Milton Keynes, 25 April 2022: ŠKODA UK, in partnership with Britain’s greatest ever Paralympian Dame Sarah Storey, has confirmed three new female riders to join the ŠKODA DSI Cycling Academy, which is now it its fourth year.
Alex Morrice from Guildford, Surrey, Katie-Ann Elliston from Southend-On-Sea, Essex and Maia Forde from Tooting, London, will develop their cycling skills under the mentorship of Britain’s greatest ever Paralympian, Dame Sarah Storey
The three women were selected from 90 applicants who took part in a testing day at the Lee Valley Velo Park at the end of March. The tests at the Lee Valley Velodrome included a series of Wattbike challenges followed by laps of the outdoor closed circuit to assess bike handling skills and straight-line speed.
Dame Sarah Storey, Academy Principal, described how applicants were tested to their limits as part of the process:
“I was so impressed with the level of all the riders taking part, their commitment, and the way they gelled together as a group. The tests were a six second peak power test, a three-minute maximal test then a 12-minute aerobic test, followed by two laps on the outdoor track. The riders all performed very well and gave absolutely everything – that there were so many riders slumped over their bikes at the end is testament to that!
“Congratulations to all the riders that took part in the testing day but ultimately three riders stood out for me and I’m excited to be working closely with Maia, Alex and Katie-Ann this year through the Academy programme.”
Dame Sarah gave her feedback on each of three women:
Alex Morrice (22) from Guildford, Surrey is a Physics and Chemistry student at the University of Bath.
“Alex posted four outstanding test results which far exceeded my expectations for someone who has been cycling for less than a year. Her focus and drive were evident from the moment she walked into the testing day.”
Katie-Ann Elliston (19) from Southend-On-Sea, Essex is a Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation student at the University of Derby and member of Southend Wheelers.
“Katie-Ann was first tested in 2021 and returned to re-apply this year. Her tests significantly improved, and I was incredibly impressed by how she had applied the recommendations made to her last summer. The willingness to learn, improve and progress further radiated from her in every test, and I can’t wait to support her over the coming months.”
Maia Forde (23) from Tooting, London is a Mental Health and Wellbeing Practitioner and is a member of the Black Cyclists Network.
“Maia was a joy to meet and test at the event at Lee Valley and although she had only been cycling since last summer it is clear she’s been working hard to bring herself up to speed on everything to do with the sport.
“Her tests were impressive and the combination of her determination and natural talent was very exciting to watch. I am really looking forward to supporting Maia and helping her further develop her skills both on and off the bike.”
The three new riders join three existing Academy riders, Maddi Aldam-Gates, Gwyneth Parry and Olivia French, who were selected for the programme in 2021.