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The UK-based ŠKODA Driver’s Seat Initiative (DSI) Cycling Academy has been supporting female riders with the ambition to reach the professional level of the sport. And here’s the great news: they have two new spots to fill for the 2021 season! Read on to learn about the requirements, how to apply, and what you can look forward to if accepted.

The ŠKODA DSI Cycling Academy is a ground-breaking initiative giving talented young riders the chance to develop their skills and have incredible experiences under the mentorship of Dame Sarah Storey. The university-style programme is a brilliant opportunity for any keen female cyclist or para-cyclist who believes they have what it takes to become a professional.

Dame Sarah Storey, a medal-winning Paralympic cyclist and swimmer with 38 world titles, 14 Paralympic gold medals and 76 world records under her belt, posted the call for new members on Twitter.

If you’re a passionate female rider aged 17–22 and are already dedicating time each week to your cycling training, you have until this Friday, March 5, to enter and fill out the application form. The best part is: no previous professional experience or team affiliation is necessary. All you need is drive and determination. Successful applicants will be contacted by March 12 and invited for the second round.

Dame Sarah Storey
Dame Sarah Storey at the start of stage one of the 2019 Women’s Tour de Yorkshire. © Profimedia

Second-round applicants will undergo a series of performance and bike-handling tests. Dame Sarah and her team will decide who will join the prestigious ŠKODA DSI Cycling Academy after carefully analysing the results. If you are one of the lucky two selected, you’re in for a busy 2021 schedule with the chance to race in the Women’s National Road and Circuit Series and ŠKODA-sponsored events, which could include L’Etape du Tour, La Course, the Women’s Tour and the Tour Series.

If you’re an aspiring rider based in the UK, this might be your shot at starting a pro career. So what are you waiting for? Sign up today!