Background to the Development Squad
The Canberra Cycling Development Squad was started in May 2008 to assist cyclists with their riding and racing. The Development Squad is focused on cyclists who have been riding for a while (or who have completed or about to complete a novice program) and who want to improve their fitness, racing, bike handling skills, nutrition or bike kit/setup. The Development Squad incorporates male and females of varied backgrounds, experience and ages, who wish to develop their abilities with like-minded athletes.
Of the past and current members, our results have been impressive. One ex-Squaddie now races professionally (and also won an Australian Championship). Five former members of Squad now race on an NRS Team. The youngest member has just turned 15 and oldest is in his 50s; everyone shares the desire to become the best that they can on the bike. The structure of the program
The structure of the program is broken into six-monthly summer and winter seasons. The head coach works with each athlete to assess their season’s goals, develop a structured training program, monitor progress, provide feedback and adjust the program as required. The head coach also provides advice on all aspects of cycling, e.g. race strategy/tactics, nutrition, bike fit, etc. The support provided is similar to a basic program from a private coach.
There are two group-training sessions each week focussing on specific aspects of fitness and cycling skills. To ensure easy communication between the coaches and members, the Squad uses a ‘private website’. Once athletes are accepted into the program, they sign up for a minimum of six months.
We realise it can be pretty hard during winter when it gets a little colder, so once a week there is a scheduled indoor session and also the opportunity to learn the art of track cycling.
How to get involved and who to contact
To be eligible to be a member of the Development Squad, you will need to meet the following requirements:
- You must be a member of Cycling Australia (any club) and have an appropriate race
- You should be able to commit to at least 5 days of training per week and/or a minimum
weekly training load of approximately 8 hours.
- Be able to attend the two group training sessions each week (absences due to illness, work
commitments, caring requirements, etc. accepted).
- Be able to compete regularly in local races.
- Be capable of riding in at least Women’s C grade or Men’s E grade after six weeks of regular training, including juniors in the U15 category and above.
The Squad calls for expression of interest twice a year from athletes, from which the coaches analyse each application athlete for suitability to the program. Once all applications have been assessed, a confirmation email will be sent requesting further details and payment. The cost for the summer program is $250 (for six months). This is payable after the first two weeks of training.
The 2015/6 summer program will start on 7 October 2015.
To apply to join the winter intake, complete the form at
For further information, contact Cheryl Hulskamp, the head coach, at
[email protected] before 30 September 2015.
Don’t delay – places are limited.