Dylan Clayton – British Cycling National Talent Development Coach
Dylan it’s been awhile since we checked in. How are things going over in BC on the Coaching side and what’s your role these days?
My role is BMX (Race) National talent development coach. We split the country into five regions and are really lucky to have five volunteer region lead coaches that run development centre sessions within their region. Rider’s from these sessions are selected against a criteria for RSR (regional school of racing) . That’s where I take the lead and select the best 13 to 16 year old riders into NSR (national school of racing). From that group Kyle Evans will be looking at the next riders for Junior Academy when they’re age-ready and of the level needed. So lots of organising & delivering sessions all across the country.
Alongside Coach Marcus Bloomfield it looks like Kyle Evans is now bringing his wealth and knowledge to the program. How do your roles intertwine with each other?
Now we have a really clear pathway for riders to develop & progress, from regional based Talent development centres all the way to The GB cycling teams podium programme. So all of our roles overlap, we are constantly monitoring riders who we feel are showing the attributes to make the next selection intake. The NSR, JUNIOR ACADEMY & SENIOR SQUAD’S share a lot of track sessions together, so Marcus & Kyle get to have eyes and contact with the riders in the pathway.
GB BMX as a whole has really stepped-up over the years in both grass roots and the pointed end with the success of GB riders on the European and World stage and of course with Beth & Kye’s Olympic Medals. What are some of the key areas GB focused on to reach this standard?
We always look and work on technical ability first, then bring in tactical understanding. From the NSR stage into the GB performance programmes we are starting work on the physical and psychological aspects as well.
You also got another program, Hardknox Byke Coaching, that looks impressive looking in from afar. What’s the background on Hardknox?
Hardknox was started with a friend to begin delivering Coaching sessions in our local clubs. Then we started to help Kyle Evans on his racing journey and fed him into the GB program as it was then. I then relaunched it in about 2010.
The Hardknox team is looking Pro going into 2023 with the team’s look and sponsors. Who’s on the team and who is sponsoring the program?
Thanks, mate. We have a great group of riders. Linc & Charlie Hargreaves. Brooke/Jayden/Harvey Fawcett. James Clitheroe. Emie & Jayden Seward. Lucas Smith. Ava Brown. Oliver Cope. Louie Clayton. Ashton Cooper. We are supported by great companies as well. Dave Clark Racing, Fly, Sitex UK limited, Peartys Products, N-Fuse Sports, Infinite Financial Services, B73, Pure Bicycle Company, Stay Strong. A couple of the parents manage all the Team side of things. We are more than a team, we’re a family, and everyone plays an important role.
What’s the Team’s plans for 23?
To ride and race, and have a great time doing it.
We know you don’t like to talk about your own success and are very humble, but we can’t do a Dylan Clayton interview without talking a little bit about your own career with everything you’ve accomplished in BMX. Out of all the European and World Titles are there any that stand out?
The first ones are alway the most memorable. So, the 1986 European Championship in Germany and maybe the 1988 Europeans in Holland felt good and my first World Championships win in Norway in 1991.
There are only a handful of riders that were given the nickname, Smooth. You, as in Doctor Smooth, and one of the others is Craig Reynolds in the US as Mr. Smooth. Your sponsor Titan even sold Doc Smooth Merch in the early 90s. What GB riders would you say are smooth and fun to watch these days?
Technical ability:Taylor Hunt, James Criddle, Harry Tanner & James Clitheroe. Style cats: Ned Penny, Elsa Rendall-Todd and Coby Wrayford.
You rode for some iconic teams from Robinson, Mongoose, SE, Hotwheels, Free Agent, Robinson again,Titan and then onto Sunn. Was there ever a team you maybe would have liked to have ridden for but never did?
Definitely Haro in the Mike King era.
What’s one piece of advice you took from your own career that you share with the kids you coach today?
Try to keep it fun and enjoyable. If you want IT work hard and don’t make excuses.
Do you still get out on the BMX yourself much these days? Not as much as I’d like to but I still definitely ride, when I can. Wrapping it up, what are your 23 goals and beyond for Dylan Clayton? Just keeping the wheels rolling, enjoying my coaching and family life.
Do you still get out on the BMX yourself much these days?
Not as much as I’d like to to but I still definitely ride, when I can. Wrapping it up, what are your 23 goals and beyond for Dylan Clayton? Just keeping the wheels rolling, enjoying my coaching and family life.