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by Shane Stokes
October 12, 2017
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The pursuit of Olympic medals has led Cycling Australia to implement a new high performance strategy, with key changes including a re-routing of it early athlete development to the track and an increased depth in its focus on individuals with medal potential.
The casualty has been Cycling Australia’s involvement in key road development programs. Young cyclists looking for high performance programme support from the nation’s key cycling body will have to follow the path of track initially. If they are intent on starting out on the road, they will have to look outside the Cycling Australia system.
“We want the talent to come through this track/endurance pathway,” Simon Jones, Cycling Australia’s High Performance director told CyclingTips. “The fact remains we just don’t have the resources to sustain [the road development teams], and I can genuinely say that I would love to do more. These decisions haven’t been easy to make but I do believe that we have got to be more focussed, narrower and deeper, to increase our chances.”
With that increased depth of focus to improve Australia’s Olympic medal chances also come some lofty goals. This whole process of change was set in motion by the nation’s failure to come anywhere near meeting its medal targets at the Rio Olympics. Australia expected five to seven medals, but won two. After that, Jones was bought in six months ago to try and turn things around.
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