The search for the next big Welsh stars has progressed well this year, with a new record being set for the number of Welsh Cycling Talent Identification conducted. Sponsored by builders' merchants Robert Price, the tests have taken place in secondary schools across Wales over the past 6 weeks, with the aim of identifying those who could be the next Nicole Cooke or Geraint Thomas.
Chief executive Peter Sommers is very happy with the progress. "Welsh Cycling aims to carry out 1,000 talent identification tests of secondary school pupils across Wales each year," he stated. "Thanks to the wonderful welcome we have had from schools across Wales, the good weather in the last few weeks, and the hard work of our coaches, we estimate that we will have actually tested over 1,500 pupils by the end of the term!"
"This years total is all the more pleasing as we have been concentrating on testing female pupils from the Schools, and the initial feedback from the coaches has been that we may have found talent from all across Wales, from Bangor in the North, down to St Davids in the West, to Pontypool in the East"
Pupils that have shown the promise in the talent tests will now be invited to more scientific tests held by Welsh Cycling. "All selected pupils will now be invited to a specific testing day, when we will once again put them through a series of physical tests, both in the sports science laboratory and in racing situations," explained team talent coach Stuart MacDonald. "This will help us to select those riders with the potential to succeed in the future".
Once identified, the selected riders will be given a place on the Robert Price Wales Talent Team. This will offer coaching and equipment support and thus boost the chances of the riders to succeed in the sport.