AUSTRALIA'S next cycling champions could be discovered during the 2018 Tour Down Under when the South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) launches its popular talent identification program.
Called Pedal to Podium, the campaign aims to identify males and females aged between 12 and 15 years with powerful legs and good cardiovascular endurance who have the potential to become Australia’s next cycling champions.
Testing is open to those currently involved in cycling and those who are not, as many SASI riders come from non-cycling backgrounds.
Commonwealth gold medallist Annette Edmondson and Olympic silver medallist Rohan Dennis, among other Australian Olympians, have been identified by SASI through Talent Search campaigns similar to Pedal to Podium.
The new cycling specific initiative will see interested participants put through their paces during a six-second peak power and two-minute aerobic endurance test on a static Wattbike cycling machine.
A team of sports scientists at SASI will analyse the results and determine which athletes to invite to SASI’s dedicated physiology laboratory for further testing.
SASI Cycling Coach Brett Aitken said the program was vital in producing future Australian world champions.
''The SASI Cycling Talent Search program is one of the most successful sports recruitment programs anywhere in the world with an amazing success rate of producing high-class world champions and Olympic athletes,'' he said.
''Recognition and acceptance into this program is a huge honour and provides aspiring athletes with the best possible facilities and coaching to achieve excellence in the sport of cycling.''
Testing will take place, during the Tour, in the Adelaide City Council Tour Village in Victoria Square from Saturday, January 13, to Saturday, January 20, inclusive.
SASI cyclists, some with national and international experience, are expected to help with the testing. Some of those athletes have been discovered through similar talent search programs.
SASI also will offer the public and aspiring athletes an insight into life of a SASI cyclist and provide opportunities to ask any questions they may have.
Prizes also will be offered for athletes who generate the highest number of Watts and greatest cadence within their age groups.
To get involved in the Pedal to Podium program people can register online at http://pedaltopodium.setmore.com/ or just turn up to the SASI tent between January 13-20 (daily sessions from 11.30am) and put their legs to the test.
For further information about Pedal to Podium - click this link
Facebook: SASI Talent Search
People can also contact Pedal to Podium via email ORSSASITalentSearch@sa.gov.au