Cycling Australia has announced a new high-performance strategy aimed at Australia regaining its position as the world’s leading cycling nation.
The plan is anchored by Australia’s High-Performance plan objectives, and ambitiously but tactically targets 4-6 Olympic Gold and 15 Paralympic medals in 2020, in addition to 8 Commonwealth Gold in 2018.
HP Director Simon Jones, who began his role in April, has described the new strategy as ambitious but evidence-based.
"We are setting the bar high, but what I have learnt from my previous experience is that we have to aim high; have the courage to say we want to win, and back ourselves to work how we bridge the gap. I believe we have time to chase these targets, embrace the challenge and enjoy the journey and the expectation,”
"I want to be part of a new Australian performance culture and get back that winning feeling at Olympic Games”, said Jones, who witnessed Australia’s dominance first hand during his time as coach with Team GB. "We’ve been winning every year at World Championships, but we need to improve our Olympic results.”
Jones said analysis has indicated that a strategic investment of resources to the Track Sprint and Track Endurance Olympic and Paralympic events, coupled with a focus on individual athletes, will provide an increase in the probability of medal outcomes in 2020.
"This plan has been developed with a principle of putting athletes in the centre, working as a high performing team, and establishing clear and seamless athlete pathways that provide athletes with stepping stones for their cycling ambitions.”
"The strategy was assessed by understanding where we can have the biggest influence and support on athletes’ preparation, including training and competition,” he said.
Key changes to the athlete pathway include the creation of a new Podium Potential Academy after the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and a refinement of the operations across all Cycling Australia’s Olympic disciplines. These programs will switch to a more athlete-focused system, which will be overseen by two newly appointed positions: Wade Bootes as Technical Director – BMX and Bradley McGee as Technical Director – Road. Wade and Brad’s key responsibilities will be to co-ordinate athlete support, facilitate domestic and international partnerships and lead the national teams at Major Championships.
Noting the announcement of two additional Olympic Track events (men’s and women’s Madison), the strategic alignment of resources to Track disciplines and the alignments of Road and Track endurance pathways at the start of the high-performance pathway lays the foundation for long-term improvements and sustainable success.
"With limited resources, to improve we have to refine and focus operations, improve efficiency, and strategically invest using evidence that is aligned to the proven principles of high performance, Jones said.
Jones said the new framework will result in maximising resource allocation to athletes, and will allow Cycling Australia to invest appropriately in science and innovation to develop new knowledge that will help Australian cycling to be a leader in planning, practice and implementation.
"I want the Australian public to be proud and in awe of our Australian Cycling Team, and I am passionate and proud to be supporting the next Australian cycling sporting heroes.
"The way we can do this is to perform on the Olympic and Paralympic stage; there is no bigger platform to inspire a nation.”