Road To 2016
Matt Winston on Olympic Development Programme selections
Matt Winston, British Cycling’s Olympic Development Programme Endurance Coach has highlighted that despite success on both road and track, he is already looking move athletes to the next level, faster, as the current generation of world champions including Elinor Barker and Lucy Garner conclude their two year tenure.
Winston, who in the last two years coached Olympic Development Programme athletes to three world titles on the road and 19 world and European medals on the track is already looking forward to the opportunity of working with a new intake of talented young athletes following a review of the current season.
Those hoping for a place on the squad will first have to complete a selection camp in Newport in mid-October – but following results from the past two years the message to those hoping to make the grade and become a member of the Programme could not be clearer, as Winston issued an explicit message; such is the strength of applications received, some will not be accepted.
“It just shows the strength in depth there is in British cycling now” was his preempted explanation of the expected dissappointments.
“We’ve had good applications and we’re getting together for a selection camp in a couple of weeks to decide the team. There’s some good riders that will miss out – there’s not space for everybody.
“It’s always exciting working with new and upcoming athletes. We’ve had some good results this year but we need to keep working and look to move forward all the time. We need to assess 2012 and see what we can improve on next year. Not in terms of results, but how can we move the athletes on to the next level quicker.”
Despite such a stark warning, Winston tempered it with the caveat that should an athlete prove themselves capable, guest positions on the Programme are available and ultimately, that could lead to a complete enrolment, using the example of Elinor Barker.
“She wasn’t on the Talent Team – that was not because of a lack of ability, but because she was ill at the time of the selection camp and never got rid of that illness. That shows to anybody outside of the Programmes that you can come in and you can keep developing and you can end up being a really good bike rider. Her talent was there and with hard work she continued to develop it – something which paid off as she joined the ODP and started her time within the British Cycling setup.”
Those athletes invited for the selection camp will learn if their efforts are worthwhile in late October, with inductions to the Olympic Development Programme in November as athletes from every Programme are inducted at British Cycling headquarters in Manchester.