Rebecca Raybould (Poole Wheelers) has been selected for the British Cycling talent team. Selected riders are on the first step of the Olympic pathway. Fifteen year old Becky is one of just 20 riders chosen from an initial application of 112.The Talent Programme operates on two levels, the Regionally based Talent Development Programme which supports the development of locally nominated riders from 13 to 16 years of age at Regional Schools of Racing (RSRs) and the Nationally based Olympic Talent Team Programme which supports a National group of identified riders from Youth A up to their move to junior ranks.
“Local Riders,Local Races” Managed to catch up with a really busy Becky for a quick Q&A , we started by asking about the selection procedure.
“The selection procedure took part at Manchester Velodrome and consisted of the Talent team coaches taking many of our times and readings that we were tested on throughout the day. There were things that were recorded both on and off the bike such as recording our output on the watt bikes etc. The coaches took no serious part in coaching us through the day as they wanted to watch what we were capable of and have an understanding of our knowledge for the disciplines we were covering. We arrived early for a rider briefing and soon started the on bike assessment. the day was relaxed which gave us time to socialise with each other in between each of the sessions and also gave us time to recover! “
Well I wasn't sure whether to apply or not as I have not had much experience as I have not been racing for a full year yet, but in the end I decided to apply and even if I got through to the selection camp that in itself was a great opportunity.
How did you feel when you heard the good news?
“I didn't really know how to take the news if I'm honest, I felt confused and in a way scared? Not too sure why but after it had actually sunk in that I was in Talent Team I was really proud of the work that I have put in to get there and I am so determined to do British Cycling proud as I am honoured that they have offered me a place in the team.”
What does the Talent Team actually involve?
“The team come together every month and we go away for camps that will involve different sessions and challenges for us to cover. The Talent team is basically for the youth riders age 14/15 and is set up to prepare us with all the skills we would need to achieve.”
What happens now?”
I have just recently got back from my first camp at Newport and my next one is at Manchester which I am looking forward to. We will be doing a number of camps and one of them will possibly be coming together to work with some of the more experienced riders on the higher programmes.”
“I enjoy both very much and think that they are both so exciting in their different ways, but I think that my strength is on the track. However I do enjoy mountain biking and would love to do some more next year. I've also grown to love road as I've got better at it.”
Cycling is a tough sport with not much glory and plenty of setbacks are you up for the challenge?
“I understand the amount of down sides there are to cycling but I seem to be building and learning from the mistakes that I make and think that's what makes the sport more exciting. I can only hope to stay injury free as much as possible and as long as I keep learning and enjoying it as much as I have this past year then I'm up for all the challenges I face in cycling.”
What do you think will be the hardest part for you?
“I think the hardest thing for me this year won’t be the cycling challenges put before me but it will be difficult balancing my school work with my training and races.”
Rio 2016 is only 3 years away, do you allow yourself to dream a little about it or is it a case of getting your head down and working hard? I do dream about the Rio Olympic games but considering that Laura Trott was only 20 and considered very young at the 2012 Olympic games then I would only just be 18 so I think it's more about looking further ahead onto Tokyo and beyond.”
Anything else?” I am 15, 16 next April so will be going into 2nd year under 16 for 2014. Currently in year 11 studying all the usual base subjects as well as Photography, GCSE PE, geography, & German. I'm also currently doing my Silver DOE award and have completed Bronze silver & gold levels in The Cycling award for Young volunteers. My main ambition is to become a professional cyclist and my aim is to become an Olympic champion. I also intend to take coaching courses in Cycling and would like to become a coach after that.”
Anyone you want to thank?
” Yes!! I need to thank everyone really. The fact that I have come into the sport later than a lot of people, it has made such a steep learning curve for me which has been so exciting to be able to rapidly improve my knowledge all the time and just keep on learning. I need to thank all the people that have got me here, which includes many people! I need to thank my friends and teachers for introducing me into the amazing sport and all the people that have supported me all the way and still do now! I need to thank my parents for their dedication to the sport as well as mine, and thank them for all that they have put in to make me a better rider. And all the rest of my friends in and out of the sport that supports me and makes the riding even better!! I also need to thank my Poole Wheelers club Coach Graham Hurst who always gives loads of his time to support his riders and help them progress. Our clubs motto is that they are the friendliest club in the South and I certainly think that's true! I know I wouldn't have got into Talent team If I hadn't have joined a Club, so I have a lot to be grateful for! I am also thankful to a great many BC coaches who offer skills & training sessions which I have learnt a lot from, including Ric Jamieson who is my Regional Talent development coach who has helped me to understand the high standards required by BC through his regional schools of racing” :)
Thanks to Bex! and Well done!!!