The focus for the Great Britain Cycling Team Olympic Development Squad riders is to develop the skills, strategies and fitness required to cope with the demands of racing.
More importantly, however, it prepares for future success as a podium potential rider. Membership is very selective and progress is continually monitored to ensure rider suitability.
How do you get on the Olympic Development Squad?
- Riders are typically aged 15-18
- Each year, a short-list is created – this is made up of Foundation riders who have excelled and applicants that are finishing regularly in the top ten at national races
- Short-listed riders are observed during training and races may be invited to take part in a confirmation phase – following this membership is finalised
- Don’t worry if you do not get an invite – it is not unusual to be invited to join the group later in the year.
What are we looking for?
- Fast, strong and skilful bike riders
- Excellent performances at national races
- Self-discipline, commitment and a strong work ethic
- A willingness to develop
- An open mind to advice and coaching
What will you learn?
- Skills and race tactics required to be an internationally competitive bike rider – now and for the future
- The physical aspects required to improve performance – speed, strength, stamina and power
- An ability to handle different racing conditions and training environments without affecting performance
- Ownership along with the fundamental off-bike skills required for success at a senior level.
How is it done?
- Expert coaching support focusing on discipline specific skills
- Provision of a ‘best vs. best’ environment with constant challenges complemented by plenty of support
- Creation of an ‘Individual Rider Plan’ and completion of a weekly training diary
- Provision of a structured race programme designed to be challenging and aspirational
- Support and education from GBCT’s performance support team
- Careful monitoring and management of workloads around education and other commitments
When does it happen?
Typically, this is 80-100 days of contact time via a series of training camps and races held mainly during school holidays. There will also be remote coaching support and the rider will be required to do additional sessions throughout the week, either at home or at other approved training facilities.
Who is involved?
A team of highly-qualified and experienced GBCT Olympic Development coaches, as well as specialist support staff in strength and conditioning, nutrition, bike maintenance and performance lifestyle.
What does it cost?
All camps, races and international travel are covered. Riders are also provided with various equipment and specialist clothing whilst on the programme. Depending on the level of the programme you are at, you may be eligible for funding to support additional costs around training and competition.