Welsh Cycling are pleased to announce the riders who have been selected for the Wales Racing Academy for 2020.
This is the third year that the academy has been running as part of the wider Welsh Cycling performance programme which aims to maximise riders’ potential and deliver success on the international stage.
Speaking about the programme Performance Director, Matt Cosgrove said: “The Academy was introduced to build on our youth and junior programmes. The Academy assists a rider’s transition into the senior ranks by providing them with coaching, sports science support and international race exposure.”
“This provides them with a platform to develop to hopefully gain a contract with a professional team or to support a medal winning performance at the Commonwealth Games. It is pleasing to see the variety of riders on the Academy this year with male and female riders specialising in track sprint and endurance, road and cross country mountain bike,” Cosgrove said.
The overall purposeof the Academy set-up is about developing riders with the aim of progressing their cycling careers to the highest level of the sport. The Academy provides our athletes with a range of racing opportunities both in the UK and across Europe on both the road, track and cross country mountain bike.
Our athletes also work closely with the team at Sport Wales having access to the specialist support in areas such as nutrition, strength and conditioning, sport psychology and more.
The academy was originally set up to offer Welsh athletes a programme to develop them in all the key areas essential with being an athlete, through appropriate race programmes across commonwealth Games disciplines, the right support and education programme through Sport Wales to deliver the athletes to next level of their personal pathway or medal winning performances at Commonwealth Games.
With the Commonwealth Games just over two years away it’s important that the athletes are taking every opportunity to win, perform, develop, understand and take responsibility with what is required to deliver in Birmingham.
Welsh Cycling Head Coach, Darren Tudor said: “I’m pleased that the new Academy has been announced for 2020 and I’m looking forward to working with the riders again this year.”
“The aim of the programme is to create talented and hungry bike riders who want to compete at the highest level, and with the help and support of Welsh Cycling, Sport Wales and our sponsors we believe this crop of athletes will go on to achieve success,” Tudor continued.
The Academy programme is all about assisting the development of medal potential riders and with the Commonwealth Games in 2022, preparation has already begun as we look to develop our riders with that competition in mind.
Academy Coach Rob Partridge said: “Now we’ve selected our athletes to work with for 2020 it’s time to knuckle down and all push together towards them achieving their goals. It's exciting to work with a group of young athletes who all aspire to greater things; and we’re here - as staff - to help and support them along their journey.”
Current Academy rider Owain Roberts who has progressed through all our Welsh Cycling performance pathways said: “It’s an honour to be part of the Wales Racing Academy and I’m looking forward to the racing and training opportunities during the coming season.
“I’m looking forward to working with the coaches and my fellow riders as I look to develop in my first season as an under-23/senior rider,” Roberts continued.
Leah Dixon who will be supported by the academy whilst racing for Team Tibco Silicon ValleyBank in the Women’s World Tour said: “I’m super excited to be part of the Wales Racing Academy this year. 2020 will be my first year as a full-time professional cyclist and I’ve already seen the benefits of the academy this winter through access to the great coaching, physiology testing and a strength and conditioning programme.”
Dixon continued by saying: “With the support of the Wales Racing Academy, I hope to raise my game in the 2020 season with the ultimate aim of representing Wales in the 2022 Commonwealth Games.”
2020 Wales Racing Academy squad
· Pete Kibble
· Joe Beckingsale
· Matthew Burke
· Will Roberts
· Sam Beckett
· Joshua Price
· Owain Roberts
· Harvey McNaughton
· Ellie Coster
· Lizzie Bennett
· Leah Dixon
· Joe Holt