Dame Sarah Storey is looking for female riders to join Skoda DSI Cycling Academy

Three amateur cyclists aged 18-24 sought for year-long programme

Skoda DSI Cycling Academy
(Image credit: Skoda DSI Cycling Academy)

Dame Sarah Storey is seeking three female riders aged 18-24 to join the Skoda DSI Cycling Academy.

Applications are open for "passionate" amateur riders to join the year-long, inclusive programme, that seeks to maximise young female potential within the sport.

Cyclists can apply through Skoda's website, and are asked to provide details of their cycling experience and training schedule, as well as answering questions on their cycling ambitions. The deadline is 28 February.

The successful applicants will then be invited to a testing day on Monday 28 March at the Lee Valley VeloPark where the selected riders will be "put through their paces by Dame Sarah Storey and other Skoda ambassadors".

There will be a series of tests, including a peak power test, a three-minute maximal test, and a 12-minute steady state challenge, as well as an assessment of the riders’ bike handling skills.

Storey is Britain's most succesful Paralympian, with her three gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics taking her to 28 medals overall.

She said it was a "fantastic opportunity" for young women to maximise their opportunities.

“I’m delighted to be able to recruit three new riders to the Skoda Academy for this the fourth year since its inception," Storey said. "The now annual programme will enable ambitious young women to further develop their skills both on and off the bike via a series of events. 

"Whether you are already racing at a regional or national level or have just taken up cycling, this is a fantastic opportunity to join a unique and inspiring programme, where you not only get to travel and witness some of the world’s best riders in action, but you will also learn more about how to maximise your opportunities alongside school, university, and other responsibilities in life."

She continued: "I’ve had so much fun supporting Skoda riders over the past three years and I’m always incredibly proud to see them go on to achieve the next step in their career as happened with four riders from the 2021 programme.”

Riders will gain insight from Storey on training, racing and career progression. The plan is designed to sit alongside existing cycling or club activities. Members of the academy will be invited along to Skoda-sponsored cycling events including the Tour de France.

The three new riders will join three existing academy riders, Maddi Aldam-Gates, Gwyneth Parry and Olivia French, who were selected for the programme last year.

French urged young riders to apply: "I cannot emphasise enough how important the Skoda DSI Cycling Academy has been in developing my performance on the bike. 

"Behind the scenes ride experiences at some of the biggest events alongside learning from Dame Sarah Storey, a cycling legend, have been invaluable for me. If you’re a young female cyclist with a passion for the sport, then I wholeheartedly recommend that you try out."

Megan Dickerson, Meredith Gilbert, Morgan Newberry, and Rebecca Richards all graduated from the academy at the end of 2021. 

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