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New training program launched to foster Olympic talent

A new high-performance training program, called the Cycling Talent Development Program, is being launched in Victoria, to help recruit future Olympic talent.

Cycling Canada, Cycling BC and the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific have come together to run the new Cycling Talent Development Program. The goals of the program are to identify athletes with the potential and work ethic to be Olympic cyclists in the future. The focus is not necessarily on the 2016 games, but on a long-term development strategy, which can develop talent for the 2020 and 2024 games. The athletes are not even required to have backgrounds in cycling.

“They don’t have to come from cycling backgrounds,” Richard Wooles of Cycling BC told News 1130. “At this stage, we’re looking for people who have the ability and we’re looking for people who could go on to the Olympics.”

The first seven athletes have been selected for a three-month trial period from an assessment camp.

Most of the athletes who have been selected to partake in the original trial period are still in high school. These seven range in age from 16 to 25, but not all are from Victoria or are required to live there. The program will be available for local athletes as well as some who are able to stop in for weekend training, and it will cover many different cycling events.

The full program will open Jan. 6, 2014 after the preliminary Sept. 15 to Dec. 22 trial period concludes.

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