Mountivation Cycling Development Academy
A new cycling development academy has been set up in the north of England by Gary Sadler. Gary is an ex-Pro and 15 times national track and road champion and is now focussing his skills and experiences to lead and direct a six rider cycling academy.
Pictured above :The Mountivation development academy riders with staff and sponsors prior to their first outing on the road in Lancashire (December 2011)
Gary explained the ethos behind the academy. “It has become apparent over the last decade how the UK cycling landscape has grown, and while it is very pleasing to see Team Sky fly the flag plus the creation of 6 well established UCI Continental Teams racing in the UK, there has to be the supply of riders with the ability to compete and perform at that level. From what we have observed in the UK there are some good young riders with potential, but we need to ensure the numbers with promise at the bottom of the performance pyramid continue to grow.
Gary has observed that once a rider is selected to be on the UK academy they get a boost and a dedicated programme to improve them. However Gary continued, “It can be very hard for the group of riders sitting just underneath who may get a bike but little or no real coaching or direction. The academy plans to help plug this gap and increase the numbers at the bottom of the pyramid.
Five riders from the north of England and the IOM have been selected for the 2012 intake with one more name to be added to the roster. The riders are; James King (Richmond), Matt Flynn (Kendal), Tom Armstrong (Preston), Jack Sadler (Ulverston) and Josh Knight (Isle of Man).
Recently, Gary assembled the riders, their parents, backroom staff and a number of sponsors at Lancaster House Hotel for the Mountivation Development Academy Introduction Day.
Pictured above: Onix bikes that the Mountivation Development Academy will ride in 2012
Gary has attempted, in the last few years to sell the ethos of developing younger riders who have either fallen through the British cycling cracks or were not as physically developed as their peers to no avail. “This opportunity for the riders is huge. The Mountivation academy will give them skills and a pathway to take them on to Under 23 and with luck to UCI Pro level, not just on the bike but off it too, life skills, media skill, organisational planning, team work - they will receive more than just a bike!
The young team assembled has already shown they have a terrific bond between them. Gary continued; “they have huge potential, a champion team as opposed to a team of champions. It’s all about the work ethic, 10,000 hours! We will have six riders who are there to learn - learn to lose before they can truly learn to win. We will guide them through the whole process and work alongside their parents and individual coaches”.
The team have a full programme of National series races and National championships, UK and Ireland are both a priority. The lads will also take part in the National criterium series support races and Gary is very keen they all ride the track - to hone and develop their bike handling skills.
In the next few months there are a number of Academy boot camps and a warm weather camp to gel the team before the first outing at the Clayton Velo classic in late February.
The development academy is very fortunate in securing the backing from Tim Schools and his passion with cycling through Mountivation, his support is unwavering.
Gary Sadler is delighted to be working alongside Craig Middleton at Onix Bikes; the bikes we have seen are at the cutting edge of technology and it is exciting to be working with someone as committed as Craig. We are all embarking on a new journey with huge optimism.
Ken Jones at Bioracer has been a driving force in securing the lads the very best equipment, his experience, enthusiasm and contacts are invaluable. The team will be kitted out in Bioracer clothing for 2012.
Additionally Carrera will supply helmets and glasses with additional sponsors to be confirmed early in the New Year.