22 December 2014
The South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) is launching a new talent identification initiative during the 2015 Tour Down Under called ‘Cycling Champions’. This campaign aims to identify 12 – 15 year olds with powerful legs and good cardiovascular endurance who have the potential to become Australia’s next cycling champions. It is open to those currently involved in cycling and those who are not, as many of the riders SASI identify come from non-cycling backgrounds.
Commonwealth Gold medallist Annette Edmondson and Olympic Silver medallist Rohan Dennis, plus many other Australian Olympians, have been identified by SASI through Talent Search campaigns similar to Cycling Champions.
The new cycling specific initiative will see interested participants put through their paces during a peak power and aerobic endurance test on a static Wattbike cycling machine. A team of sports scientists at SASI will then analyse the results and determine which athletes to invite to SASI’s dedicated physiology laboratory for further testing.
SASI Cycling Coach Brett Aitken is well aware of the importance of talent identification in producing future Australian world champions, saying "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 Champion and Olympic athletes. 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".
The testing will take place in the Tour Village in Victoria Square on 17 January, at Rymill Park on 18 January at The People’s Choice Classic and around King William Street on 25 January for Stage 6. To get involved with Cycling Champions, just turn up to one of these dates and locations and put your legs to the test.