Milton Keynes, 31 January 2022: ŠKODA UK, in partnership with Britain’s greatest ever Paralympian Dame Sarah Storey, has announced that it is recruiting three new female riders to the ŠKODA DSI Cycling Academy. Applications are now open until Monday 28February.
The ŠKODA DSI Cycling Academy offers young female riders the opportunity to gain invaluable experience thanks to ŠKODA’s sponsorship of some of cycling’s biggest events and mentorship from Academy Principal, Dame Sarah Storey.
ŠKODA is committed to furthering the opportunities for female riders and the aim of the year-long, inclusive programme is to provide ambitious cyclists, aged between 18-24, with a chance to learn and develop a clear direction within the sport so that they can maximise their potential.
Riders can apply through the website: www.skoda.co.uk/discover/cycling-academy-sign-up by providing details of their cycling experience, training schedule, and answering questions on their cycling ambitions.
Successful applicants will be contacted by mid-March to be invited to the second stage of the process. A testing day will take place on Monday 28 March at the Lee Valley VeloPark where the selected riders will be put through their paces by Dame Sarah Storey and other ŠKODA ambassadors.
Dame Sarah will decide who will join the prestigious ŠKODA DSI Cycling Academy after carefully analysing the results of a series of tests that will include a peak power test, a three-minute maximal test and a 12-minute steady state challenge. The riders will also complete laps of the outdoor closed circuit to assess their bike handling skills and straight-line speed.
The 2022 Academy programme, designed to sit alongside each rider’s existing club or team activity, provides the opportunity to experience the life of a professional rider with on and off bike experiences throughout the year.
Dame Sarah Storey’s mentorship will include planning and bespoke advice on racing, training and career progression beyond the Academy. Additional social media and media training will be available alongside a sport psychology programme developed exclusively for the Academy.
Ride experiences, dictated by COVID rules at the time, will take place during ŠKODA sponsored events that include the Women’s Tour (June), Tour de France (July) and Tour of Britain (September). A further British Cycling experience day is scheduled for October.
Dame Sarah Storey commented: “I’m delighted to be able to recruit three new riders to the ŠKODA Academy for this the fourth year since its inception. The now annual programme will enable ambitious young women to further develop their skills both on and off the bike via a series of events. Whether you are already racing at a regional or national level or have just taken up cycling, this is a fantastic opportunity to join a unique and inspiring programme, where you not only get to travel and witness some of the world’s best riders in action, but you will also learn more about how to maximise your opportunities alongside school, university, and other responsibilities in life.
“I’ve had so much fun supporting ŠKODA riders over the past three years and I’m always incredibly proud to see them go on to achieve the next step in their career as happened with four riders from the 2021 programme.”
The recruitment schedule is as follows:
31 January Application window opens
28February Application window closes
Mid-March Shortlisted riders invited to testing day by mid-March
28March Testing Day
1 April Selections made and riders contacted
w/c 4 April New riders announced
The three new riders will join three existing Academy riders, Maddi Aldam-Gates, Gwyneth Parry and Olivia French, who were selected for the programme last year.
Academy rider, Olivia French comments: “I cannot emphasise enough how important the ŠKODA DSI Cycling Academy has been in developing my performance on the bike. Behind the scenes ride experiences at some of the biggest events alongside learning from Dame Sarah Storey, a cycling legend, have been invaluable for me. If you’re a young female cyclist with a passion for the sport, then I wholeheartedly recommend that you try out. Apply now!”
ŠKODA started life as a bicycle company in 1895 and the brand continues to honour its heritage. In tandem with its headline sponsorship of key events in the cycling calendar, ŠKODA is championing gender equality in the professional tour series.
Applications can be made here: https://www.skoda.co.uk/discover/cycling-academy-sign-up