The 2Wheel Academy was conceived as the result of the coming together of Dean Clark and Matt Battye. Both mountain bike tragics, Dean and Matt found they shared a passion not only for mountain biking but a belief in the role sport has in developing young people.
In TORQ Nutrition, Dean and his wife Gen have built not only a successful business in the cycling scene but a genuine elite development program through TORQ’s mountain bike team, helping develop many of Australia’s most successful mountain bike athletes. Realising the limitations on mountain biking to deliver genuine long-term prospects for riders, Dean understood that despite his personal passion for mountain biking, a transition to the road would offer many riders a greater chance of progression. In 2013, this led to TORQ developing an association with Australia’s most successful Continental Road Team, Genesys Wealth Advisers Pro Cycling (now Avanti). Matt’s business, Complete Wealth, had been a principal supporter of the road team since the 2010. And in fact Complete Wealth arranged the road team’s inaugural season launch in January 2013 where Dean and Matt first met.
Like many parents Matt has long been associated with coaching and developing young kids through various sports, especially cricket and rugby league. At the time Matt met Dean, Matt’s eldest son Josh was on the verge of competing in his first National MTB Series and was riding for a local Canberra junior team. Having already played cricket and rugby league at fairly high levels as a junior for many years, Josh was accustomed to regular training and deliberately practicing skills to improve his performance. Like most kids, he found that continual improvement and shared experiences with mates was the most fun he could have and always left him wanting more. This is where the concept of the 2Wheel Academy has come from.
Dean and Matt have a shared vision of developing the growing sport of mountain biking in Australia to one that is accessible to all kids, to help them achieve their best in life – both on and off the bike.
Like many children, I had always dreamed of competing at the Olympic and Commonwealth Games. When I was starting to feel terribly old at the age of 14, I had the horrible idea that I was getting too old to start a professional sporting career. However! Everything started to change after my first ever mountain bike race in 2011. I discovered a new passion and from that day, I decided to make my dream a long term goal! I looked up to a lot of Australian riders especially the Torq team and in 2012, I experienced one of the most exciting moments in my career! I became a proud Torq team recruit! Being presented with these amazing opportunities provided by the team as well as being surrounded by my idols, I have been able to successfully tick off some of my goals and continue on my path to achieve my dreams. I am so thankful for the support and guidance I continuously receive and it is an absolute delight to be an ambassador of this amazing program. It means a lot to me that I can help others reach their mountain bike dreams just like they have done for me.
I have been riding mountain bikes since I was 8 when my Dad first took me up Mt Stromlo. I started racing competitively in 2012 and came 4th in the 2013 National Series in the All Mountain Cup in Under 15 male. This year I came 5th in XCO in Under 17s at the Oceania Championships and 6th in the XCO at the Australian Championships. The highlight of this past season was winning the Bronze Medal in the Under 17 XCC at the Australian Championships. My goal is to win Nationals and become an international rider, and I want to represent Australia at the Olympics.