Joining from the World Tour outfit where he was a coach and sports scientist, Nichols returns to his alma mater in 2019 to lead the development and implementation of a strategic plan for Loughborough Students’ Cycling Club (LSCC), including the development of a coaching programme for the high performance squad to ensure success at both a university and national level.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka are one of the world’s leading cycling teams, with Mark Cavendish their marquee rider, the sprinter having won 30 stages at the Tour de France. This season Nichols worked extensively with American Ben King, whom won two stages of the Vuelta a Espana, one of cycling’s three grand tours. Alongside his coaching endeavours, Nichols is also a PhD candidate at Aspetar Sports Medicine Hospital in Qatar, specializing in the physiology of heat acclimatisation and the effects on cycling performance.
Prior to his coaching and sports science career Nichols was an international cyclist himself, competing at the European Cyclo-Cross Championships as well as living and racing full-time in Belgium. Prior to that Dave was LSCC road captain and won BUCS medals in cyclo-cross, road, mountain bike, and the hill climb.
Of the appointment and his vision for cycling at Loughborough University, Peter Keen CBE, Director of Sport Advancement said:
“I am delighted that we have been able to appoint David Nichols to the role of Cycling Programme Manager here at Loughborough University. The growth of cycling nationally has been replicated at the University too, and the creation of this role is a clear statement of our ambition to develop a sector-leading cycling programme capable of developing our cyclists across the spectrum of disciplines and competition levels.
“David brings a wealth of experience as a rider, coach and sport scientist. His experience of working closely with professional cyclists competing in the most demanding races in the world, combined with his outstanding academic credentials, will enable him to guide and direct our student athletes as they pursue their sporting ambitions in parallel with their studies. This is an exciting step for the University – a new level of ambition in what has become one of the UKs most successful sports in the last two decades, and in David we have a hugely credible individual to lead us.”
On returning to the University where he spent his formative years, Nichols commented:
“I am excited to return to Loughborough and commence a new role establishing Loughborough Students Cycling Club as a hub for student cycling in the UK.
“We have a unique opportunity here to collaborate at a university wide level, from sport science to engineering and technology, with the scope to create a new high performance cycling team from the framework of the current student led club. Whilst the teams’ primary focus in 2019 will be on the BUCS Championships, I look forward to the challenge of developing this team further, with the vision of competing at national level in the seasons ahead.”
Finally, Sport Performance and Development Director Richard Wheater added:
“Recruiting someone of Dave’s calibre to lead our Cycling Programme is a real statement of intent in terms of where we’re looking to take cycling at Loughborough University over the next few years. With the support structures utilised by our other performance programmes already in place, I see no reason why Loughborough can’t dominate at BUCS level and beyond over the next few years.”