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British Cycling & Clancy Briggs in Partnership

Last week, Tao Geoghegan Hart shocked the cycling world when he won the Giro d'Italia - he wasn’t seen as a contender from the outset.  

But did you know his journey to the pink jersey started at a British Cycling TDC?

With such an exciting event reminding us of the talent in British Cycling right now, this week seemed like the ideal time to catch up with Andy Akers, British Cycling’s Yorkshire Clubs & Coaching Officer, about the new partnership between British Cycling & Clancy Briggs.

British Cycling & Clancy Briggs in Partnership

Tell us how the British Cycling and Clancy Briggs partnership got started?

I’ve been involved from the start, working with Graham and Ed to get the Talent Development Centres set up in Doncaster.  We had to be confident in Clancy Briggs’ ability to deliver what we wanted in the correct way so we went through several meetings to discuss it and I went along to watch some of their coaching sessions.

The way that we got it going was British Cycling sponsored the first five sessions to get it up and running and at each one of those we were refining it, looking at delivery, seeing if both British Cycling & Clancy Briggs were happy with it.  Everything has been spot on, both parties are very happy with it.

Tell us about the British Cycling Talent Development Centres

Part of my role is to activate TDCs, such as the one being run by Clancy Briggs, and to help young riders access these sessions. They’re open to club riders at an eligible age and basically anyone from anywhere around the region who wants to develop their skills and their fitness.

The Clancy Briggs session is the first one to run at Doncaster on the new circuit, but we have them running at Wakefield, Leeds and York.

The riders attending a TDC are at a certain level and want to develop their fitness and their skills to the point where they can access the next step on the British Cycling Talent Development Pathway - the Regional Schools of Racing.

Developing cycling skills and fitness with Clancy Briggs

What’s your assessment of the Doncaster TDC run by Clancy Briggs?

At the Doncaster sessions, I’m there most weeks to help out either with coaching or to observe the sessions.

The sessions are very popular, very good, quality sessions, I can see massive developments going on all the time in the riders who attend.

Each of our TDCs attract different riders for different reasons, some are basic/beginner level sessions, others really advanced, very fast and quite testing. I think the Clancy Briggs one is towards the top end of that.

I think having the coaches that are involved with CB is a big draw - masses of practical experience which they are able to pass on - and that’s attracted riders on its own merits, because of who they are, there’s no doubt about that.  

Coaches - L to R, Ed Clancy OBE, Graham Briggs & Ali Slater

The actual delivery follows a template provided by British Cycling. It runs along a progressive path, but the way it's delivered makes all the difference.  For Graham, Ali & Ed to be delivering - and Tom Stewart helping out last week - these are all extremely good, well-respected riders, it’s an added bonus that makes all the difference.

Tell us more about the British Cycling Talent Development Pathway.

It’s a pathway to become an Olympian or a pro cyclist, but not the only one.

Ed Clancy went through this process and Tao Geoghegan Hart who won the Giro d’Italia came through this process.  Something like 90% of the Olympic academy riders come through the Go Ride and the Talent Pathway, so it’s well proven to be a really good springboard for people that want to make it into the Olympics or the professional sport.

At the TDC, they follow a progressive framework of sessions. The intention is to develop riders’ technical skills, their race fitness and their tactical skills, so that they understand more and more how races develop and how they can react to different scenarios.  It essentially makes them into better racers so that they can go out and compete more successfully when they are in races.

Have you spotted any standout talent at the Clancy Briggs sessions so far?

Definitely! There’s definitely a few talented riders in Doncaster, but I’m not naming any names at this stage.  There’s certainly a few who should be going forward to the Regional School of Racing.

The actual intake for the RSRs happens once each year but it's an open door process. So, if a rider comes along halfway through the season after the nominations and they’re showing amazing talent, we can pick them up and put them into the system.  Anyone recognised as being quite talented can be put into the pathway.

What’s next for the British Cycling / Clancy Briggs Partnership?

It’s a really exciting partnership and a really positive step.  It works for British Cycling and it works for Clancy Briggs and looking towards the future, I hope we can develop that more. It’s certainly got the foundations of a really healthy working relationship I think.

What Next?

To book on to a British Cycling TDC, visit our academy page

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