Two Western Australian cyclists have earned invitation to join the select group Australian Cycling Team Podium Potential Academy in Adelaide.
The news is a significant boost for track sprinter Matt Richardson and endurance specialist Conor Leahy – who will now look forward to linking up with other emerging stars of Australian track cycling in Adelaide, when the program launches in November.
The pathway is designed to fast track the development of Australia’s next gen talent – with an eye on representation and podium performances at the 2024 Olympic Games – which were awarded to the city of Paris by the IOC last year.
The Team Podium Potential Academy will focus on a range of critical elements such as performance planning, best practise training and racing strategies to help equip the participants with all the tools needed for future success.
The selection of Richardson and Leahy is also another successful transition achieved through the WAIS Pathways Performance Enhancement Team – which specialises in program support to talent development squads within WAIS environment that include sports such as; Cycling, Rowing, Diving, Hockey and Netball.
WAIS Pathways Performance Team Director Jo Richards said the selection of two WAIS athletes was a credit to the boys and the support staff around them.
"We’re enormously proud of the graduation of Conor and Matt to the Australian Cycling Academy,” she said.
"It takes a high quality team of coaches and professionals to produce athletes of this calibre.
"Special thanks must go to the former WAIS head coach Clay Worthington and the contribution from WAIS interim head coach Andrew Jackson.
"The boys have also received great support from WAIS physiologist Martyn Binnie and strength coach Geish Hori.”
Richardson’s selection stems from a sustained period of demonstrated development over the past two years which has seen the 19 year-old post encouraging results at national championship level, whilst for fellow 19 year-old Leahy – it adds to an already successful 2018 – after he was awarded a Venues West Brand Ambassador role in July.
In other cycling news, dual Commonwealth Games champion Sam Welsford was recently confirmed as a starter for the Melbourne Six Day event which will put track cycling on the big stage next February.
You can read more about that event here.