Lightning Cycling announced as an official Elite Development Team

Frankie Hall in action

Loughborough Lightning is thrilled to announce that it has been awarded Elite Development Team status by British Cycling.

It has been named in the first cohort of teams to be awarded the status in recognition of its work to support Britain’s best aspiring road riders on their journey to success on the world stage.

The new status was announced in November 2020 with the ambition of bridging the gap to UCI Continental level teams and following an application and review process in the early part of 2021 seven men’s and five women’s teams have been successfully awarded. They are:

Women’s teams: Loughborough Lightning – (The Recruitment Group), Bianchi Dama Cycling Team, Brother UK Cycle Team OnForm, Team Boompods, Team LDN – Brother UK.

Men’s teams: Bikestrong-KTM, Crimson Orientation Marketing, Cycling Sheffield, Richardson Trek, Spirit Bontrager BSS Rotor, Team PB Performance, Wales Racing Academy.

Speaking about the award, Dr Dave Nichols, Loughborough University’s Cycling Programme Manager and Lightning Cycling lead, said:

“We are proud to be recognised by British Cycling as one of the top five domestic women’s teams in the UK in our very first year of racing. It is a real testament to the growth of our performance cycling offer, the incredible work of our back-room staff and volunteers, and validation that student-athletes can compete on the national stage with the right support networks in place.”

British Cycling’s Head of Sport and Major Events, Jonathan Day, Added:

“We wanted our Elite Development Team status to be a real badge of recognition for domestic road teams which offer first-class support and development opportunities to their riders and provide them with a real springboard to success, and I’m thrilled with the calibre of the teams which we are announcing today.

“Competition for places on UCI Continental, ProTeams and WorldTeam squads is more competitive than ever, and we know that having access to a comprehensive race programme, coaching and guidance and financial support can be the difference between a rider not making the grade and fulfilling their dreams. The road teams selected all play a pivotal role in developing future talent and provide an excellent environment for the British pros of tomorrow.

“The pandemic has been particularly tough for our road teams and riders, and this is just one of a number of ways in which we are working to support the community and ensure that we are able to both recover and thrive in the future. Like everybody we’re incredibly excited for the return of national-level racing at the CiCLE Classic later this month, and though the calendar is shorter than we envisaged it will be great to see our Elite Development Teams on the start line.”

The criteria for attaining Elite Development Team status included the number of young, British riders on the team; supporting riders’ expenses for national and international races; provision of equipment and dedicated support; and attendance at national road and circuit series events.

The successful teams will benefit from guaranteed entry into national series events, additional exposure through British Cycling digital and social media channels, and access to education courses and workshops for team riders and staff.

For further information on Lightning Cycling visit HERE and for more information on The Recruitment Group visit HERE.