Armidale can lay claim to having the best young mountain bikers in the country and a lot of the success is thanks to the 2 Wheel Academy.
The academy is set to launch into their new season and the man at the helm, David Harris, has appointed two of the program’s brightest stars to lead the way. Emily Wooster and Angus Apps were named captains of the academy with both having performed admirably on the state and national stages.
“For me to be captain it means I just get to see more of what everybody is up to and encourages you to interact with people who you normally wouldn't be around,” Wooster said.
“I am looking forward to seeing everybody develop with all the work that they put in and see them have new experiences and have fun.”
Harris said along with Wooster and Apps, there are some promising young cyclists in this year’s program who will contest the state championships hosted in Armidale in November.
“We have some really exciting athletes, there's some in the development team who are really exciting, fast and they're skills are terrible but I can teach them those,” he said.
“Having Angus and Emily as my captains this year is pretty cool because they have been there right from the start, they have come right through the program and have done all the things they way we want to do so they set a really strong example for the kids so I am pretty to see how those two go as captains.”
Joining David as a coach this season is daughter and champion biker Holly, who has just returned from competing in the world championships in Cairns.
The under-23 racer has been through development programs and, having followed the same path, will offer plenty of guidance for the up-and-comers.
“The fact I have just experienced what they are going through really helps me to relate back to them and help them with not just their bike riding but their life in general so I hope my personal experiences can help make it even easier on everyone else coming through,” she said.
“It is such a close-knight community and you just see everyone thrive from it and it is just a really rewarding experience.”
Regional Australia Bank have jumped on board with supporting the program and representative Darren Schaefer said the business was proud to align themselves with such a successful program with other academies now modelling themselves on 2 Wheel.
“The 2 Wheel Academy, there are three race levels so even that's catering not just for the winners but for the skills and development,” he said.