Performance Pathway: The Journey to Olympic Medals

Performance Pathway: The Journey to Olympic Medals

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The Performance Pathway

Helping the most promising riders become the stars of Olympic cycling.

The Great Britain Cycling Team (GBCT) is the most successful Olympic and Paralympic sports team in British history. Our Performance Pathways support the development journey for the country’s most promising riders all the way to the Olympic and Paralympic Games. We offer a range of pathways, but they are all aligned to a single philosophy, which is to develop the best performance cyclists and people that we can. We believe that we have one of the best sporting talent development systems in the world and one that is constantly striving to improve and evolve.

Applications are now open for the year 2023/2024

Selection 2023-2024

The year 2023-2024 will see the evolution of the junior and senior academies to better reflect rider experience and expectations through each programme. The Olympic Development Squad (previously Junior Academy) will take riders at the very start of their career and focus on developing their foundational bike-riding skills. While the Podium Potential Squad (previously Senior Academy) prepares riders for what it takes to be one of the top riders in the world.

The aim of academy selection is to ensure that we are selecting riders with the highest potential to achieve podium success at the Olympic Games in Paris 2024, LA 2028 and beyond onto our foundation, junior and senior academies. All selection decisions will be made in line with the programme membership policy.

Applications for the Olympic Development and Podium Potential squads are currently being accepted and the application process will close on 30 June 2023 at 5pm. All final communications regarding membership to the Olympic Development Squad and the Podium Potential Squad will take place by Friday 29 September.

Between July and September 2023, riders may be invited to testing and interview days with their relevant discipline as part of the intake process.

The diagram below has been provided to explain the decision-making process. Click image to view full size.

2022 performance pathway timeline

In considering applications, all three of the following criteria will be applied:

  1. Race performances and results in the last three years.
  2. Testing and camp data that supports riders being on a trajectory or meeting the consideration scores or benchmarks.
  3. Subjective analysis by the existing (if available) and selecting coach against agreed criteria which has been built by the selecting coach and agreed by the discipline lead and the Performance Pathway Manager.

If all criteria are met and applicants have demonstrated clear potential, they will be eligible for GROUP 1 selection. These riders may be offered a place on the Olympic Development or Podium Potential Squad starting in October 2023.

If all criteria are met and applicants have demonstrated some potential, but we believe there are additional performances or development markers that we would like to see, they will be eligible for GROUP 2 selection. These riders may be offered a place on a confirmation programme that will last no more than three months and will be designed to confirm Olympic potential. This is unfunded and would require weekend availability. Specific details will be provided to those selected into GROUP 2.

If one or more of the criteria are not met the unsuccessful candidate will be put in GROUP 3. Unsuccessful applicants are free to apply again at the next intake. This does not stop riders from being selected for race events.

Performance Pathway Squads

All of our GBCT riders are given a rounded on and off-bike education that we are committed to making both professionally and personally fulfilling. Our programme offers the best opportunity for a future both in cycling as well as out of cycling, ensuring you are fully prepared wherever the journey may take you.

Across each of our academies, we focus on intensively developing the country’s best young riders. Refining what has already been learnt, the aim is to support the transition to becoming a senior bike rider and ready to graduate to the Podium Programme.

Olympic Development Squad

Olympic Development Squad

The Olympic Development Squad is focused on developing the country’s best junior riders, ensuring that they are ready for life as full-time athletes. This will include opportunities to race at international competitions in preparation for riding in major events at a senior level.

Overview of key elements per discipline:

  • Sprint and Endurance Olympic Development Squads: Age 16 – 18, camp based, decentralised
  • MTB Cross country Olympic Development Squad: Age 16-18, camp based, decentralised
  • BMX Racing Olympic Development Squad: Age 15-18, camp based, decentralised
  • BMX freestyle park Olympic Development Squad: Age 14+, camp based, decentralised

Podium Potential Squad

The The Podium Potential Squad’s aim is simple: to fine-tune athletes and ensure they are ready to dominate the top-step of world and Olympic race podiums in the future.

Overview of key elements per discipline:

  • Sprint Podium Potential Squad: Age 18-22, centralised, full-time
  • Endurance Podium Potential Squad: Age 18-22, decentralised, full-time
  • MTB Cross country Podium Potential Squad: Age 18-22, decentralised, full-time
  • BMX Racing Podium Potential Squad: Age 18-22, centralised, full-time
  • BMX Freestyle Park Podium Potential Squad: Age 18+, centralised, full-time


The pinnacle of the performance pathway, the Olympic Podium Programme is dedicated to supporting highly-skilled elite cyclists as they aim to win medals in major competitions, such as World Championships and Olympic Games.

Applications for the GBCT performance pathway sqauds are open until 30 June at 5pm.

 Apply now

Performance Pathway Prospectus

Find out more about each individual discipline's programme by taking a look at the prospectus below.



BMX Racing

Mountain Bike