Continental and elite-level teams come and go in the UK. But one constant in recent times has the been British Cycling’s Great Britain Cycling Team Senior Academy. For 2018-19, the Academy consists of 25 male and female riders from different disciplines of the sport.
One branch of the Academy is the men’s endurance programme. Whilst a key focus for these riders will on the endurance track disciplines, the programme also offers the riders a very strong road race programme.
In some senses, they are a seventh domestic-level team. Under the guise of the Great Britain team and British Cycling’s men’s ‘trade team’, Team Inspired (called 100% ME last season), riders on the programme will typically be in the mix to ride big domestic races the Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain, and will also ride a varied programme of UCI races across Europe and lesser-ranked domestic races.
With British Cycling selecting some of the UK’s very biggest talents for the programme, it should be no surprise that riders from the programme were some of the top performers in our end of season rankings round-up. Three of the programme’s riders, for example, were in the top ten British domestic riders (continental level or below) on the UCI World Rankings in 2018: Ethan Hayter, Fred Wright and Jake Stewart. Matt Walls, meanwhile, was one of the most winning domestic riders last season.
2018-19 GB academy men’s endurance squad
So who is on the squad for this season? Matt Walls will be the most experienced rider in the squad, entering his third year on the academy. As he said in our interview with him, he is aiming high on both the track and road this year. Fred Wright is another of our U23 riders to watch in 2019.
Like Wright, Joe Nally and Rhys Britton stay on as second-year squad members. And three riders step from the junior ranks: Jim Brown, Will Tidball and Ethan Vernon.
|Rider||Years as a U23 rider|
|Jim Brown||First-year U23|
|Rhys Britton||Second-year U23|
|Joe Nally||Second-year U23|
|Will Tidball||First-year U23|
|Ethan Vernon||First-year U23|
|Matt Walls||Third-year U23|
|Fred Wright||Second-year U23|
Five riders have left the squad. We know the destination of four of them. Adam Hartley and Jake Stewart both move abroad to two of the best development teams in the world. Matt Bostock and Joe Holt, meanwhile, secured spots on domestic Continental teams.
|Matt Bostock||Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes|
|Adam Hartley||SEG Racing Academy|
|Joe Holt||Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother|
|Jake Stewart||Groupama-FDJ continental team|
The one uncertainty at the time of writing is Ethan Hayter. One of the brightest stars on the U23 scene, he said in an interview with the Telegraph that he would either stay with the Academy or join a Continental development team. However, GB U23 Academy Coach Matt Brammeier said on Twitter very recently that there are no current plans to introduce anyone else to the Academy, albeit the door is still open.
No current plans to introduce anyone else but the door is always open should someone be ready to step up/in.— Matt Brammeier (@Mattbrammeier85) January 11, 2019
And when Team Wiggins Le Col announced their team yesterday, Ethan Hayter was not amongst their squad, despite many believing (including us) his future might lie with them. It will be interesting to see what happens next with one of the most talented young Brits around.
Featured photo: Andrew Peat / espoirs.world