British Cycling has confirmed its line up for next season’s Senior Academy programme, with what it calls riders of “real potential to maintain our Olympic success” in the future.
The Senior Academy is one step below British Cycling’s Podium Programme of elite athletes, with the aim of turning riders into “future race winners”. Many of Great Britain’s current Olympic medallists and top road riders came through the Academy system.
The 29-person squad for 2016/17 season, however, features 14 either completely new or junior riders who are stepping up, across the endurance, sprint, mountain biking and BMX disciplines. Six of last year’s Academy line up – Danni Khan, Mark Stewart, Ollie Wood, Alice Barnes, Emily Kay and Ryan Owens – have moved up to the Podium Programme.
“The performance focus has switched to Tokyo 2020 and within this Senior Academy squad I believe we have some real potential to maintain our Olympic success across the board for the next couple of cycles,” Ian Yates, British Cycling performance pathway manager said.
The seven on the men’s endurance squad will be returning to their base in Montichiari, Italy for much of next year, where they will live and race on the continent as they learn more of what it takes to be a professional road rider. The Italian training base was re-established last year, having originally existed between 2006 and 2010.
The women’s endurance squad will for the first time also be moving to its own new base in Europe for much of the season, to get the best road racing experience. While the location is separate from the one in Italy, it is still to be confirmed.
All 29 riders will be undertaking a ‘boot camp’ in Manchester next week to start them on the programme, with classes on subjects such as nutrition, health and hygiene, social media and learning a new language, with the aim of developing their off-the-bike skills as much as their on-bike ones.
“The level of competition is increasing annually due to the good work happening throughout the pathway. It left us with some very tough decisions,” Yates continued. “Ultimately though, we are confident the squad we have selected contain the stars of the future and I’m looking forward to supporting them.”
Senior Academy 2016/17 line up:
Quillan Isidore, Blaine Ridge-Davies, Paddy Sharrock, Beth Shriever
Matt Bostock, Adam Hartley, Ethan Hayter, Jacob Hennessy, Joe Holt, Matt Walls, Reece Wood
Megan Barker, Abbie Dentus, Ellie Dickinson, Manon Lloyd, Mel Lowther, Emily Nelson, Annasley Park, Becky Raybould
Frazer Clacherty, Ella Connolly, Will Gascoyne, Mark Maguire, Evie Richards
Sophie Capewell, Jack Carlin, Ryan Hutchinson, Alex Jolliffe, Joe Truman