Alex Morrice, 21 from Merrow has been selected from more than 90 riders to be part of a prestigious Škoda cycling academy.
Currently, in her final year studying for a degree in physics and chemistry at the University of Bath, Alex will join principal academy, Dame Sarah Storey and complete the program that offers young female riders the opportunity to gain invaluable experience of some of cycling’s biggest events .
Alex said: “I’ve always enjoyed cycling and recently I have been able to focus and commit. I’m extremely happy to have been selected for the academy. I’m delighted my hard work has paid off, opportunities like this don’t come around often. ”
The 2022 Škoda DSI Cycling Academy program, now in its fourth year, is designed to sit alongside each rider’s existing club or team activity, providing the opportunity to experience the life of a professional rider with on- and off-bike experiences throughout the year.
Dame Sarah Storey, principal academy and Britain’s greatest ever Paralympian commented: “Alex posted four outstanding test results which far exceeded my expectations for someone who has been cycling for less than a year. Her focus and drive were evident from the moment she walked into the testing day and I am excited to work with her to continue developing her skills both on and off the bike. ”
A talented netball player and keen runner at university, Morrice made the switch to cycling whilst on a placement year working from home for the US investment bank Morgan Stanley.
Joining company Zwift rides, her talent stood out to the cycling motivational speaker James Golding, who then put her in touch with former pro cyclist Dean Downing who became her first coach.
Alex continued: “As I move to the academy I’m really looking forward to being surrounded by experienced cyclists so that I can learn new things both on and off the bike. I’d always seen Dame Sarah competing at the Paralympics, she’s so inspirational and I’m excited to take as much knowledge from her as possible. ”
She becomes one of three new riders to join the academy. More than 90 aspiring female amateur riders applied to join by providing details of their cycling experience, ambitions, and training schedule. A total of 20 riders were then shortlisted to attend the second stage of the selection process, a testing day at the Lee Valley VeloPark in London.
Alex was put through her paces in a series of cycling tests that included a peak power test, a three-minute maximal test and a 12-minute steady-state challenge. She then completed laps of the outdoor closed circuit to test her physical handling and pacing abilities.
And she is not the only member of the Morrice family with sporting prowess. Her twin sister, Natasha, is trialling for the U23 GB Rowing team. She said: “Congratulations Alex! You have always shown commitment to training and I’m really proud of your selection. I can’t wait to see how far you can go in the sport and where it takes you. ”
Dame Sarah Storey’s mentorship will include planning and bespoke advice on racing, training and career progression beyond the Academy. Additional social media and media training will be available alongside a sports psychology program developed exclusively for the Academy.
Alex attended Guildford High School where she was a netball player and the school sports captain. She only focused on her cycling last year.
When she is back from Uni she enjoys cycling locally: “I ride around the Surrey Hills in the Uni term breaks. There is a great selection of roads once you are further away from the main busy climbs around Ranmore.
“Riding down to the South Downs is always really nice for a longer ride, and there are also plenty of hills to choose between for interval sessions, such as Staple Lane.
“I will probably be riding more in Surrey once I leave Bath this summer as I graduate at the end of July.”