What a great Year for the Academy

Academy Manager Dan looks back on whatís been a great return for the academy programme and outlines the future plans for 2017 which is set to see further expansion of the programme.

Following a reduced sized programme in 2015 to allow us to take stock and start to develop our grass roots programme in order to create a sustainable pathway for our younger riders the expectation would be for us to have a quiet year in 2016. The riders were selected at the start of the year and a squad of 10 identified to support that year.

By the end of the first phase of the season (read the report here) the progression of the riders had been at an amazing rate. Riders who started the year getting dropped early on in races were now attacking and winning races against the very same riders that were dropping them only a few months before.

As ever with this age group the dreaded exam period quite rightly caused a number of the riders to take a break from the sport in order to concentrate on the more important bigger picture, though once this was done they would continue to go out chasing results around the UK.

The older riders in the Academy were now at this point casting an eye over what would happen in 2017 as they move up to the Junior ranks, keen to continue the support the club had by then look to put a plan into place to reform a Junior team and funding was starting to be secured for a team.

The end of season often focusses on the inter regional and UK School games, of which we had our best ever representation which saw George and Charlie complete for the south region and were joined by Ollie and Krispin in the Paracycling events.

More strong performances were on show at the inter regional track championships from George and Charlie (Read report here) which contributed to Charlie being selected to Join the British Cycling Apprentice programme, making him the 4th rider from the club to be selected on this first rung of the British Cycling pathway. The club has also seen a big increase in the number of existing riders join us from other local clubs as they have seen not only the success of our riders but also the great bond they  have, a fantastic work ethos and above all how much fun they have being part of a team. Something sadly lacking in many other teams and clubs but to the benefit of BCDS.

At the time of writing the Junior team have selected the riders to form our Junior Team for 2017, full announcement to follow in the coming weeks, and with a massive 25 riders applying for the Youth academy in 2017 the process will again require an assessment day of the riders in November in order to select the 10 spaces available onto the Academy.

The Academy will also have a specific ParaCycling programme for 2017 to allow us to support a growing number of young talented riders feed into the GB setup and potentially lead into the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games.

Things are indeed looking very good for the future of the Academy, but for now a brief chance to rest and recharge the batteries before we set off once again for a new season and some new faces in the ranks.


Thank you to all the riders and parents who have made the year so successful, itís been a pleasure to work with you all.