A supporter of youth racing at the Revolution track series in the UK, the DHL Exel Supply Chain has announced another new initiative to support youth track cycling in 2007.
Open to riders who are too young to be eligible for the British Cycling Talent Team, the DHL Sprint School will be open to riders between the ages of 12 and 15 who are accredited with the British Cycling Federation. Every Track League in the country has been approached and asked to nominate four riders per school (two girls and two boys) who they feel would benefit from the sprint schools. The schools will have a sports academy feel with on-track training as well as off-the-bike workshops, which will include subjects such as nutrition, bike maintenance and racing etiquette.
The DHL Sprint School will take place six times throughout 2007 and will culminate in a 'Baby Revolution' at Newport Velodrome in October. The programmes for the schools have been developed with help of Iain Dyer, head sprint coach at the Olympic Development Programme, and will be delivered by British Cycling Talent Team coaches. The aim of the schools is to provide coaching and competitive opportunities for young riders who are not already on the Talent Team.
The Sprint School will be supported and fronted by some of the world's best sprinters; participants in the schools will get the opportunity to meet and learn from the stars such as Craig MacLean and Victoria Pendleton. Craig MacLean will be the face of the Sprint School for the first year and hopes to see more young cyclists going into sprinting rather than endurance events. "Sprinting is such a specific discipline," said MacLean. "I sometimes think it doesn't get as much support as the endurance events, but it is a such a fun part of the sport, getting young riders interested in it from an early age can only help benefit the sport as we head towards a home [Olympic] Games in 2012."
CEO of DHL Exel Supply Chain, Guy Elliott, said: "We hope to attract more young people to the sport and provide them with a fantastic opportunity to learn from our top riders. It would be a wonderful achievement if some of these aspiring young riders are able to kick-start their cycling careers and gain access to the 2012 Olympic development programme through attending the sprint schools this year."
The school will be launched at the Manchester Velodrome at 5pm before the final Revolution of the season on January 20.