Cycling is one of the most physiologically demanding of all sports. Cyclists, whether on the road, the track or the dirt, need endurance, technique, speed, explosive power and exceptional skill.
In recent years, cycling has benefited greatly from the scientific work - relating both to cyclists and their equipment - which has been carried out by the Australian Institute of Sport.
About the Program
The AIS Cycling Program supports athletes across Track, Road and BMX disciplines.
As well, Australia's first professional World Tour cycling team GreenEDGE joined Cycling Australia and the AIS in 2012 to launch a joint initiative to deliver Australia's first top-level UCI professional women's cycling team.
The team races as Orica-AIS and aims to develop Australian women's road cycling. GreenEDGE and CA/AIS High Performance staff jointly manage the team whose key objective is to provide a high performance pathway for Australia's top female cyclists to forge a professional career.
The AIS Road Cycling Program established a cycling base in Tuscany, Italy in 1997. In 2000 this base was moved to Reggio Emilia and in 2006 moved to the Italian province of Varese. In 2012 the AIS established its own European Training Centre which is available to all sports close to the cycling base in Varese.
In 2001 the administration of the AIS Road Cycling Program re-located from Canberra to the Del Monte facility in Henley Beach, Adelaide to join the AIS Track Cycling Program. Both Programs then moved to the Adelaide Superdrome in 2004 although the road cycling athletes and staff spend much of the year based in Italy.
The BMX AIS program commenced operations in 2012 at Pizzey Park on the Gold Coast in Queensland. BMX and Triathlon officially joined the AIS canoe sprint program at Pizzey Park after a $1.8 million upgrade to the facility which operates in partnership with the Queensland Academy of Sport.
AIS Track Cycling
The AIS Track Cycling program began in 1987 with only two male scholarship holders under the direction of Charlie Walsh. In 1989, the first female scholarship holder was recruited as the program expanded to cater for both track endurance and sprint riders.
The sprint cyclists, including Anna Meares and Shane Perkins, are based in Adelaide while the endurance riders, many of whom are based overseas, come into Adelaide for camps prior to key events.
AIS Road Cycling
The AIS men's Road Cycling program commenced in 1990 in Canberra with Heiko Salzwedel as the inaugural head coach. The AIS women's Road Cycling program commenced in 1992 and joined them at their Canberra base.
Following the introduction of an Under 23 men's category at the Road World Championships and an increasing number of Australians attempting to secure professional contracts in international teams, the men's Road Cycling Program began focusing on the development of Under 23 riders in 1997.
The program moved to Adelaide in 2001 and in 2006 a UCI continental team 'Team AIS' was established.
In 2013 the Jayco AIS World Tour Academy team, comprising Australia's most talented male Under 23 road and track endurance riders, and Team Jayco-AIS, which includes Australia's most promising female riders, are competing overseas.
As well, in 2013 35 Australian riders have been selected as members of UCI World Tour professional teams including the Australian outfit GreenEDGE. Many of these riders came through AIS teams.
AIS BMX Cycling
The AIS BMX Program on the Gold Coast in Queensland operates under the guidance of Head Coach, Wade Bootes and Assistant Coach, Paul Sales.
Internationally based world champions Sam Willoughby and Caroline Buchanan are on AIS Professional Scholarships, while domestically based elite athletes are supported on AIS camps based scholarships. Developing elite potential athletes are invited into AIS camp activity on visiting athlete agreements.
More information about Bicycle moto cross (BMX) can be found at the International Cycling Union website
Cycling Australia/AIS High Performance Programs
The AIS Cycling base in Adelaide is the home of Cycling Australia's High Performance Programs, which support national teams for Track, Road, BMX, Para-cycling and Junior disciplines.