ŠKODA Driver’s Seat Initiative (DSI) Cycling Academy is recruiting two female riders to join their programme and an opportunity to experience life as a professional cyclist.
The application process opens on March 5 and selected riders will join Academy Principal, Sarah Storey, for testing on March 29 at the Lee Valley VeloPark in London.
“The ŠKODA Academy is a unique opportunity to develop as a young rider in a way that is rarely available to the peloton. From race opportunity and non-race events, there is a broad range of activities throughout the year to inspire and challenge a rider to find their next level,” Storey said in a press release.
“The camaraderie of being part of a small women’s focused setup and the links in with the senior and experienced riders of the Storey Racing team and their support staff, make the ŠKODA Academy a place to develop and excel.”
The DSI Cycling Academy will recruit two female athletes between the ages of 17 and 22, and the aim is to provide them with a route to the elite level of the sport. The application process opens on March 5 and applicants must provide details of their cycling experience, training schedule and answering questions on their cycling ambitions.
Storey and her team will decide who will join the 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. During the testing phase, the riders will complete laps of the outdoor closed circuit to test their physical handling and pacing abilities.
The chosen athletes will have an opportunity to experience what it’s like to be a professional athlete through covering the performance, nutrition and media profile required to be a modern-day pro cyclist, according to the press release.
The 2021 schedule offers academy members the chance to race in the Women’s National Road and Circuit Series and attend ŠKODA sponsored events, which could include L’Etape du Tour, La Course, the Women’s Tour and the Tour Series.
DSI Cycling Academy will provide riders with opportunities to develop with a view to being selected for a professional race team at the end of the programme.
“Riders will receive regular reviews and will need to be dedicated to their training programme to graduate on to the next year of the programme, whether that’s a place on the Storey Racing roster, a place on a UCI Women’s World Tour team or another year as part of the Academy,” Storey said.
“This university-style programme also delivers an educational aspect through the social media and promotion strands. Being small in size, the ŠKODA Academy riders are encouraged to develop strengths and weaknesses in a supportive and nurturing environment.”
The two selected applicants will join the senior members; Megan Dickerson, Meredith Gilbert, Morgan Newberry, and Rebecca Richards, who each aim to graduate from the DSI Cycling Academy at the end of this year by joining a professional cycling team.
“Applying for the ŠKODA Cycling Academy is the best decision I have ever made. I’ve learnt so much from working with Dame Sarah and the Storey Racing team that my cycling is now at whole new level compared to when I joined in 2019,” said Richards.
“Without the Academy I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to compete in a variety of rides and races such as the time trials at the National Closed Circuit Championships, L’Etape du Tour and the inaugural ŠKODA V-Women’s Tour. If you are a female cyclist looking to see how far you can go in the sport, then I would thoroughly recommend that you apply for the Academy. Good luck!”
To apply for the ŠKODA DSI Cycling Academy, please visit: www.skoda.co.uk/discover/cycling-academy-sign-up