British Cycling can confirm plans for a second base in Europe to host the women’s endurance senior academy.
The announcement follows the success of relocating the men’s endurance senior academy to Italy in February and, although the location cannot be publicly announced yet, preparations are well advanced with the base hosting the academy from early next year.
Performance Pathway Manager Ian Yates explains: “I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made in establishing a second European training base for our women’s endurance senior academy as this is the logical next stage in the programme’s evolution. Although the new training base will have similar elements to the men’s, it’s not an exact replica as it will be designed to meet the differing development needs of the women’s squad.
“The location we’re looking at is ideal in terms of proximity to world-class road racing and it also offers great access to a wide variety of training conditions and terrain. Similar to Italy, the base will also serve to benefit the whole programme and is another example of how we are striving to develop a world-class squad of riders for Tokyo 2020 and beyond.”
Coach Chris Newton said: “The women’s endurance academy programme has gone from strength to strength over the past year. We now have a squad of very talented young riders who relocated back to Manchester from Newport to benefit from the advantages of being close to British Cycling’s HQ and the support staff based here.
“The next step was creating a single team, Team Breeze, which meant they could ride together and ensure that individual development could be prioritised. Both these actions have already yielded positive results, including a top eight team pursuit ride at a Track World Cup, Emily Nelson’s excellent fifth place at the UCI Track World Championships in London and a couple of promising results on the road in the Women’s Tour Series.
“The next step is to look at increasing their road racing experience and we believe utilising a foreign training base will prove to be a great avenue to do this.”
Former junior world champion Emily Nelson said: “The opportunities we’ve been given by British Cycling this past year have been amazing and I’ve seen improvements in myself as a bike rider.
“As a second year senior academy rider, representing Great Britain at an elite track world championships was the highlight of my career so far. I learned so much from being in the same team as Laura Trott and Sir Bradley Wiggins, the whole experience was invaluable to me.
“Moving to a foreign training base is the next step in my development and I’m looking forward to seeing what else I can achieve as a result of this.”
Fellow senior academy rider Manon Lloyd said: “It’s been hugely inspiring recently to have Mark Cavendish training on the track with us, and to know that his success was partly down to an academy experience similar to the one we’re being offered is really exciting. Likewise, hearing how much the men’s academy riders are enjoying and benefitting from their training base is brilliant, and I can’t wait to relocate abroad.”