lyn1 wrote:The Academy road riders had a very poor year. The grace favour and bias of the system guaranteed them rides in the World's top races, but if you had to select the top 6 British U23 you would struggle to put an Academy rider in there. They were consistently beaten week in week out in this country and in UCI races in Europe by non Academy riders. Pity there appears to be no route forward for young riders unless you are on the Academy.
I don't know about that. Edmondson is a good example that you don't need to ride with the academy; he went to Italy, yet still got picked for the Tour of Britain and for the u23 World's. Thwaites too got picked for World Champs and Euros, and Rowsell was first reserve I think. Simon Yates was the only Academy rider selected.
With regards to the Academy performance, it's so difficult to judge their performance due to not only track commitments, but riding a shocking schedule too
. No Baby Giro, no L'Avenir,
no u23 Roubaix.
If you were to pick the top 6 GB u23 riders they'd all likely be academy or ex-academy. Edmondson, Rowsell, Thwaites, McEvoy, Yates, Doull/McLay/Harrison/Christian/whoever I'm forgetting. u23 results are far less important than u23 development,
and looking at the riders that have come out recently I think they're getting that part right.
Must remember that one...my lads are at the back but it's a deliberate strategy to aid their development...they are far better than the non Academy riders at the front.
The failure to ride those races was because the Academy riders underperformed in lower level races so would have struggled in them and so failed to gain qualification for L'Avenir.
Prior to the first of 4 Nations Cups, GB were ranked 9th in the U23 Europe Tour, thanks purely to points gained by Rowsell & Thwaites. No Academy riders had picked up any UCI points. They performed poorly at the Tour of Normandy and Tour of Brittany while Rowsell and Thwaites podiumed and had several top 10s at those races, yet never gained selection for any of the 4 Nations cup rounds. Nor did Edmondson. Only Academy riders rode Nations Cup races which were critical as qualifiers for L'Avenir and the Worlds. Consequently the Academy, through consistent underperformance, failed to gain more than a handful of ranking points, ended up 26th behind top nations like Eritrea and Ethiopia and failed to secure one of the 21 invites to L'Avenir...that's shocking when we had riders like Rowsell, Thwaites, Edmondson, McLay, Handley, Cumming,etc capable of securing points. Even worse, this limited GB to 3 World's spots.
A number of talented U23 were deprived of an opportunity to showcase themselves in races where top teams recruit. Fortunately, three managed to step up a level, but two may have gone further than Div2 given the opportunity.
Historically, the best u23 have been on the Academy. The last couple of years that's not been true. Admittedly, some of the Academy this year were young in which case it would have been logical to support them with stronger non Academy riders. Give talented riders a chance, not just those on the programme.