A physiologically demanding sport, cyclists must posses stamina, speed, explosive power, excellent technique and outstanding aerobic fitness. With the recent research into both the conditioning of athletes bodies and the materials making up their bikes, the sport has excelled as the AIS and the track and road cycling scholarship programs have lead the way to improving the way athletes perform the sport.
Operating both male and female track and road cycling programs, the AIS have athletes training all over the world. The Road Cycling program spends much of its time in Europe, with the establishment of a base in Tuscany, Italy in 1997. Moved to Reggio, Emilia in 2000, the men’s and women’s programs spent time together before moving once again in 2006 to an Italian province called Varese. Administration, initially run from Canberra, moved to Adelaide’s Del Monte facility at Henly Beach in 2001. 2004 saw it move into its new home at the Adelaide Super Dome.
AIS Track Cycling
Beginning in 1987 in Adelaide with just two male scholarship holders, the AIS Track Cycling program recruited its first female athlete in 1989, and expanded its purview to take in both track sprint and track endurance aspects. With sprinters based in Adelaide and endurance riders remaining in their home states, both types of athletes attend camps with the AIS in the lead up to key racing events.
Raced on a velodrome, track cycling is race on fixed gear bikes without brakes. Athletes must harness their strength and power when racing in sprint events, as the larger gears of the fixed bike take great effort to get moving. Endurance events can see top speeds of 40-60 km/hr, with the nature of the fixed gear bicycle meaning athletes are constantly pedalling, even when reducing speed.
AIS Road Cycling
Forming separately in the early 1990s, the Men’s and Women’s Road Cycling programs soon teamed up and based themselves in Canberra. With the introduction of an under-23’s men’s category at the Road World Championships in the late 1990s, the Men’s program focused its attention on identifying and developing young talent for the purpose of professional trade team racing.
Road cycling comprises of both individual and team events, with races being held on single days, or over a number of days, commonly referred to as stages. Races can be simple time trials for both lone riders or teams, or the more complex criterium, which comprise of a varying number of laps around a road circuit. They can be just a few kilometres in length up to stages which may exceed 250km.
View – AIS Cycling Scholarship