OAKLANDS WOLVES CYCLING ACADEMY
FREERIDE: BMX, Downhill, Enduro, Dirt Jump, Trails, Pump Track and more
ENDURANCE: Road, TT, Track, MTB XC, Cyclo-Cross
We combine elite sports training with vocational or A Level courses to create the rounded performer.
REGISTER AN INTEREST here.
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.
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.
The structure of the week for both sides of the academy is the same : Train in the mornings and study in the afternoon, except on Wednesdays when the whole day is available for longer training, more sessions, trips and cycling related talks, webinars and one-off masterclasses with pro riders for instance. Gym sessions are spread throughout the week, with some being specific to Freeriders or BMXers and some tailored towards endurance riders. Our track sprinters and specialists also have excellent individual attention in the week from our S&C lead coach.
Freeride (Extreme trail, DH, DJ, Enduro, BMX)
Our freeride options are massively varied locally with lots of good trails; some built and some natural. Although not a vastly hilly part of Hertfordshire we know how to make the most of what we have at our disposal in order to bring the riders on. We also have a growing range of options on our St Albans campus with our own dedicated BMX Start gate machine and a unique MTB skills area and entirely man-made hill which has recently been created using over 90 lorry loads of soil and clay. Our riders are involved in the design and maintenance of trails and tracks as well as riding them. Finally, the St Albans Cycle hub has become very much the home of our freeride academy with it’s progressive Clark and Kent pump track and ever improving range of dirt jumps.
Endurance (Road, Track, ‘Cross, MTB XC)
The academy has Gosling Stadium Velodrome in Welwyn Garden City as a weekly training base where the academy has the track entirely to itself. The bulk of academy training takes place from our St Albans Campus, making the most of the quiet lanes, trails and fields surrounding the campus on the outskirts of St Albans. Rides take the academy into Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Greater London and Essex with regular haunts being ‘Little Flanders’ and the hills between Hertford and Essendon as well as the North Herts lanes stretching out from Whitwell and Codicote. Another regular target on longer rides is the Eastern end of the Chilterns, taking in classic climbs such as Ivinghoe Beacon and Bison Hill fairly regularly. Trail riding is also excellent straight from the off
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.
Endurance and Freeride
Details coming soon…
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Meet our coaches…
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…
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.
Coach and Expert Rider
Henry lives and breathes cycling for both work and recreation. Racing domestically at the elite level for over 10 years in the UK within road and TT, including senior regional championship wins and multiple medals at national championship events. Henry also has experience racing and training in Europe, which he is keen to pass on to younger riders looking to make their mark in Europe. He has more recently been working on the track with the Paralympic foundation squad as a tandem pilot. This experience all feeds into Henry’s coaching style which is based upon long term development of riders rather than instant success. Henry is one of our newer coaches at Oaklands Wolves, and is focusing on our road riders to ensure they are prepared for success in both their short term and longer term cycling careers.
Coach and Expert Rider
Matt was amongst the first intake of riders when the academy first started back in 2017 and therefore knows the academy inside and out, but he’s been in and around cycling and racing for a lot longer than that. He has raced on the road both domestically and abroad, as well as nationally in cyclo-cross and cross-country mountain biking. With his favourite racing being the three peaks cyclo-cross, which he has raced three times. Matt comes from an analytical background and is currently a studying at Writtle University College doing a BSc in Sports Coaching. This will facilitate his growth and development as a coach and give him the knowledge and experience to empower the riders on the bike and inspire them academically
Strength and Conditioning Lead
Working across all the Wolves academies, Joe originates from North West England. Originating from North West England, Joe Ellis completed a BSc in Sport & Exercise Science and an MSc in Strength & Conditioning, both at the University of Chester. A coach with the philosophy of ‘do what works’ delivering support across Athletics, Cycling and Ruby Union at Oaklands College.
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.