Developing as a youth rider
You may have been riding with Stratford Juniors for a little while now, training hard and starting to race regularly. You've certainly caught the cycling bug, but what can you do to develop your riding further?
To encourage young riders to grow and develop, British Cycling run a structured programme of talent development so you can experience coaching and riding that will challenge you to achieve even more.
Where to start
As a member of Stratford Cycling Club Juniors section, you've alreay taken the most important step - joining a Go Ride club where you can learn new skills and develop your ability as a cyclist. You'll also be encouraged to race in a range of disciplines - track, circuit, Cyclocross and more. Our coaches can teach you the basics of riding your bike confidently and then progress you onto more complex and challenging techniques and skills. Through racing you'll build confidence to compete as you join the community of young riders across the West Midlands, even venturing further afield when opportunities arise.
If you want to develop your cycling beyond the Monday night training, over the winter you can join our Friday night cluster training session at Tudor Grange. These run from October to early March and provide a great opportunity to train with riders from other clubs in a more challenging session.
You should also look at the Derby Velodrome cluster sessions which are a great opportunity to develop your riding and be seen by coaches from other clubs.
Stepping onto the pathway
The British Cycling Talent Development pathway is structured around three levels:
- Development Centres
- Regional schools of racing
- National schools of racing
Development Centres (DC) are the first step on the British Cycling talent pathway, these sessions are open to all riders between 12-15, are run across each of the British Cycling regions, across multiple disciplines and are based out of British Cycling facilities.
In our region the centres are run at the Derby Velodrome and the Leicester Cycle Circuit.
Regional schools of racing
Riders who perform well and show promise at their club and in regional competition can be nominated by their club for a Regional School of Racing (RSR).
During an RSR riders will be coached and educated as part of a select group of riders from their region. This will help preparation for the next stage, but also for regional and national competitions.
Riders will typically be aged between 13 and 15.
National schools of racing
These are by invitation only and focus on specific areas that British Cycling are keen to develop. The are aimed at riders who are a year off consideration for the GB Programme.
Riders who show promise at the RSRs and National Races may be invited onto the Rider Route programme - this is the development route for some of the most promising riders in the country. You can learn more about this at: https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/riderroute
However seriously you take your cycling, the most importain thing is to keep having fun - it may get harder, you may get faster, but always do it with a smile and a laugh and that will keep you cycling for years to come!