Muc-Off open search for young UK riders to join its Young Guns Academy, with one Academy rider given the opportunity to join the Muc-Off Young Guns downhill youth race team as a fully supported athlete in 2024.


Racing is an expensive business, so if you’ve got, know (or are) a young up-and-coming rider, this opportunity is big news. Muc-Off, purveyors of a huge range of bike cleaning products and accessories, are offering three places on its downhill Young Guns Academy for the 2023 season.

“Currently, not all kids have proper access to mountain bike racing; it’s an expensive sport and sadly inaccessible to many,” says Alex Trimnell, CEO of Muc-Off, on why Muc-Off have launched the Academy.

“This not only disadvantages kids who don’t have the opportunity to experience the incredible opportunities that the sport offers but also disadvantages the sport itself missing out on potential talent and the benefit of improved diversity and inclusivity. We are stoked that we are in a position where we can help try and change this.”

Muc-Off already runs a downhill development squad; the Muc-Off Young Guns team, consisting of Heather Wilson, Luca Thurlow, Lucas Craik and Max Lewis. Riders from the team compete at local, national, international and World Cup (now World Series) level. The Academy expands the talent pipeline by opening up more opportunities for young riders.

How to apply to the Muc-Off Young Guns Academy

Potential applicants need to be aged between 12 and 15, and their parents will need to submit a video highlight reel demonstrating their skills and why they deserve a place on the team. All the information, terms and conditions, and application form are located on the Muc-Off Young Guns page.

A panel of judges from the Muc-Off Young Guns team and Muc-Off staff will view the video submissions and select a shortlist of eight riders.

Those shortlisted riders will then be invited to an all-expenses paid trial day at Bike Park Wales on the 13th April 2023, to give riders and team the chance to meet and ride together in small groups, as well as show off their skills. From this, the final three will be selected.

Who can apply?

Academy applications are open to young riders aged between 12 and 15 years old. Riders must be based in the UK. And while the Young Guns team is downhill focussed, applicants don’t have to currently race downhill or own a mountain bike, as the academy is open to submissions from all disciplines of rider including BMX, road, freestyle and track cycling.

“What’s important is to show an enthusiasm and raw talent on a bike”, Muc-Off states.

What do successful Academy applicants get?

The three finalists get a pretty sweet deal! A full team kit including Leatt protection, Schwalbe tyres, Stance casual wear, other kit and components, and of course a whole bundle of bike care and maintenance products from Muc-Off.

They’ll also receive support, coaching and training from Downamics and Fit4Racing (who also provides our expert MBR fitness advice).

Over the 2023 season, the finalists will be able to train and race with other members of the Muc-Off Young Guns teams at a number of events.

And it doesn’t end there! At the conclusion of the 2023 season, one of the three finalists will be given a fully supported place on the Young Guns squad, with bikes from Mondraker and the opportunity to work towards racing at World Series level.

“We already have some incredible talent in the team, and we’ve worked hard to develop a group of young riders who we know, whenever they hit the dirt, will do their very best to be friendly, welcoming and inspire every other rider that they meet,” explains Paul Bolwell, Muc-Off Young Guns Team Manager.

“The Muc-Off Young Guns Academy is about discovering new talent; and to provide them with a fantastic opportunity to improve their skills and begin their racing journey with the best support possible.”