Wheels keep turning for junior cyclists

With COVID travel restrictions prohibiting Junior World Championship events for cyclists going ahead in 2020 and 2021, AusCycling held a National Training Opportunity (NTO) in Adelaide from 12 – 19 April 2021.

Junior Cycling Camp

The concept of the camp was to offer an experience to athletes who otherwise would have been selected to compete at World Championships.

Out of the 20 athletes selected, South Australia had six riders represented with Max Liebeknecht, Ella Sibley, Dylan Stanton, Leo Zimmerman, Zac Marriage and Meg Marker all in attendance.

South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) Sprint Cycling Coach, James Glasspool worked with AusCycling coaches and other sports institute coaches from around the country to help deliver this unique experience to the up and coming athletes.

“In conjunction with the other coaches involved with the NTO, we planned, delivered and gained feedback from each training session to ensure all participants gained valuable skills while attending the camp,” Glasspool said.

“Not only was the experience beneficial to all of the athletes, but it also helped the coaches to further our development as high-performance coaches.

“It was also great to work with other athletes that I wouldn’t normally have in my daily training environment.”

Staff ensured the camp was as close as possible to preparing for a World Championship, with athletes all staying at accommodation as a team and having their training tailored as though they were heading to a World Championship.

All athletes were also presented with an Australian team kit to wear through the week.

With athletes coming from different states across the country, this gave the squads a good challenge in learning how to adapt and gel quickly with each other, to deliver the best outcomes during the training sessions.

In the six days of camp, a vast range of gym, road and track sessions were held including starts, sprint race simulations and various team specific efforts on track.

In addition to the training sessions, staff delivered workshops to the athletes which covered off on nutrition, race day psychology and tactics/skills.

The camp culminated in a final race day simulation of a team sprint and team pursuit, with the squads riding a qualifying, second round and final as though they would be at a World Championship or Olympic Games.

As the majority of athletes that attended the camp will be eligible for selection into the 2022 junior world championship squad, hopefully the next time they are involved in a camp will be in the lead up to the championships in Tel Aviv, Israel.