28 February 2023
The Performance Pathway is a programme run by British Cycling to help the most promising riders aged 16 to 21 to progress to Olympic level. It provides coaching support for ambitious riders from across all disciplines including para cycling.
The five types of cycling at the Olympics are: road cycling, track cycling, BMX racing, BMX freestyling and mountain biking. The Performance Pathway includes on and off bike education and national and international race exposure. It requires total commitment and dedication. The programme is funded by UK Sport.
Children apply to foundation, junior and senior academies. It is likely they will already be members of clubs and coaches will have selected them for Regional Schools of Racing. Selection for the Performance Pathway is made through invitational camps and races.
Applications should be made by the end of July with decisions being made by the end of August.
The academy are looking for riders with the ability, desire and ambition to achieve at the highest level. Once they have the skills, techniques and fitness they can focus on performance development through the Performance Pathway. They will already be competing regularly and be able to demonstrate a commitment to training. They will know how to make time for training and competing.
Three criteria are considered in the applications:
They are looking for potential and select for Group 1 the junior or senior academies, Group 2 which is a three month programme or Group 3 which is unsuccessful but free to apply again next year.
At the junior academy riders are developed to become full-time athletes. The coaches are full time professionals and riders gain access to purpose-built facilities. They gain technical experience, experience of preparing for major championships and race conditioning. They race at international competitions. Goals are identified, confirmed and developed. Weaknesses and gaps in systems are identified. Off-bike training builds strength and power. Riders learn event strategy and how to prepare mentally.
The senior school is a finishing school fine-tuning athletes to dominate the top step of Olympic race podiums in the future. This is where coaches add the technical polish and build up training loads to those undertaken by professional elite athletes. They will need the very best bikes and learn to eat an optimum diet.
The Olympic Podium programme supports elite cyclists in their aim to win medals in world championships and the Olympic Games. The athletes are a maximum of four years away from the podium. Riders will have demonstrated the potential to be selected for the British Cycling Olympic/Paralympic programme.
Scottish Cycling and Welsh Cycling work closely with British Cycling to feed riders into Team GB.