coming across too with Michael Nicholson joining us at the start of July.”
Which races will you be riding?
“Callum showed us a Belgian website which has all the races on it, you enter on the line and it’s possible to race three or four times per week – usually they are close enough to just pedal out to, but the train network is good if a race is a bit further away.”
Have you raced abroad before?
“Yes, I was in Belgium for nine days last year, I took a bit of a beating but it’s the place to be.”
How did you wangle nine weeks off?
“I finished uni in mid-May; I have a part time job with Tesco but they’ve given me ‘lifestyle leave’ and my mum and dad are helping me financially.”
What are your goals for the trip?
“I want to learn to get round and try for a top 20 in an U23 race – I don’t want to set myself unrealistic targets.”
How did you get into the bike?
“I’m originally from Alloa and just got into going out for a run on my bike with my mates, I wanted to do longer runs but they weren’t into that so I joined Stirling Bicycle Club in 2007.
“I joined the Wheelers when I moved to uni in Glasgow.”
Rab told us you had a good Doon Hame.
“I got round stage one with the leaders and on stage two I was with the leaders again but punctured on a climb with 10 miles to go.
“On stage three I made a mistake, I thought I’d punctured, went back to the car to change wheel but with the cold and wet I couldn’t get back on and ended up in the broom wagon.
“I want to do more Premiers – I rode the one at Dumfries and found it much tougher than Doon Hame; I got belted in the cross winds.”
What’s your best result?
“I’ve not had big results but I’m happy to be making the top ten in [Scottish series] Super Sixes.
“I was fourth in the Dundee two day, last year and it was good to get sixth in the Davie Bell on Sunday – that’s probably my best result.”
Favourite type of race?
“Anything! – but probably races like the Davie Bell with good long hills; one thing I’m definitely not is a sprinter!”
What about time trials?
“Nah! I find them boring.”
“I’ve trained on the track and wouldn’t mind riding if there was one closer to where I’m based.”
Who do you admire?
“I like some of the British pros, Kristian House, the Downing brothers – I think it’s more realistic to aspire to being at that level than it is to think about being on a Pro Tour squad.”
Do you have a coach?
“Callum Gough gives me a training plan and I follow that.”
And would you like to be a pro, one day?
“I don’t think that it’s achievable to be Pro Tour but if I could get into a good British team, yeah, that would be good.”
We’ll check in with Dougie during his trip to see how it’s going; one of my favourite bars is in Oudenaarde, the Carillon – I remember the time… ah, sorry! – nine weeks in Oudenaarde, don’t you need someone to wash the bikes, Dougie?