Welsh Cycling MTB Skills Academy

Welsh Cycling MTB Skills Academy

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Skills Academy Sessions focus on Cross Country MTB racing skills but will help you become a better rider whatever your discipline-including road and track (Jean-Christophe Peraud was an XC rider until 2011 when he finished top 10 in the Tour de France and Chris Hoy used to race XC as a junior!).

The day is split into two sessions: the morning sessions from 10am-12noon are open to any rider aged 10-16 and focus on skills and short race efforts-riders are asked to bring flat pedals for this part of the session in order to develop good technique. The younger riders (Under-12) are finished for the day but not so for the older riders. Following a short break for some food and a rest the over 12’s continue for another 2hours, finishing at around 2:30pm. The afternoon session normally consists of a ride to a technically challenging area or trail that riders can then session before riding back to the base. 

There are sessions planned in North and South Wales for each week of the Summer holidays:

North Wales: All Thursdays

26th July-Nant BH
2nd August-Coed y Brenin
9th August-Nant BH
16th August-Coed y Brenin
23rd August-Nant BH
30th August-Coed y Brenin

South Wales: All Tuesdays

31st July-Sirhowy Valley
7th August-Margam Park
14th August-Sirhowy Valley
21st August-Margam Park
28th August-Sirhowy Valley


Nant BH (near Betws Y Coed). Nant BH is an Outdoor Education Centre with a purpose built skills course. It is also in the middle of the Marin Trail and has a classroom area, showers and toilets-all in all, a fantastic venue.

Coed y Brenin (near Dolgellau). Another great North Wales venue, Coed y Brenin has a great natural area that we use for these sessions. Away from the main public trails, it isn’t used by any other riders so there is plenty of scope for us to choose different paths/trails and challenges.

Sirhowy Valley. Sirhowy Valley is just north of Newport and is a much more natural venue-there is a grass area for the morning skills session and some technical natural trails for the afternoon. Potentially very slippery if it is wet so bring grippy tyres if you have a choice (this applies more for the afternoon session than the morning).

Margam Park. Margam Park is a well-known venue having hosted National races for many years. There is a good mix of trails and technical challenges with some steep climbs/descents.

If you know of a venue that might be suitable and isn’t listed above, please let me know.

Sessions are free but you will need to book a place in advance by contacting Scott Bugden- scott.bugden@welshcycling.co.uk 

We are looking for coaches to help to run these sessions-you don’t need to be available for every session, if you can only commit to one, that’s fine. If you are interested, please e-mail Scott Bugden to confirm that you are coming to the session and whether you would like to help out or observe.