Welsh Cycling has today revealed details of the country’s new track cycling team, called Team SWI Welsh Cycling, which it hopes will bring success not only in this year’s four-round UCI Track Cycling World Cup, but also at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.
Backed by Sport Wales and online bike retailer Wiggle, the first four riders who will represent the team in the opening three rounds of the World Cup in Cali in Colombia next wek, Glasgow in November and the Mexican city of Aguascalientes in January, have also been named.
They include Elinor Barker, who last month won a rainbow jersey on the road in the World Junior Time Trial Championship, two time World Junior Track Championship medallist Amy Roberts, and Ciara Horne, who will ride together in the team pursuit, with Roberts also riding the individual endurance events.
Jon Mould is the only male rider named so far, although SWI Welsh Cycling says that other riders may join the squad as the World Cup progresses over the winter.
Welsh Cycling’s Performance Director, Matt Cosgrove, will manage the team and said: “Team SWI Welsh Cycling is an integral part of the Welsh Cycling Performance programme. The Team will give riders who are eligible to represent Wales an opportunity to compete in track cycling events at world level. This will enable riders gain experience and develop as athletes in preparation for Glasgow 2014.”
The team will be based at the Wales National Velodrome in Newport and coached by Welsh Cycling’s Head Coach Darren Tudor, who commented: “The 2012/13 track season is part of a learning process for many of our riders, with the Track World Cups providing them with experience of competing on the international stage.
“Team SWI Welsh Cycling is part of a long term project that will aim to deliver riders to the podium programmes at British Cycling.
“Major targets for Team SWI WC include the commonwealth games in Glasgow in 2014. In the meantime, we will work to deliver riders to British Cycling with the hope of success at Rio in 2016.”
Laura McAllister, Chair of Sport Wales, added: “The launch of the SWI Welsh Cycling team is a fantastic step in the development of the sport in Wales.
“To be able to provide the next generation of Welsh riders with the opportunity to ride alongside some of the best cyclists in the world will stand them in the best possible stead when it comes to their future careers, and that will benefit Wales, not only going in to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, but in our representation within GB squads in the coming years.
“The Sport Wales Institute [the SWI in the team name] is a world class set-up of sport science and medicine support and we’re lucky to have a team that works tirelessly behind the team of riders to ensure that they can achieve the pinnacle of their ability.
“I’m looking forward to the World Cup season starting and to see how the young riders perform.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.