British Cycling are relocating the men's endurance academy squad to a newly-established European training base in Montichiari, northern Italy, this week.
The base is intended to provide ideal training conditions for academy riders, as well as giving them better access to top-class under-23 road races. The base will also "serve as a warm weather training base for all the Great Britain Cycling Team riders," according to a statement released by British Cycling.
Technical director Shane Sutton said: “The opening of the European training base is an important part of our plan to ensure the future success of the Great Britain Cycling Team. The base will benefit the whole squad as we look beyond Rio and it’s a great feeling to be able to offer more development opportunities to Britain’s most talented riders.”
The statement goes on to say that this step of creating a European training base "could pave the way for similar developments for other squads in the future."
Read more about the British Cycling Academy
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Ollie Wood, a senior academy rider who will be making the move to Montichiari, said: “I am really looking forward to the move to Italy as I believe it will further my career and help me achieve my goals.
As we have seen from previous academy riders, the experience of living and racing in Italy helped with their progression into the pro peloton. Myself and the other academy riders are looking forward to embracing the opportunity and using it to our advantage.”
Train like a pro
Fellow senior academy rider Nathan Draper said: “I believe the move to Italy will be a massive step in the right direction for both myself as an individual and as part of the endurance programme.
"Having seen and heard about riders in the past who have gone through the same system it will be a fantastic opportunity for our development to learn and adapt to the whole environment of racing, training and living in Italy.
"From what I've seen, Montichiari looks an amazing place to train with plenty of climbs close by for us all to get stuck in with. I can't wait to get out there now.”
“There’s genuine excitement amongst the riders about their move to Italy as they are effectively following in the footsteps of the riders who they all look up to," performance pathway manager Ian Yates said.
"We believe the relocation to Italy is a tried-and-tested formula for aiding the development of these young riders with Tokyo 2020 in mind.”
The riders relocating to Italy as part of the men's endurance academy squad are Matt Bostock, Germain Burton, Gabz Cullaigh, Nathan Draper, Matt Gibson, Joe Holt, Mark Stewart, Joey Walker and Ollie Wood.
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