Please see below a general guide for Youth cyclist looking to progress into or develop their racing.
The list is not exhaustive and does NOT include many local races or BSCA (British Schools Cycling Association) events which also come highly recommended for aspiring racers. Information for BSCA events can be found at www.britishschoolscyclingassociation.com
Also look out for Regional and National Mountain Bike Series and don't forget the summer cyclocross series too! There are events most weekends and they are listed on the British cycling website under the events section.
A good place to start for regional events is the British Cycling West Midlands website
You will need to register in advance for many of the events at www.britishcycling.org.uk and get a BC Dashboard set up for your membership.
Youth Cycling regulations can be found on the British Cycling website
The list below highlights recommended Track and Road Events for riders wishing to advance their racing skills and compete at Regional and National level. Minimum ages will apply to some of these events so please check before you enter.
Circuit Racing (Road bikes)
Wooly Mamil Circuit Races - www.mamilcycling.co.uk
British Cycling West Midlands REGIONAL Circuit Series - British Cycling West Midlands website
Note. As some events are often over subscribed, some will require qualification predominantly based on BC rankings.
British Cycling NATIONAL Youth Circuit Series - Entry can be found in the events section of the BC website at www.britishcycling.org.uk
National circuit championships (Note this is in addition to the National Series)
Other recommended circuit/road races to look out for...
Great Orme Road Race- Typically last weekend of September
Tick Hill - Usually September/October
Holland European circuit tours (Youth Road/circuit races) ...
July to August Assen European Youth Tour (next level up from National events) - (THIS WILL SELL OUT QUICKLY) - Not residential - Entry opens early February. Register your interest at www.jeugtourassen.nl
West Midlands Regional Youth omnium series - Note - HACC are part of Group 4 for Boys racing and Girls are part of Group 2. See your coach for further information.
National Youth Omnium finals - (Pre qualification from the four events above)
National track champs (not part of youth omnium series)
Typically held 1st week in August for Youth A Rider category
West Midlands Cyclo-Cross League, September - January, www.wmccl.co.uk
National Cyclo-Cross Trophy, October - January, www.britishcycling.org.uk/cyclocross
Finally, If you have any questions about any of these events or you don't know if you are ready to take the next step then please speak to your club coach who will be happy to help or contact Fraser via email@example.com
YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PATHWAYS
The development pathway is explained at the end of this article. This is hopefully self explanatory but if you have any questions about it then please feel free to approach any of the coaches at Halesowen Cycling Club or refer to the BC website www.britishcycling.org.uk
In general, if you aspire to be considered by British Cycling for inclusion within the performance pathway there are certain minimum expectations that you need to be aware of. Spaces for selection are limited and competition is fierce for these spaces especially from RSR upwards.
Important to note - It is no longer the case that each club gets an allocation for selection. Each and every rider that is put forward is discussed on an individual basis by coaches from all west midlands clubs.
RSR selection, for example, is based upon regional and national race results, data protocols (explained below) and general coaches observations.
I can genuinely say that the selection discussion is broad based and generally fair with all riders considered, irrespective of their club.
So what do you need to do if you aspire to be considered for the performance pathway? RSR example;
1 - RSR is generally for riders in Youth A however very strong 2nd Year Youth B riders are considered for skills based RSR sessions.
2 - Compete in as many Regional and/or National standard races races as you can. Your coaches can help you identify these. Please note that whilst cyclocross results are considered, it is important to understand that Circuit, Track and MTB (the olympic disciplines) results are the core focus.
3 - You must keep records of your performance data and results available to your coaches if you wish to be considered for selection. Please ensure that this data is accurate and measured on the correct youth gear restriction relevant to your present age group. The coaches reserve the right to validate this data before nomination.
What key data do you need to record and make available?
A) 10 Mile Time Trial performed on rollers in youth restricted gear (please specify youth category)
B) Roller rev out - Maximum speed in MPH achieved over a 10 second sprint
The Performance Pathway Structure...
The Great Britain Cycling Team's goal is to win world and Olympic medals across all disciplines.
This will be achieved by identifying, confirming and developing riders through six stages.
Olympic Podium Programme (OPP)
The pinnacle of the performance pathway, the Olympic Podium Programme is dedicated to supporting highly skilled elite cyclists as they aim to win medals in major competitions, such as European, world and Olympic championships.
Riders are full-time on the programme and generally based near the team's Manchester headquarters. Riders may also be members of professional (trade) teams, receiving additional support from the programme.
Olympic Academy Programme (OAP)
The Academy is the finishing school that fine tunes athletes to make the jump to the senior programme and prepares them for graduation onto the Olympic Podium Programme. The Academy is a full-time residential programme, based primarily at the National Cycling Centre and is designed for riders aged 18-23 years old.
Olympic Development Programme (ODP)
The focus here is for riders, typically aged 15-17 years, to develop their skills strategies and fitness to cope with the demands of racing. Recruitment onto the ODP is selective, and progress is continuously monitored.
ODP riders receive discipline specific coaching from Great Britain Cycling Team coaches, individual training programmes, a structured race programme, and support and education from GBCT’s performance support team.
More information on the Olympic Development Programme
Olympic Development Apprentices (ODA)
This programme is aimed to support young riders typically aged 14-15 years with the transition into the junior ranks by further developing their skills both on and off the bike.
More information on Olympic Development Apprentices
Regional Schools of Racing (RSR)
Riders aged typically between 14-16 years who perform well and show promise at their club and in regional competition can be nominated for a Regional School of Racing (RSR).
During an RSR, riders are coached and educated as part of a select group of riders from their region.
More information on Regional Schools of Racing
Club Clusters of Training (CCT)
The Great Britain Cycling Team supports Go-Ride clubs that have made a commitment to ensure that the development of young riders is at the forefront of club activity.
They are safe and effective way for young riders to develop their skills and can be found in each region. Club Clusters of Training are aimed at riders aged 12-16.