Welcome to the Academy

The ŠKODA DSI Cycling Academy is a ground-breaking initiative that has given five talented young riders the chance to develop their skills under the mentorship of Dame Sarah Storey.

From discovering they’d earned their place to competing in prestigious races across the world, 2019 was a huge year for the team. Check out everything they got up to in the video below.


Cycling finalist Jazz Jones

Jazz Jones

23, Cardiff

Having started cycling at uni in 2014 I am now settling down into my second road race season and attempting the National RR Series. My best results this season include a top 20 in a National Series race and winning a 2/3/4 race. At the moment I almost exclusively ride road, but also race the local week night crits with the men for fun. I ride a stealthy black Canyon Ultimate SLX 9.0, and a Felt in the Winter. My favourite place to ride my bike is in the Alps, particularly around Morzine.

Cycling finalist Megan Dickerson

Megan Dickerson

23, Bristol

I first began riding during my first year of uni in 2015, racing as part of the uni club from 2016, and more recently with my local club. I have focused on time trialling for the 2019 season, finishing 16th in the BC National TT Championships and 5th at the CTT National 10-mile TT. Next year I aim to improve my placing in both time trial events and also take part in the national road series. My race bike is a sparkly black Specialized Tarmac SL5, and my TT bike a 20 year old steel frame Argos cycles, built in my home city of Bristol. The French Alps are without a doubt my favourite place to ride, although I do love a local lane or two.

Cycling finalist Morgan Newberry

Morgan Newberry

20, Leicester

I’m a female C5 paracyclist venturing into racing bikes. I currently study Nutrition and live in Sheffield with the Peak District on my doorstep, which is great for training. Cycling has always been a massive part of my life, it is an escape from the world we live in where you step out of the front door and pedal off everything that is going on, for me cycling has brought me many friends and experiences and I’m so thankful to my Dad for being the person who gave me a bike to ride and escape on. I feel passionate about getting people out on any kind of bike, whether fast or slow, and letting them experience the sanity it brings to you.

Cycling finalist Meredith Gilbert

Meredith Gilbert

21, Lewes

I started cycling my commute in 2018 and rode the 15 miles journey each way nearly every day for a year. In May 2019 I got my first road bike (an Orro Gold STC 8000) and absolutely loved how much faster, smoother and stiffer the bike felt compared to my commuter. I've only started recently so haven't raced much other than a couple of crits, but I’m looking forward to the full season next year! My best cycling experience has still got to be riding up Ditchling Beacon in the mornings to work when the roads are quiet. Orro bikes are designed nearby so it always feels even better and attempting to beat my Dad's Strava time up there is extra motivation!

Cycling finalist Rebecca Richards

Rebecca Richards

21, Newark

I started cycling a few years ago, back when I was a teenager, and have become absolutely obsessed with it: you can nearly always find me training, racing or talking about my road bike! I’m currently working in a specialised bike shop, fitting in training rides and races whenever I can. My ambition is to become a professional road racer and to live, train and race in Europe.

Meeting a legend

Once chosen, the five academy riders had their first meeting with mentor Dame Sarah Storey. With 14 Paralympic gold medals, 36 World Championship gold medals and 76 World Records to her name, Sarah is one of Britain’s most successful athletes.

Tackling L’Etape Du Tour

Each year non-professional riders are invited to take on the L’Etape Du Tour, the Tour de France’s official sportive. The Academy riders joined this year’s edition that followed the same course as stage 20 of the Tour, arguably the most demanding of the entire Tour route. The 135km cycle took riders across imposing mountains before finishing with the infamous 37km climb up to Val Thorens.

L'Etape du Tour course