Cycling Australia aim high with new Performance plan

Cycling Australia's High-Performance Director Simon Jones has outlined an ambitious plan to win as many as six gold cycling medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and eight gold medals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Since winning a high of six golds at the Athens Games in 2004, Australia has struggled to win one medal in Beijing, six in London and two in Rio.

Jones joined Cycling Australia in April from Team Sky after previous stints with British Cycling and the Western Australian Institute of Sport over the last two decades.

"We are setting the bar high, but what I have learnt from my previous experience is that we have to aim high; have the courage to say we want to win, and back ourselves to work how we bridge the gap," Jones said. "I believe we have time to chase these targets, embrace the challenge and enjoy the journey and the expectation."

An architect behind Great Britain's Olympic gold medal success in the 21st century, Jones explained he is looking forward to the challenge of transferring Worlds success into Olympic success on the road and track

"I want to be part of a new Australian performance culture and get back that winning feeling at Olympic Games," he said. "We’ve been winning every year at World Championships, but we need to improve our Olympic results."

New roles

The changes will see a streamlining of roles within CA including Brad McGee taking on the position as road technical director. Wades Bootes will be the BMX technical director. There will be an emphasis on athletes over programmes, targetting specific events to ensure the best opporunty for medal winning success.

"This plan has been developed with a principle of putting athletes in the centre, working as a high performing team, and establishing clear and seamless athlete pathways that provide athletes with stepping stones for their cycling ambitions," he said. "The strategy was assessed by understanding where we can have the biggest influence and support on athletes’ preparation, including training and competition."

Jones added the reduced budget will force Cycling Australia "refine and focus operations, improve efficiency, and strategically invest using evidence that is aligned to the proven principles of high performance," he said.

"I want the Australian public to be proud and in awe of our Australian Cycling Team, and I am passionate and proud to be supporting the next Australian cycling sporting heroes," he said. "The way we can do this is to perform on the Olympic and Paralympic stage; there is no bigger platform to inspire a nation."

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