Seven top athletes selected for Scottish Cycling's Downhill Academy


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Seven top athletes selected for Scottish Cycling's Downhill Academy

Posted on: 9 December 2010
Video by: Chris Ball (National Downhill Coach)

A pioneering cycling academy that has already supported a Junior World Champion and Junior World Bronze medallist opened its doors recently hoping to develop more medal winners on the world stage.

Lewis Buchanan, who took Bronze in Junior Downhill World Championships in September in Canada, will join six other top downhill cyclists as they sign up for the intensive 12 month programme.

The Downhill Academy, run by Scottish Cycling, the governing body for cycle sport in Scotland, is a world leader in developing junior and under-23 riders and supporting them to achieve on the world stage.

The Academy/Programme is moving into its 4th year and is predominantly based in the Scottish Borders.

Here, National Downhill Coach Chris Ball uses Coach Cam to illustrate what it's like on a downhill track.

Scottish Cycling Performance Development Manager Gary Willis said: "To be selected, athletes must show dedication to their sport, as well as a desire to travel and compete at the highest level in one of cycling's most challenging disciplines.

"We have chosen seven top athletes for the 2010-11 programme and they are all keen and raring to get on with their winter training, challenge themselves, and see how they keep developing as young athletes on the world stage."

He added: "Lewis's medal in 2010 was the first world championship success for Scottish Cycling's Downhill Academy since Ruaridh Cunningham won the junior title in 2007 and we were pleased to have been able to support his development."

Lewis will be joined by European Downhill Junior Champion Sam Flockhart, Ben Cathro, Ruaridh Cunningham, Fraser McGlone, Joe Connell and Mark Scott.

While on the Academy, National Downhill Coach, Chris Ball will be working with riders through 2011 and, in an exciting new development, will be working in partnership with Napier University, to provide specialist support services, including improving strength & conditioning, relating Psychology to downhill racing and developing downhill skills and techniques.