Teenager from Trowbridge selected to join SKODA Cycling Academy
A student from WILTSHIRE College & University Center has been selected from over 100 riders to be part of the prestigious ŠKODA Driver’s Seat Initiative (DSI) Cycling Academy.
Maddi Aldam-Gates, 18, of Trowbridge, is studying a foundation art course at Trowbridge College before taking a place at Durham University in October.
She will join Academy Director Dame Sarah Storey and complete the College Style Program which aims to provide ambitious cyclists, ages 17-22, with a path to the sport’s elite level.
Maddi said, “I am literally in heaven, so happy. I was just happy to have been chosen for the test day and didn’t expect to be selected.
“I love the diversity of cycling and can’t wait to see what the Academy has in store for me.”
An avid club swimmer, training five days a week, Miss Aldam-Gates only started cycling during the first lockdown, when the pools closed, and she needed to find a new sporting direction.
She said: “I have been a swimmer at Bradford on Avon Swimming Club since I was 11 and most recently at Team Bath Academy Swimming I train five days a week.
“When the pools were closing during the lockdown, I needed to find something to fill the void.
“My dad is an avid cyclist, he encouraged me to get on a bike and I quickly caught the cycling bug.
“I started by borrowing his winter training bike and now I borrow his slightly lighter bike, more suitable for my training outings.
“With my selection for the ŠKODA Cycling Academy, maybe I should start thinking about investing in a road bike that belongs to me!”
Former John Of Gaunt School student is one of four new Horsemen to join the Academy. She is a member of the Bath Cycling Club and the Bradford on Avon Cycling Club.
Over 100 aspiring amateur riders applied to join the Academy, providing details on their cycling experience, ambitions and training program.
A total of 17 riders were then shortlisted to attend the second stage of the selection process, a test day at Lee Valley VeloPark in London.
Maddi was put to the test in a series of cycling tests that included a peak power test, a three-minute peak test, and a 12-minute steady state challenge.
She then performed laps of the closed circuit outside to test her physical handling and stimulation abilities.
Dame Sarah Storey, Academy Director and most successful Paralympian on the GB team, said: “Maddi stood out from the moment she arrived because it was clear that she had meticulously planned and rehearsed what she was doing. would do to get the most out of the tests.
“Her recovery between tests was exceptional and she excelled on the road bike test, far exceeding my expectations for someone who had started cycling just over a year ago.
“Having only started cycling during the first lockdown, when the pools were closed, it was clear that she had really researched the sport and was eager to continue improving and experimenting with the sport. process that cycling has to offer.
“As a former swimmer myself, I am delighted to help her develop in the disciplines she tries and to help her find the next steps in her athletic career.
The Academy’s program will provide Maddi with the opportunity to experience the life of a professional cyclist, covering the performance, nutrition and media profile needed to be a modern day professional cyclist.
The 2021 program also offers the opportunity to participate in the National Women’s Road and Circuit Series and attend ŠKODA sponsored events, including the Women’s Tour and the Tour Series.
Miss Aldam-Gates will receive regular reviews and undergo intensive training in order to move on to the next year of the program, whether it is a place on the Storey Racing roster, a place in a UCI Women’s World Tour team or another year in the program. part of the Academy.
The college-style program also offers an educational aspect through social media and promotional streams.
Maddi will join four existing Academy senior runners who joined in 2019. Morgan Newberry, Rebecca Richards, Megan Dickerson and Meredith Gilbert are entering the final year of their Academy experience and hope to graduate in late 2021 by joining a professional cycling team.
ŠKODA started life as a bicycle company in 1895 and the brand continues to honor its heritage.
Along with its main sponsorship of key events on the cycling calendar, ŠKODA promotes gender equality in professional tour series.