Applications wanted for Britain's next cycling stars

Velodrome, Manchester Track World Cup 2011

Britain's potential stars of the future are being encouraged to apply to be part of the British Cycling's Olympic Performance Programmes.

The programme has worked with and developed the very best British cyclists since 2004, including Mark Cavendish, Sir Bradley Wiggins, Geraint Thomas and Becky James to name but a few.

The project is spearheaded by British Cycling's head of performance Sir Dave Brailsford and provides the very best facilities and sports science support to maximize the possibility of success.

The Olympic Academy Programme is on the lookout for bourgeoning male and female riders under the age of 23 who race in track sprint or endurance events, mountain bike cross-country, BMX, and the road.

The Olympic Development Programme is seeking applicants born in 1996 or 1997 and who compete in National Junior and/or Youth A races for its road, track, mountain bike and BMX squads.

Riders born between 1998 and 1999 (98-2000 for BMX) are wanted for Olympic Talent Team. Riders should be competing in National Youth B and/or Youth A races and gaining top 10 results. The Talent Team is recruiting athletes from the fields of endurance, sprint, BMX and mountain bike.

Due to the British domination of cycling at the past two Olympics, the largest proportion of the funding from The National Lottery and Exchequer that is distributed by UK Sport is to British Cycling.

Cycling is where the country's greatest chance of medal success at forthcoming Games is perceived to lay.

"Anybody who is really serious about performing at the highest level should apply," Brailsford said.

"The important thing about the Academy level is about being disciplined, organised and how to adapt to a big volume of training.

"You're with a bunch of other people that are all trying to achieve the same thing; there's a camaraderie there and a culture that you can buy into about tying to improve.

"It's fun and it's hard work but the rewards could be massive."

Successful Academy applicants will be based in Manchester within the vicinity of the Manchester Veledrome and will be housed in nearby Academy accommodation.

All application forms can be found here and they must be submitted before September 1, with those successful beginning their possible route to stardom in November.

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