Published: 7 May 2013
The public announcement confirming the roster of riders who will receive funding for the next Olympic cycle signalled something of a milestone for one of British Cycling’s key programmes.
Over half of the riders who are set to receive top level funding as professional British Cycling athletes started out cycling in one of British Cycling’s Go-Ride clubs. The Go-Ride programme, which began in 2005, is the national development scheme for clubs and under 16s.
Over 60 per cent of the able-bodied athletes who are being funded over the next Olympic cycle have come through a club affiliated with Go-Ride. That’s a total of 57 Go-Ride athletes from the overall 95 selected for funding.
Notable riders who have achieved great success after progressing through Go-Ride programmes include Olympic champions, Laura Trott and Jason Kenny, and World Champions, Becky James and Mark Cavendish.
These riders have all been included on the funding for the next four years, building up to the Olympic Games in Rio 2016.
The Go-Ride programme provides a platform for young riders to bridge the gap from recreational riding to the more competitive side of the sport.
British Cycling’s Performance Director, Dave Brailsford, said: “Go-Ride clubs are not only given the tools to develop young people’s passion for cycling, but also the knowledge to progress their talents across all disciplines, ages and abilities.
“Olympic and Paralympic stars need to start somewhere and Go-Ride Racing is the perfect place for young riders to enter the competitive arena.”
The Go-Ride Racing programme plays an essential role in this development, by offering local competition for cyclists under the age of 16. A British Cycling racing license is not required and all events are tailored to the novice cyclist.
Laura Trott, Olympic and World Champion, said: “Go-Ride clubs offer young people an excellent route into cycling and the best possible way to gain early experience of competitive riding.”
The programme provides the first step on the performance pathway for young riders and is linked to the Talent Team setup through the regional network of coaches and development staff.
Coaching, Education and Development director at British Cycling, John Mills, is confident of the future success at both a grassroots level and for the Great Britain cycling team.
John said: “It is fantastic to see the vital role that Go-Ride continues to play in the ongoing success of British Cycling and our elite athletes. While it is important to achieve medals on the podium today, it is also crucial that we have one eye on the future, identifying and developing the next crop of riders to fill the sizable shoes of today’s stars.
“Go-Ride has clearly demonstrated how the programme contributes significantly to the growth of future talent and we hope that will encourage more young people to get involved.”
Programmes like Go-Ride are vitally important to sustain the success that British Cycling has achieved over the past three Olympic cycles. With the retirements of Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton following London 2012, the focus is very much on the next generation in the lead up to Rio in 2016.
Becky James, a previous Go-Ride club member who secured two Gold and two Bronze medals at the Track World Championships in Minsk early this year, has proven that the future of British Cycling is a bright one.
For more information regarding the Go-Ride programme, either as a young rider or as a club interested in joining the programme, please visit: britishcycling.org.uk/go-ride
Here is the full list of funded riders who have progressed through Go Ride clubs:
Sir Bradley Wiggins
Tao Geoghegan Hart