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ŠKODA and Dame Sarah Storey recruiting two new female amateur riders to join the ŠKODA DSI Cycling Academy

Applications are now open for passionate amateur riders aged between 17-22. To apply visit: www.skoda.co.uk/discover/cycling-academy-sign-up

ŠKODA Driver’s Seat Initiative (DSI) Cycling Academy supports female riders with the ambition to graduate to the professional level of the sport. Successful applicants will develop their cycling skills under the tutelage of one of Britain’s greatest Paralympians, Dame Sarah Storey

Milton Keynes, 03 February 2021: ŠKODA UK, in partnership with cycling legend Dame Sarah Storey, has announced that it is recruiting two new female riders to the ŠKODA DSI Cycling Academy, and applications are now open until Friday 5th March.

The aim of the university-style programme is to provide ambitious female cyclists, aged between 17-22, with a route to the elite level of the sport.

Riders can apply through the website: www.skoda.co.uk/discover/cycling-academy-sign-up by providing details of their cycling experience, training schedule and answering questions on their cycling ambitions.

Successful applicants will be contacted by Friday12th March to be invited to the second stage of the process. A testing day will take place on Monday 29th March at the Lee Valley VeloPark where the selected riders will be put through their paces by Academy Principal, Dame Sarah Storey.

Dame Sarah and her team will decide who will join the prestigious ŠKODA 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. The riders will also complete laps of the outdoor closed circuit to test their physical handling and pacing abilities.

The Academy programme provides the opportunity to experience the life of a professional rider, covering the performance, nutrition and media profile required to be a modern-day pro cyclist. The 2021 schedule offers 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.

A place within the ŠKODA DSI Cycling Academy will provide riders with opportunities to develop themselves as riders with a view to being selected for a professional race team at the end of the programme.

Dame Sarah Storey commented: “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 activity throughout the year to inspire and challenge a rider to find their next level. 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.

“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. 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 new riders will join four existing senior Academy riders who joined in 2019. Megan Dickerson, Meredith Gilbert, Morgan Newberry, and Rebecca Richards are starting the final year of their Academy experience and hope to graduate at the end of 2021 by joining a professional cycling team.

Rebecca Richards, Senior Academy rider commented: “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. 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!”

ŠKODA started life as a bicycle company in 1895. Cycling has remained important to ŠKODA since that day and the brand has honoured its heritage ever since. In tandem with its headline sponsorship of key events in the cycling calendar, ŠKODA is championing gender equality in the professional tour series.

To apply for the ŠKODA DSI Cycling Academy, please visit: www.skoda.co.uk/discover/cycling-academy-sign-up    

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