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Olympic Academy Programme - Cross Country

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British Cycling's Mountain Bike Olympic Academy Programme is now recruiting for a new intake of under-23 cross country riders.

A place on the Academy Programme is something only those riders with the ability to make significant progress towards a two to three year goal of a medal at under-23 and senior European or World Championships will achieve. Competition for places is always high with a very limited number of places reflecting the limited number of Olympic medals available at the top of the sport, so only riders demonstrating truly exceptional ability will earn membership.

The Olympic Academy Programme is full time, requiring a strong work ethic to survive and progress. Young riders need to live and breathe cycling and devote their coming years to the achievement of challenging goals. The support provided and commitment of the Olympic Programme staff to assisting riders to achieve these goals is as high as the commitment expected from the riders.

The programme is based in Manchester throughout the winter months, alongside riders from the men's Endurance and Sprint Academies, giving access to a range of training partners. Riders will have a winter training programme that will include gym work, skill and conditioning sessions and cyclocross races to help develop race experience. Through the summer months the Programme moves into the competitive season, with riders generally competing overseas in World Cup and European competition.

British Cycling's Olympic Academy leaves no stone unturned to provide the best coaching, sports science input, equipment appropriate to the stage of development, nutrition support, medical and hygiene advice, educational support, clothing, injury prevention and rehabilitation, tactical advice, race support, coaching, training programme and mental preparation. This list continues to grow in the team's unending quest for excellence.

Olympic Academy riders are provided with a small grant through UK Sport lottery funding, from which they are required to make a contribution towards Programme and accommodation costs. There is a regular education programme throughout the winter months aimed at providing riders with the life skills needed to make a successful transition post-Academy into a professional full time career as a cyclist. This programme can include bike mechanical skills, nutrition, budgeting, as well as time management and media training.

British Cycling's Olympic Academy Programme was introduced in 2004 and included Tour de France stage winner Mark Cavendish and Olympic Champions Geraint Thomas and Ed Clancy. Since that time, the Academy has grown exponentially to incorporate all Olympic disciplines, with most riders residential in apartment style accommodation in Manchester over the winter months.
Learning from the successes of the men's Endurance Academy, parallel programmes were developed for Track Sprint, Mountain Bike Cross Country, BMX Supercross and women's Endurance. This is far from a one size fits all model though; in recognition of the specific needs of the different cycling disciplines; each Programme differs slightly.

For a taste of life on mountain biking's Olympic Academy Programme:

Annie Last Chases Gold
Talking Heads: ODP Riders Get Taste For Academy
Phil Dixon Reacts To Mountain Bike Performance Programme Selections
Days In The Life Of The Academy

Application forms can be downloaded here: Download

British Cycling Equality Monitoring Form - Download

Application deadline dates: 26th September 2011.

Successful applicants will be advised by the end of October with a start date in the Academy of 2nd November.

Contact: or British Cycling, National Cycling Centre, Stuart Street, Manchester M11 4DQ or fax to 0161 274 2111.