Season Review: 365-4-Bikes Academy

A look back at the 2017 season by the 365-4-Bikes Academy including an insight into racing at Premier calendar level by a first year senior, Ollie Peckover

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Season Review: 365-4-Bikes Academy

In 2016, Ian Littlewood of 365 -4- Bikes made the official commitment that in 2017, 365 -4- Bikes would have an all new first year Under 23 Academy.

The aim of the team was simple, to help, support and develop riders that had previously raced the National Junior Series, and assisting them with the transition into the major senior races. The debut the academy had in 2017 was exceptional. Team Manager Ian wants the very same, if not more in 2018 but with the addition of two senior elite riders with experience to guide the young lads throughout the races.

365 -4- Bikes are currently coming into the final weeks of selecting riders for next season. If you are a first year Under 23 next season or an Elite senior rider, please send your CV to

We asked Ian’s views on the academy now that they’ve come to the end of the debut season. Ian said “We’ve had great success throughout the 2017 racing scene as well as both staff and riders gaining valuable experience. My aim for the academy was to simply support and develop these young talented riders giving them the support they need.

Their goal for the academy was simple; “We take care of everything, the only thing our riders have to do is ride their bike!”  There aren’t many specifically focused first year Under 23 Teams in the UK so this is the perfect opportunity for young aspiring professionals to shine with 365 -4- Bikes.

One of those riders, Ryan Ashcroft says of the academy;“absolutely class team with amazing management and coaching. Anyone looking for a new team next year, with the opportunity to do the UK’s biggest races its an opportunity not to be missed”

In 2018, they will be there on the start line again, but  doing bigger and better things. Here’s some of the Academy’s finest results from the 2017 season.

17th Place – Beverley Classic Circuit Race – HSBC UK National Circuit Series – Ollie Peckover
19th Place – Skipton Cycle Race – HSBC UK National Circuit Series – Tim James
20th Place – Stockton Town Centre Race – HSBC UK National Circuit Series – Ryan Ashcroft
29th Place – Rydale GP – HSBC UK Grand Prix Series – Tim James

These results were a fantastic achievement for the team. “Being a first year U23 team, our aim is to give our riders the opportunities to race some of the biggest races in the UK, helping them develop to potentially one day being highly successful in these calibre of events and more. Our most enjoyable race for the team in the 2017 season was the Tour of the Reservoir, a race which saw our team grow to new strengths throughout the weekend of racing”.

“The Tour of the Reservoir definitely didn’t disappoint when it came to the excitement of the racing, as well as providing stunning scenery views throughout the weekend!”

As a team, the most challenging race of the 2017 season was the Beaumont Trophy. “The heat was unbelievably challenging for our riders” say the team “but we had a fantastic days racing allowing our riders to experience racing in hot tough conditions”.

“For the team the most challenging part about racing the Prems this year was simply how relentless these races are. Our riders have gone from racing Junior national series races of 100km to race National Elite races at 170+km, and its a huge step up.”

“In 2018, their aim as a team is to do exactly what they did in 2017 but bigger and better.  “By closely developing our riders over winter, we want to strive for even better results than in 2017, having an impact on the UK racing scene” says the team.

Here’s what our 2017 rider Ollie Peckover had to say about his views on the academy:

Ollie Peckover:

“Racing this year for 365 -4- Bikes has been an incredible experience, being given the opportunity to race at the highest level the country has to offer, has been incredible.”

“The best result personally is difficult to justify, this is because with different styles of racing being undertaken during the season with both road and criterium racing, both have their challenges and requirements to do well.”

“With road racing, the best result I have found myself getting this year, has been the Stockton Grand Prix, an 111- mile race across a semi rolling terrain around a large circuit for 90 miles, before moving onto a shorter kermesse style circuit for the remainder of the race. With it being the longest race I have even taken part in, the primary intention was to survive as long as possible with the high pace from the start, and try to make it to the finishing circuit with the main group.”

“As the race unfolded, my legs were feeling great! After losing Alex and Morgan early on from crashes, it left only three of us left up at the front, one of whom crashed, and chased back on. A valiant effort. With the course not playing to their strengths, they volunteered multiple times to drop back to the team car and collect nutrition for me and the other rider, Ryan at the head of the race.

The transition between the main circuit and the finishing circuit was a long straight road with a couple of round-abouts, resulting in a 40mph+ charge towards the finishing circuit! As the race approached the 100-mile mark, Tim, who suffered from an early crash and keeping me and Ryan fed, legs began to tire, and be distanced from the main group.

Ryan, finding himself in a similar situation, also found himself on the back foot with just 11 miles to go, dropping back from the group. I however managed to survive the high pace around the finishing circuit, until 2 miles to go when there was an injection of pace from teams forming their lead out trains- with the bunch halving in size on the last lap, I rolled in with the second half of the group, placing 2nd in the sprint and finishing 47th overall, and 3rd as a 1st year under 23.

As for circuit racing, where it is a completely different approach to racing, being flat out from the start! My highest finish this year in an elite circuit series race was 17th overall and second 1st year under 23. With it being a tight and very fast paced circuit, it was imperative to stay towards the front of the race, which I managed to do.
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Coming into the final 3 laps, the race was flat out, with the bunch in a single line, with half a lap to go, the elastic in the line snapped around 15th wheel! With me sitting a couple of wheels behind this at the time, it wasn’t ideal, and the attempt to get across the gap, was also to no avail. In the end, it was a frantic bunch sprint for me, placing 3rd in my bunch and 17th overall against some top names.

All Premier Calendar races are hard! Fact! Hardest of them all however by far was Klondike Grand Prix, the first Premier Calendar event of the 2017 season. Ninety  miles across a very hilly terrain, far from suiting my preferred flat races!

With a break being up the road for the majority of the race, the pace in the bunch was reasonably relaxed, it allowed to me reserve some energy for the uphill efforts! On the last lap with just 5km left, the last time up Saltburn Bank, a 200 meter long 25% climb, the legs finally gave in. I was spent. With placing 67th overall, and 4th as a 1st year junior, this was still a considerable achievement personally”




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