At Halesowen thanks to our ownership of our own velodrome and our broad coaching programme we have a long history of producing talented young bike riders on road and track, many of whom have gone on to race at national and international level.
Founded in 2015, the Halesowen Academy aims to support the juniors and under-23 riders who come up through our coaching system with two things: a structure which will enable them to pursue their ambitions to become the best they can be coupled with the wider support and sense of community that only an old-school cycling club can provide.
The academy provides its riders with a limited support package - mainly nutrition and clothing - and aims to provide racing opportunities to further our riders’ development while giving them enjoyable shared peer group experiences. We are proud to have former GB road coach and JLT-Condor directeur sportif John Herety as our patron from this year.
We also offer links to a range of coaches with professional cycling experience who can advise our riders and we have links with cycling specialists in areas such as nutrition, physiotherapy and injury rehab. The academy also supports individual team riders who make a convincing case for backing which will further their career racing goals.
In year one the academy had just four riders and in 2016 we expanded to eight, who won 19 races between them, with six of them managing to cross the line first. The stand-out performance was Charles Walker’s overall win in the five-day Ras de Cymru, with Jack Stanton-Warren and Tom Swingler eighth and ninth.
For 2017, Charles moved up to Catford CC Banks, while Jack took on a leadership role, gaining his elite licence, with two wins in National B races - in successive days on the same weekend - and finishing in 8th overall in the Tour of the North 3-Day in Northern Ireland. He moved up to Wheelbase Castelli at the end of the season.
In 2018 the team landed nine wins in road races and criterium with five of the seven members crossing the line first, highlighted by Cam Biddle taking a very narrow victory in our own Halesowen road race. The stand-out race was the Giro del Mon where Matt Clarke and Charles Walker (riding as a guest) finished 1-2 on stage four, with Charlie winning the points jersey overall and wearing the yellow jersey on the final stage.
Clarkie and Cam Biddle both moved up to bigger teams, joining Wheelbase-Castelli and Morvelo Basso respectively. Later in the season we were joined by cyclo-crossers Simon Wyllie and David Hird, with Simon winning a round of the West Mids league against seniors and a round of the GB junior series, while David won the West Mids junior league overall.
For 2019 the team becomes younger than ever, and also bigger than ever, with 12 riders including seven juniors and one under-16. The juniors include national under-16 cyclocross champion Wyllie, who has raced over the winter with Great Britain; we have three women on the squad including Great Britain team apprentice Kinga Ingram, and promising first-year senior Hannah Lancaster. Three older riders, Patrick Fotheringham, Nick Clayton and James Pheysey will provide mentoring to the younger riders.
In 2019, Wenlock Spring Mineral Water have extended their support into a fourth year, and suppliers OTE (nutrition) and ProVision clothing both return for a fifth season, for which we would like to express our thanks, while there is additional support from Epic Cycles and Ludlow deli, Broad Bean - who have just been voted the best deli in the UK! All this should enable us to offer our riders an enhanced programme on and off their bikes. We have also run our own road race, the first round of this year’s West Midlands Road Race League.
For 2020 the academy would welcome applications from both Halesowen members and riders outside the club. We are particularly interested in expanding the women’s arm of the academy. Riders must demonstrate strong racing credentials (examples available on request) and a coherent written plan for the next stage of their cycling career which must be presented to the Halesowen cycling club chair Dave Viner. The criteria for joining the academy can be read here.
For more information contact: William Fotheringham email@example.com
Halesowen Academy members
Nick Clayton - a member since 2016, Nick won a stage and finished second in the Newry 3-Day that year but was affected by illness in 2017 and 2018. He is a student at Sheffield University.
Jonathan Cull - first year junior, long-standing Halesowen club member
Josh Field - first year junior, long-standing Halesowen member, first road race winner of the season with a fine sprint victory in the 3rd cat race at Birmingham Business Park.
Patrick Fotheringham A Halesowen member since 2008, Patrick has come right up through the club’s youth system via Regional Schools of Racing and Youth Omniums, winning circuit events as an under-16 and managing top-10 places in 2/3/4 events and a National A event against elite riders in his second year as a junior. In 2016 he managed two wins and a day in the points jersey at the Newry 3-Day. In 2018 he won two races; he is also a qualified masseur.
David Hird - a first year junior, David raced mountain bikes and cyclo-cross successfully in 2018, winning the West Mids league junior cyclo-cross standings, and has got stuck into road racing in 2019 picking up regular placings already.
Kinga Ingram - a second year under-16, Kinga has been fast-tracked into the academy after earning a place on the GB apprentice squad. She is a talented road and track rider who has already won one of the Icebreaker track series events this year and round one of the National Youth Circuit Series.
Hannah Lancaster - first year senior who joins us from Ludlow Brewery RT. In 2018, only her second season of racing, Hannah rode strongly in the national junior women’s series and this year she is looking to build on that as a road racer.
Oscar Laight - first year junior, long-standing Halesowen member whose brother Billy also races for the club.
Henry Lloyd-Langston - second year junior who gained his second-category licence in 2018, coming close to the win on several occasions in spite of missing the middle part of the season due to a broken collarbone.
James Pheysey - winner of the Gloucester City road race in May 2018, James was unlucky to miss out on taking his second cat licence after missing two thirds of the season due to injury.
Lorna Sharples - long-standing Halesowen club member in her second year as a junior, performed strongly in women’s omnium in 2018
Simon Wyllie - national under-16 cyclocross champion in 2018, Simon won a round of the junior national cyclo-cross series in 2018-19 and rode junior world cups and the world championships for Great Britain in 2018. He will hopefully get a second crack at these in winter 2019-20.
Academy selection criteria
1/ Member of HACC in season prior to joining, or previous member. Or prior links with the club through being coached by a club member and recommended by that member or having ridden as a guest with a club/academy team. Applications by riders outside these criteria will be considered but those admitted must meet other criteria in this list, and should not be accepted ahead of HACC members who meet those criteria.
2/ Proven commitment to racing over the long-term. Stated commitment to racing in the year ahead. Riders who do not meet these criteria (who may have had time out for some reason) may be asked to go through a probationary period until they have ridden a set number of events. Potential riders will be assessed not merely through results but through improvement curve, proven commitment to the club, “teamship” etc, also parents’ commitment to the club.
3/ Riders will be junior to final year under-23. Normally riders in under-16 category will not be accepted although this exceptionally may be waived if the rider in question has demonstrated exceptional ability.
4/ The academy coach may decide that exceptional circumstances apply, for example if the academy is founding a section targeted at certain categories or disciplines e.g. a women’s arm, a specialist cyclo-cross arm.
5/ The academy may draft in riders as guests for stage races, to complete the complement for a team, these will be offered to
i/ second-claim members of HACC
ii/ former academy members
iii/ former HACC members
iv/ riders who have applied to have HACC academy membership in the following season
v/ riders who have successfully guested in the past
6/ Those involved in the decisions regarding academy membership will be the coach, patron, HACC Cycling Section chair and vice chair. The coach will explain the reasons for accepting potential members with the other three before a final decision is made by the chair, vice-chair and patron.
OTE nutrition – who have been with us since the beginning supplying feeding bottles, gels, race and recovery drinks otesports.co.uk
Mark Warren Coaching – triathlon coach Mark is supplying hoodies for the boys markwarrentraining.com
Wenlock Spring Mineral Water – providing each rider with his weight in their excellent H20 from the
Shropshire Hills to keep them all happily hydrated.
They are also kindly backing our Track League this