FirecrestMTB Launch the Girls DeVo Coaching Programme at Aston Hill Bike Park

Sep 24, 2020
by Ian Warby  
Photo's - Neil Hawkins

Press Release: FirecrestMTB

Firecrest Mountain Biking’s Young Rider Development Programme known as DeVo for short has been running for over 10 years. With roots back in 2000 it was set up in memory of a young mountain biker, Jake Saintey, to encourage and develop other young mountain bikers using Aston Hill Mountain Bike Area.

The Programme was a huge success and it ran through to 2007 before taking a break and returning in 2016. Rebuilding the Programme has taken 4 years and but it has gone from strength to strength bringing boys and girls into mountain biking and providing skills training through the three levels of Firecrest Courses offered through the school holidays and at weekends.

The entry-level to DeVo is Level1 which provides coaching for boys and girls aged from 8-12 years and is a great introduction to mountain biking for young riders. For riders that have developed the essentials ‘DeVo Evo' (Young Rider Development Programme Evolution) was introduced in 2019 and this has become a hotbed for young mountain biking talent providing coaching for boys and girls from 8 - 12 years.

Older riders wanting to join the Programme for young male and female riders can come along to the Level2 Courses. With a focus on having fun and developing skills, Level2 coaches riders from recreational first-timers to National and International Racers, with racers coming through the Programme to compete at the UCI Junior Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup and going on to ride the Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup as seniors. With Cube’s Pro Downhill Phil Atwill being the programmes most accomplished alumni.

Over the years more girls have joined the Programme and with numbers continuing to rise it was only a matter of time before Girls DeVo was added to the Programme. After being invited by Si Paton to coach at the BDS Girls Academy Ian knew that the format would be a success and that the girls would get a lot from the Courses. Having been Maxine Filby’s Skills Coach for years Ian knew she’d be the right person to deliver the Course so the date was set and Girls DeVo was launched.

Successfully selling out the first Girls DeVo took place, with near-perfect trail conditions, at Aston Hill Bike Park in Buckinghamshire. Maxine and the girls had a great time out on the trails and the format proved a success. Working on a range of skills from jumps to cornering the girls all had a great time out on the trails.

The girls first ever Devo session was such an amazing experience! To ride with girls who all love downhill is so awesome to see let alone be part of! Aston hill is a great place to ride and has so many places we could ride and work on skills. We started off on ricochet and we were lucky enough to be coached by the amazing Maxine! She helped us gain confidence in everything we tried and demonstrated what she wanted us to do which was very helpful.

After we had worked our way down a bit or ricochet we headed over to the Red Run and worked on line choice through the roots, then we got coached to halfway and got to ride down the rest, getting to try out what we had just been coached. Overall it was an amazing experience, to meet new girls who share a passion for the sport and get coached all in one go is something you don’t see much of! Thanks to Ian @firecrestcoaching for organising the event, hopefully, get to more in the future and shred harder - Lucy Allsop

“I was excited to see the girls DeVo become available. I liked riding with the other girls as we were all at different skill levels and I feel that this DeVo gave us all the chance to get better at our riding as we all felt more comfortable around other girls. Maxine was great and helped me clean up a few of my techniques. It was really great to ride and learn with the other girls, talk racing and I hope to see them at the next race and hopefully a few more girls at the hill in the future.” - Kayley Cousins

“When Ian mentioned to me he’d like to start a girls DeVo I jumped at the chance to be involved. Having seen the success of his DeVo Programme coupled with the growth of the number of girls of that age coming into mountain biking it seemed like the perfect time for a fantastic project.

We had perfect conditions for the Course, dry and sunny. The girls rode brilliantly and it was great to see the encouragement and praise they gave each other. I’m pretty sure we’ll see them on some podiums soon!”

I hope the girls DeVo will grow and develop riders as the original DeVo has. It’d pretty cool to have a women’s world champion coming from Girls DeVo!” Maxine Filby - Coach

The girls agreed that they would like to do more riding so the next Course is set for Saturday 10th October from 9.30 am - 12.30 pm. Look out for booking details on


  • 1 0
 I have been a Pinkbike member and visitor for a very long time and not sure I have ever commented, maybe once or twice. But it's so cool seeing a picture of my daughter on Pikebike. She is on the YT. It was awesome to see this course become available and was enjoyed by all, We will be booking the next one.
  • 1 0
 Great place to ride, personally benefited from having a few lessons from Ian too.. Keep up the good work
  • 1 0
 Good Work! Such a fun place to learn too.

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