One of our objectives as a charity is to provide opportunities for women in competitive cycling who would not otherwise have those opportunities. This means that the opportunities for riders to race near the highest level of the sport are scarce if you're not on an existing development pathway. In short, that covers most road riders in the UK.
Over the last two years, we have taken teams to races abroad, including the TCFIA and the Rás na mBan. However, in an attempt to provide opportunities, we have realised that we have been missing out on a key element: rider development.
After our AGM this week, we discussed the next steps for Racing Chance. The headlines are as follows:
- A junior academy on a regional level, with the first being piloted in the North West from 2017. These riders will race for the Racing Chance Foundation club;
- A senior academy on a national level, from which riders will be chosen to represent Racing Chance at a foreign stage race of a standard high enough to attract UCI level riders. These riders will train together and will race together (actual programme TBC) although it is not anticipated that this will be in women's races in the UK due to existing team commitments of those riders on the academy. This will start during 2017, although the proper programme is scheduled to start properly in 2018.
As you would expect, we still have a lot of work to finalise this but we will release details of our senior academy and how you can apply in the coming weeks. Rest assured, however, that our minimum standards will not be based on the number of points you have accumulated. We will be taking applications from riders who meet our guidelines and if you ride for a club (as opposed to a team) that will not preclude you in anyway.
Join us and be a part of Racing Chance!
Further details to be released in due course...