Great Britain women’s endurance coach on the present and future of women’s cycling.
Q: How does the female side of the sport look as 2012 draws to a close?
A: After another hugely successful year in both Olympic and world championships we are in great shape moving forward. Results have come in from all disciplines and most importantly from younger riders more than ever in both team and individual events. There is a definite development flavour to the next few years with lots of exciting new talent in the system that will integrate in to the senior ranks in time for Rio.
Q: What does our domestic level look like?
A: Our domestic calendar is strong and the recent inclusion of a Women’s race programme at Revolution showed that domestic based riders were not out of their depth against the best in the world. The number and quality of the domestic based race teams is also increasing and this leads to more opportunity to race as a team and occasionally branch out on to the international scene also.
"Really it’s over to you, work hard and if you have the talent, enjoy your bike riding and you are getting good results get in touch. We need your help to develop the next generation of British medal winners."
Q: What about our international presence?
A: There are more riders than ever spread across the European professional teams. The professional side of the sport is working very hard to establish a lasting structure and the support of sponsors and hard work of the athletes will be rewarded in the near future with a stable programme of teams and races. British Cycling need to understand the changes to the structure of track and road cycling to enable us to support riders in the best way possible. 2013 will be an important learning year to shape our future development aims.
Q: Future opportunities look like?
A: The focus on home events and performance remains with Glasgow 2014 on the horizon. More home nation athletes will be supported in their preparations for this event than ever before and this rich vein of talent will form the basis of our Rio squads for all disciplines. Collaboration with all the Home Nation squads is an exciting spin off that will yield results.
We have the annual test of world and European championships too that enable new riders to experience World level competition as they begin their journey to Rio. Selection documents related to these events will be published on the website in the early part of 2013. Results mean everything, domestic wins are good but for major competitions expect major results in National Championships on both Road or Track and international results against the very opposition you will face at a Worlds will always be viewed with merit.
Q: New talent?
A: Legacy of 2012 will be measured in participation as much as performance. Increasing numbers should see more people aspire to wear a GB jersey in competition. Our advice to anyone is to get on a bike and seek out your local club where your journey begins.
Get the work in and get out there in the many races on track or road that are available. We are always interested to know about people’s development and special talents out there on the club run or spotted down the track one night.
Really it’s over to you, work hard and if you have the talent, enjoy your bike riding and you are getting good results get in touch. We need your help to develop the next generation of British medal winners (email firstname.lastname@example.org with your achievements and results to keep us up to date)