Left to right: Andy Feather, Ash Martin, Al Murison,  Peter Medhurst, Richard Oram and Oscar Hutchings will form the 2014 Centre of Excellence Team

University establishes cycling Centre of Excellence

The University of Exeter, along with title sponsors Bikeshed of Devon, have established a Centre of Excellence for cycling that it is hoped will have a positive and long-lasting impact on rider development in the region and beyond.

With expertise being available from long-standing University partners Exercise Science Consulting ltd and Ocean Physio, plus the University Strength and Conditioning staff, the foundations can be laid to bring-together all that is needed to help young, aspirational riders develop careers in the sport. By putting together the relevant building blocks and fundamentals, riders can focus on racing with the knowledge that a dedicated support network is providing all that is needed to maximize both performance and importantly, enjoyment of the sport.

Nick Beasant, Assistant Director of Sport at the University, “This is an innovative and ambitious cycling project. By pooling resources, the potential can be fully developed. Huge prospects, looking forward to the season.”

Mike Sanders of Bikeshed added: “ By supporting this initiative we can show our commitment to the local cycling scene. Bikeshed is here not only to supply the cycling community, but also to engage with those active in it; this is one good way of getting that message across. Good luck one and all.”

For 2014 the rider line-up comprises of current and former student cyclists as well as other talent from around the South West; Andy Feather, Oscar Hutchings, Ash Martin, Pete Medhurst, Al Murison, and Richard Oram all make-up the team that hopes to be competitive all year round at national, local and international level.

Team manager David Walters commented “These guys are good, really good and with the level of support the University, Bikeshed and all our sponsors and partners bring, we can make a mark and have fun doing so.”

Dr Andy Middlebrooke of Exercise Science Consulting will act as Assistant team manager and will provide a depth of knowledge and insight that will be hugely beneficial as the season progresses.

“We have every confidence in the guys on the team, working with them is a two way thing and we’ll bring the best out of each other I’m sure.”

Completing the support network are two ex-National Road Race champions. Matt Stephens and John Hughes will provide advice, insights and support. Both bring enormous amounts of knowledge and experience, and are both keen to help the riders, when their busy schedules permit. 

Matt Stephens said: "It's a really interesting project and I'm very happy to pass-on any snippets, as and when I can."

With the added physiological screenings, advice and ongoing support from Ocean Physio, the back-up is complete; the riders and their respective coaches can execute training and racing plans with confidence.

The team will be riding Specialized bikes, one of the most recognizable and respected brands in cycling. Race and leisure kit will be supplied by Chapeau! whose quality and style is a match for any brand; helmets will be supplied by Kask, again the highest quality where it matters.

For further information regarding the cycling programme at the University, plus the various levels of support available as this project grows, please contact the team via Facebook as below.

A parallel Women’s team is planned for 2015.

All news and results will be posted throughout the year on Facebook: Bikeshed-UExplus and on www.bikesheduk.com.

Date: 27 March 2014

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