Would You Like to Join us?

So summer is now here and we are riding in groups again and life is almost back to normal.

Join Our Award Winning Team

As the summer continues we will be hosting activities out on the roads and trails where you can come to join us to meet us and find out more about what we do.

To aid us to run these sessions, we are looking for volunteers to come and join us. You will need to be enthusiastic, motivated, aged sixteen or older and have an desire to learn from our team of award winning coaches.

At the beginning we will guide you and provide you with simple tasks and once you gain confidence you can then progress onto organising events or activities and in time, gaining a qualification and leading sessions yourself.

In return for you providing your time we will provide you with transport to and from events, free clothing to wear and access to some fantastic mentors who will guide you.

Our current opportunities include: Sports Development Administrator and Social Media Marketing Coordinator.

To apply please fill in the short form below by clicking on the link and we will contact you to discuss further alternatively you can WhatsApp us by clicking below.


Virtual Racing Trial

Would you like to join us for a Zwift Trial race this week? In the last week we have been discussing races with other colleges across the UK and as a group we felt the time was right to hold a trial race to see if there was enough interest.

So in partnership with British Cycling and the Association of Colleges we’ve hastily arranged a trial race on Zwift (this Tuesday 9th February) at 17:30. The race would be 30km (roughly 45 mins-55 mins) and on the Ocean Lava Cliffside Loop.

If you’d like to join us, we’d be delighted to see you there. As it is short notice for us too, this race won’t be supported by us be there due to prior committments but, we will be providing support for future races.

Ocean Lava Route Profile

Here’s how to sign up:

1. Complete these two short forms:


B. Please type Manchester Cycling Academy into the answer for question 2. https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=dqBVMkjobEyLgECjItWSUFC_6htPjo1AlJxSL67qdThUMUY5MkQyOFRXV0JZN0tOMVZYMktTSFdKUi4u

2. Follow Felix Young (British Cycling) on Zwift via the Companion App (More ->  Find Zwifters). Here is some info on the Companion App: https://support.zwift.com/using-the-zwift-companion-app-Hybn8qzPr

3. Accept the Meetup invite you will receive on Monday 08/02/21 (check your notifications on the Companion App).

4. Add “MCR” as a “tag” after your name on Zwift e.g. Stef Hopewell (MCR). You can edit your name in the Companion App. You can switch it back after the race to your original name.

5. Don’t be late! If you miss the 17:30 start then you won’t be able to race! You can join the meetup by logging into Zwift and starting a ride as you normally would. A “join meetup” button will appear in the bottom left of the screen a few minutes before the start.

6. We will set up a Discord Voice Chat and send you the link on Tuesday afternoon once we know who is racing.

Here are the details of the route that will be used, riders will complete 1.5 laps for a finish just beyond the top of the main climb on the course: https://zwiftinsider.com/route/ocean-lava-cliffside-loop/?fbclid=IwAR2ebxt_BLhFT_pXmS1_K6hdPwWatZqC3WTmwVqA3ZN6p5f1XBmmOAG5bqQ

If you have any questions then please get in touch with either myself on manchester.cycling.academy at gmail.com or Felix Young at British Cycling (felixyoung@britishcycling.org.uk) and looking forward to seeing you on the start line!


I’m torn, genuinely, I am. 

We are living in times that none of us like, but most of us – those who receive these emails anyway – want to be able to go out and ride our bikes, to take people to places to ride bikes and to watch other people ride bikes. 


Sadly, we can’t do all of these activities. And that’s where I’m torrn. I desperately want to be able to run activities where we can all meet up, have a ride for a few hours and then chew the fat afterwards. There is nothing I would like more than to sit and get to know what makes you tick. And by the amount of messages I get from you, that’s what you want also. 

But we can’t currently do that. 

So my dilemma is this: When activities resume, should Manchester Cycling Academy have a philosophy of working to the spirit, or to the letter of the Law?

The answer that we are coming to is that we have to work to both the spirit and to the letter of the law. Yes, the law says that in certain Covid Tiers we can travel to cycling activities for under 18’s and yes, we can have groups of 30 should we need to, but the spirit of the law means that by doing that, you do risk the lives of people you pass on the way and risk putting extra burden on an already overstretched NHS should you have an accident. 

We’re very proud that the services that Manchester Cycling Academy provides are evidence based, meaning that everything we do is supported by research, so when there is so much evidence available regarding Covid-19 then we should listen to that. 

Evidence tells us that by traveling anywhere, we increase the risk of having a road traffic accident, falling off our bike and of course, increasing the risk of Covid transmission. 

We have lots of exciting activities planned for the late winter and spring months that will allow potential riders to the BTEC course to ride with us to sample our philosophy and answer any questions that they may have and If we don’t run these activities it may become difficult to recruit a full complement of riders for September 2021. 

So to ensure that these activities go ahead, our commitment to you will be that once we come out of lock-down all our activities will be Covid secure, both in terms of the activities themselves and the journeys that we will ask parents and supporters to do in order to get the rider to the event.

So once we launch the next block of activities, we will publish a Covid Activity Protocol that we will ask everyone to commit to. This way we can ensure that not only we and the riders stay safe and healthy, but that our community can stay safe and healthy too.

It’s important to remember that we won’t be in lock-down forever. We as cyclists are very fortunate that we are allowed to venture out on our bikes for exercise on a daily basis, so if you do get out there be careful, stay in groups of 2 people, stay local and encourage others to do so too. 

This blog first appeared on Manchester Cycling Academy’s newsletter which you can sign up to HERE

Friday Night is Velodrome Night

Join us for a series of 2 hour Friday Night Velodrome sessions throughout November!

We have spoken nicely to the organisers of the Friday night track league and they have agreed that we can use their slot for the period of lock-down, so if you’re missing your track sessions or perhaps want to get some more time in and to test yourself a bit more, then get yourself booked on to these sessions.

This is a unique opportunity for you to get some valuable track time in and every session will be based around you. You will get the opportunity to choose what activities you want to do such as timed flying laps, race specific skills, endurance efforts, sprint and pursuit starts and pursuit efforts.

Our coaches will be on hand to provide expert advice and take you through specific skills based sessions so that you can improve your track skills.

We’ve taken advantage of the British Cycling Covid-19 guidelines which allow people under the age of 18 to participate in organised sporting activity, which means that during our sessions you will be able to ride in a group on the track.

Places are limited and are for riders aged between fourteen and seventeen 17 years old. Sadly we are unable to take bookings from riders aged 18 or over due to the Covid-19 Guidelines.

If you are aged under 14 and feel as though you are capable of participating, then please get in touch with us before you book. Once we know the make up of each session, we will organise riders into groups based on MRTL Friday and ACT Track League groups.

You will be allocated a group prior to your arrival at the Velodrome and you will be expected to stay in your group for the whole of the evening. You can click HERE to book your session and to say thank you for supporting us so far, you can use the MCRCA10 discount code for a 10% discount if you book all four sessions at once.

If the links above don’t work, you can copy and paste the below URL into your browser which will take you to the shop. https://manchestercyclingacademy.co.uk/shop/

See you on the boards!

Virtual Training Camp

Every Wednesday evening in November you will be able to join us to ride the routes that we will be riding during our ‘Train Like a Pro’ Camp which will take place on the Island of Mallorca in February. 

We’re calling it the Virtual Training Camp and we are pretty confident that it will be very popular. 

The rides will take place on the RGT Cycling platform which features a large variety of real life roads that have been recreated so that you can ride them whenever you like. 

We have chosen four of the real classic routes that are straight out of the professional cyclist’s playbook. The series will start with the classic ride to Cap de Formentor and over the weeks you will ride the other four classics that will feature in our five day training campSa CalobraCol de Soller and the hills and switchbacks around Lluc and Caimari. 

Each of these rides has been specially created for Manchester Cycling Academy by RGT Cycling so that you can get yourself ready in case you decide that you want to come on the training camp. Riders will receive a free premium account to RGT Cycling so it won’t cost you a penny. Details of this will be sent to you once you have registered and been accepted for a place on the Virtual Training Camp. 

These sessions are free of charge to anyone aged between the ages of 14 and 17 and to use the RGT platform you will need to use a smart turbo or a power meter attached to your bike.* You can download RGT Cycling by following this link.

You can reserve your place HERE

Velodrome Lock-Down Sessions

We have had notification this morning that the HSBC National Cycling Centre will officially close tomorrow for four weeks.

This means that sadly, our 4-week block of Lock-Down sessions have been locked down even further and won’t take place.

We know that this will be very disappointing for everyone, especially considering that they were over subscribed.

We had had many messages wishing us well and we were really looking forward to the sessions and I know you will all be disappointed. So are we.

So, we’re sorry to bring bad news. We will be in touch individually with everyone who booked a session to discuss the next steps.

No one really knows what Tier Manchester will go into after this period. If we go back into Tier 3, which is expected, we are expecting that we will be able to resume the Friday sessions until we revert to Tier 2.

Thank you everyone, and stay safe 🤟🏽

Our Promise To You.

Younger Athletes Can Often Progress Very Well

I was sent something to read the other day by a colleague. It’s a fascinating read, relevant to all sports and I thought I’d share it. It was a piece of research about what’s called the relative age effect. The relative age effect is a phenomenon where sports teams are often dominated by young people who have their birthdays earlier in the year or soon after the cut off date for an age group in a particular sport. In other words, selectors and coaches, more often than not, select older participants to play in the best – often representative – teams.

The research found that when coaches and selectors were made aware of the ages of all particpants, removing the relative age effect, more of the younger players were given a chance.

There are some sports where early maturation is more of an advantage than others – cycling for example. The big kids tend to dominate early and then get the attention from people in the right places and the younger, often smaller kids, miss out. So therefore the relative age effect plays a big part in our sport and I’m pretty sure that you will have had experience of this.

But is that fair?

We’re just about to open the doors of Manchester Cycling Academy and you can rest assured that we wont follow the established method and automatically select the biggest, fastest and oldest riders to join us. What we will do is to guarantee that all applicants will get a fair go and we will leave no stone unturned in our quest to give everyone who applies a fair opportunity to get themselves on to the course.

We won’t have any glass ceilings. If you want to be the best you can be, we can help you. There is only a week or so to go til our first major event for Manchester Cycing Academy and there is still time to secure your place. All you need to do is to click HERE to book your free place.

Sign Up To Find Out More

We’ll stage our first event on Wednesday October 14th. Our ‘Find Out More’ event wil be staged online via Google Meet and will feature a welcome from my (sometimes) smily face, details of what training you can expect, from our Head Coach, Richard Bott and an outline of the aspects of the academic part of the course from our academic lead, Damian.

We’ll also be joined by one of our team of Associates, which are the team of academics who support the Academy. There will be more details on this next week. The event will last for 90 minutes and will start at 19.01 and details of the link to log onto will be sent in the late afternoon before the event starts. If you haven’t seen the details of the event yet, click HERE to sign up.

These are really exiting times for us and we’re delighted that you are interested in joining us and we’re looking forward to some exciting times in the future.

Former British Cycling Boss To Head Up Cycling Academy

Former Head of Education at British Cycling, Dr. Vinny Webb, will head up the Manchester Cycling Academy where riders aged between sixteen and eighteen years old can study for a BTEC in Cycling Performance and Development. 

Vinny Webb

Webb, who joined British Cycling in 2013, left the governing body in 2019 to become a consultant with the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA), a role that he will combine with the Manchester Cycling Academy.

Aimed at aspirational riders, Manchester Cycling Academy will be the only Sixth Form College style course in the North of England and will take a holistic approach to their development, who will study a specially tailored BTEC course, which is the equivalent of 2 ‘A’ levels. 

Riders will receive input from leading academics and practitioners, covering Sport Psychology, Nutrition, Physiology, Physiotherapy, Strength and Conditioning and Coaching from some of the UK’s most prestigious sports Universities.

Riders Will Receive Input from Leading Academics

Subjects the riders will study will include anatomy and physiology and coaching, together with more cycling specific sessions such as tactical demands of cycling and how to analyse and assess their own training sessions. 

The course is designed for riders of all disciplines who are riding regularly who wish to progress onto a high performance environment. Academic studies will be provided with a yet to be announced, but well regarded academic institution that has a long history of providing high class education and which is graded ‘Excellent’ by Ofsted. 

The first intake will be in September 2021 and recruitment will start immediately, having been postponed from March of this year due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. 

Stef Hopewell

Webb will be partnered in the venture by long time colleague and friend, Stefan Hopewell. Hopewell is an experienced Public Relations and Marketing professional. 

They both met more than 20 years ago when they were involved with Student Rugby League with Webb being Head Coach of the Academic Lions, the British Student Rugby League representative team, and Hopewell was Press Officer. 

“There are lots of talented riders who will jump at the chance to immerse themselves in a full-time cycling environment and we are looking forward to receiving their applications. This week’s launch is the result of over twelve months worth of work and we are absolutely thrilled to be finally ready to launch,” said Webb.

“Riders will receive first class education and coaching which will set them up for a career in elite cycling or associated professions. We will take a holistic approach to their development and the input they will receive from the panel of world class associates will set Manchester Cycling Academy apart as being the best in the nation.

“Riders will fit their cycling training around their academic studies with training usually taking place in the mornings, apart from Wednesdays when the whole day is devoted to training and bespoke cycling sessions.This will mean that they are in a full time cycling environment which will allow them to develop their skills ready for the next step-up,” added Webb.

Fellow Director, Stefan Hopewell says: “Our business model of recruiting a panel of academics to have input into the course is totally different to the established model, where it is common for sports specific academies and colleges to rely on one or two individuals.”

“From day one we have built scalability into the plan and we are very confident that it will not only be successful in terms of attracting numbers of riders but in terms of producing high quality riders set up for life success. We’ve recruited some high quality commercial partners who share our vision and we are looking forward immensely to the journey over the next few years, ” Said Hopewell. 

More details of the academic partner, team of world class associates and coaching team will be revealed in the next few weeks as recruitment continues.