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Halesowen Academy introduces sponsorship for 2020

Founded in 2015, 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.

In 2020 the team acquired a new main sponsor thanks to one of the most iconic names in the sport: Mapei. The Italian company became backers of the entire Halesowen club.

Nutrition supplier is Secret Training with other sponsors include BikeStow, makers of cycle storage units, and award-winning deli BroadBean in Ludlow. Wenlock Spring Mineral Water and ProVision clothing both return for a fifth season, while there is additional support from Epic Cycles.

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 2019.

We also offer links to a range of coaches with professional cycling experience who can advise our riders and 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 As 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 cycle-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 became younger than ever, and also bigger, with 12 riders including seven juniors and one under-16. The juniors included national under-16 cyclocross champion Wyllie, who raced over the winter with Great Britain; of the three women on the squad Great Britain team apprentice Kinga Ingram won the national under-16 scratch race, and first-year senior Hannah Lancaster rode strongly. Kinga moved to Team Jadan Weldtite for 2020 while Hannah went up to Team OnForm.

On the road there were wins for Josh Field, Jonathan Cull, Simon Wyllie and David Hird, while Henry Lloyd-Langston took the West Midlands Regional Junior title, but the highlights both came in races in Ireland. At the Newry 3-Day in late June Patrick scored a convincing win in the first stage to take the yellow jersey; he was stricken with mechanical issues the next day and was unable to defend it. At the Junior Tour of Ireland the team fielded six riders, all of whom finished in one of the toughest events on the international junior calendar. Best placed rider overall was Josh Field, who closed the season out with best junior in the WM Cyclo Cross League.

We would like to offer huge thanks to all our sponsors for their ongoing support. All this should enable us to offer our riders an enhanced programme on and off their bikes. We will again run our own road race, the second round of this year’s West Midlands Road Race League.

Thanks to Secret Training our riders are well supplied with nutrition and race day items.

For 2021 the Academy would welcome applications from both Halesowen members and riders outside the club. We are particularly interested in re-forming 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.

For more information contact: William Fotheringham

Halesowen Academy members

Ryan Brookes - first year junior, strong track racer who finished high up against senior opposition in the Halesowen Track League in 2019; this is his big goal for 2020.

Jonathan Cull - second year junior, long-standing Halesowen club member. Winner of a round of the Stourport Series before being struck down with a knee injury.

Josh Field - second year junior, long-standing Halesowen member, first road race winner of the 2019 season with a fine sprint victory in the 3rd cat race at Birmingham Business Park. Also winner of the 2019 West Midlands Junior cyclo-cross series.

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.

Charlie Genner - second year junior, joins us this season, a strong road racer who performed well in harder road races in his first season.

David Hird - a second 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.

Oscar Laight - second year junior, long-standing Halesowen member whose brother Billy also races for the club.

Henry Lloyd-Langston - first year under-23 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. WM Region Junior RR champion in 2019.

Jack Stanton-Warren - returns to the academy as a first-cat after being affected by a back injury in 2019. Together with Patrick his job will be to mentor the younger riders in 2020.

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.

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