OAKLANDS WOLVES CYCLING ACADEMY
Our Cycling Academy aims to bring together talented and aspiring racing cyclists aged 16 to 18 in order to progress their skills, fitness and their capacity to become elite category senior riders. It’s the only one of its kind in the UK and as such has some of the country’s very best junior riders coming through it. The programme aims to expose all riders to as wide a range of cycling disciplines as possible throughout the two years whilst still allowing riders to specialise as individuals.
express your interest:
For questions or to find out more, please contact our Head of Academy; Jez Cox via firstname.lastname@example.org
new for september 2021/22: freeride academy
Dirt Jump / BMX / Gravity / Street / Skills
As the Cycling Academy enters its 5th year in existence we are innovating once again and creating the UK’s first dedicated Freeride Academy that provides riders with an opportunity to ride, dig, design and dial in their skills alongside their education.
Much of the details of how the academy works are the same as for our endurance academy, with half days spent with the academy and the other half spent on their education. Wednesdays are still full academy days with greater opportunities to ride further afield. What we need to do now is see that there are riders out there who want to take up this opportunity. You don’t have to already be an amazingly skilful and daring rider. You just need the desire to be. If you’re interested in joining the academy, email email@example.com for more information on becoming part of this exciting new wing to our Cycling Academy.
ABOUT THE TRAINING PROGRAMME
The Cycling Academy provides the chance for talented aspiring riders to progress from the youth ranks right the way through to the senior ranks.
Our aim is simple: To help each and every rider develop their physiological capacity and racing to enable them to become the best rider they can.
This is achieved through a strong team ethic within the training group which trains together every day. Alongside this there is a full physiotherapy, strength and conditioning program run by our dedicated cycling-specific physiotherapy, strength and conditioning test.
Students train regularly at the Gosling Stadium Velodrome in Welwyn Garden City where they take full benefit of the track.
Beyond this, the vast majority of academy training takes place on the quiet lanes and rural roads stretching out from St Albans in the direction of the Chiltern Hills and surrounding counties of Bedfordshire, Essex and Buckinghamshire, all of which the academy reaches in its endurance training.
To compliment the roads are the diverse network of off-road trails, fields and woods which are within easy reach of the academy base.
The training model on which the academy is based closely mirrors models found in elite athletics whereby the academy trains together day by day (allowing for individual peaks and tweaks) and the athletes then go back to their clubs and teams to reap the benefits gained within that environment.
Alongside your on-the-bike training you will have regular strength and conditioning (gym and plyometric) sessions in our performance gym with our specialist coaches and there will be specific slots for you to book massages/physio treatment with one of our academy therapists.
Meet our coaches…
JEZ COX, ACADEMY DIRECTOR & HEAD COACH, CYCLING ACADEMY
The academy was formed and is headed by Jez Cox who is himself a former professional rider and UCI (Cycling) team manager at world cup level. In his racing career jez won over 80 races as well as becoming British number one in Duathlon. Having retired from racing he was chosen to design and implement the cycling legacy plan for the London 2012 games and having done so went on to design and manage all of the cycling programs at Lee Valley VeloPark that are still in place today. Jez is also a level 3 coach and current Great Britain (Triathlon) Team Manager. Jez is now probably best known for his race commentary as the voice of the Tour Series, Women’s Tour and Tour of Britain bike races in the UK. He continues to ride with the academy in all their training (when not motor pacing them) despite the fact that the riders regularly give him a good kicking…
LEDA COX, PERFORMANCE COACH & LEAD PHYSIOTHERAPIST, CYCLING ACADEMY
Leda was a professional road rider for 10 years through the 2000s and in that time represented Great Britain throughout her career. She raced for pro teams in the USA, Italy, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. She won over 30 races including the Coupe De France and the Tour of Tucson and multiple national medals as well as becoming British number one. She is also the current Team GB elite physio for British Triathlon. She is the academy’s performance coach, leading and mentoring on all rides and she also provides a vital mentoring role to girls in the academy as well as keeping all the riders.
WILLIAM RAYMOND, PERFORMANCE COACH AND FREERIDE SPECIALIST
William Raymond was born a short 2-minute bike ride from Oaklands College in St Albans.
He started riding at Welwyn track and had a very successful age group palmares in competition across track racing, road, time-trial and cyclocross. He was a serial regional champion in all these disciplines from the u12 age group onwards, leading to a call up for the team GB Olympic Development Apprentice squad as an under 16. As a junior he competed extensively on track and road in Belgium and at National level in the UK for the VCL.
Will came 5th in the London 6 Day u23 race at 17 years of age. After completing his GCSE’s Will then attended Oaklands College for a 2-year course in Sports science. In more recent times Will has been developing his off-road riding and competed in his first few downhill races in 2019. He is also furthering his dirt jump riding with the aim to be competitive in both disciplines in 2021 and beyond.
Will remains a passionate bike rider and is thoroughly enjoying sharing his experience and enthusiasm in his role as the Cycling Academy Performance Coach.
CHRIS TUBB, STRENGTH & CONDITIONING LEAD, CYCLING ACADEMY
Chris currently works with many athletes across the Oaklands Wolves Academies in Football, Rugby and Cycling. He has recently completed a BSc in Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Hertfordshire, and an MSc in Strength and Conditioning at the University of Bedfordshire. He believes that athletes should follow two points to improve their performance, consistency and hard work on and off the bike.
Oaklands Wolves Cycling Academy is so unique that there is no college specific cycling competition or league in this country that caters for this specific age group. Even British Cycling’s own Junior GB academy does not train together anywhere near as much as the Oaklands Wolves do. Therefore, as an academy, it does not have any competition.
Although riders will train in Oaklands Wolves Cycling kit the vast majority of their racing will be done with the club or team of their choice when they enter the academy. It is essential that we do not pull riders away from clubs and teams as we are all about helping the sport build rather than capitalising on it and therefore riders will not race ‘for us’ although we do regularly help place riders in good teams and clubs and connect them with these opportunities. Increasingly, team managers are asking us about the riders we have coming though and progression opportunities are increasing all the time.
The academy has excellent links in the cycling scene nationally and internationally, particularly in Belgium and France where we have strong links with training bases, clubs and elite teams and it is anticipated that riders will be exposed to these during their time in the academy. This has happened in years one and two where groups of riders have been placed with specific teams abroad for key races.