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A week in the life of British Cycling’s Olympic Academy Programme: sprint

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In 2003, Rod Ellingworth created the first incarnation of British Cycling’s Olympic Academy – a full time, residential-based strand of the Olympic Performance Programmes for athletes aged 18-22 years old.

Part II documents the sprint squad.

Part I documented the BMX squad.

At the time the idea was revolutionary, but today is recognised as the missing link between inexperienced juniors plunged into senior competition and seasoned professional athletes.

Ultimately delivering ready-made winners to the Olympic Podium Programme, the Academy has been the grounding of the Great Britain Cycling Team’s greatest athletes – including Mark Cavendish, Geraint Thomas, Jason Kenny, Liam Phillips and Annie Last.

The value of the Programme was proven at the highest level when 11 under-23 athletes were selected for the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games, winning six gold medals.

In November 2012, 28 athletes across all Olympic disciplines were inducted to the Olympic Academy Programme for the coming year.

British Cycling followed their typical week, with insights from coaches and the athletes themselves detailing life in the Academy.


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