Sky and British Cycling are thinking of the next step on the heels of Lucy Garner’s World Championships win today in Valkenburg, The Netherlands.
“One thing that’s important, and lacking, is how do you development from being junior World Champion to the next level?” Sky’s general manager and British Cycling’s performance director, David Brailsford told Cycling Weekly. “If you got a new generation of talent then you have to provide that development pathway.”
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Instead of a pro team, like Cervélo or Highroad men’s and women’s teams in the past, Brailsford said that he would like to have a training ground for young women, like Lucy Garner and Elinor Barker. A decision maybe made in the coming month.
Garner won today’s junior title in a sprint after the top of the Cauberg climb. Barker led out and helped Garner, who turned 18 yesterday, win over Norway’s Eline Brustad and Italy’s Anna Stricker.
The Olympic Academy Programme helped current professionals Mark Cavendish, Geraint Thomas and others develop, and Brailsford is thinking along the same lines for the upcoming women. It could be similar former academy programme that was in place for women until the end of last year.
“We just don’t want to throw money at it without structure,” Brailsford added. “We are thinking more about building a base for the future, and creating a path for the youngsters.”
Garner talked about the lack of a British UCI team. She said that she will likely move to Europe to race as her junior years are over.
“Seriously, the amount of talent we have in the Great Britain women’s team is amazing,” Garner said. “We have to see what happens. It has progressed so much, I remember when cycling wasn’t cool in Great Britain! Now, it’s something that everyone watches.”
She won the world title last year in Copenhagen and became only the second Brit win a junior road race title after Nicole Cooke. Today, after 80.5 kilometres of five circuits over the Cauberg climb, she matched Cooke by winning back-to-back titles.Around 15 to 20 riders crested the Cauberg the final time and approached the final 1500 meters to the line.
Barker, winner of the time trial title, emerged leading out Garner and peeled off with 200 metres to race.
“The lead-out that Elinor did, I couldn’t have asked [for more],” Garner said. “She just kept powering on to deliver me so perfectly for the sprint.”
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