Teenage Leeds cyclist Sam Watson will be competing at the British National Track Championships in Manchester this weekend.
Watson, 18, has impressed in the road cycling races he has taken part in so far.
He finished second in the Trophée Centre Morbihan Juniors in France, as well as third at Belgium’s Keizer der Juniores last September – and will be looking to further enhance his reputation this weekend over the Pennines.
With the daunting atmosphere of a national championships to face, Watson said: “I wouldn’t say it’s the biggest event of my career but it’s a big race. It’s the elite national championships, it’s a big crowd coming out, so it’s important for me.”
In terms of plans for the year, Roundhay’s Watson, a school friend of fellow GB rider Tom Pidcock, says he’s optimistic. He said: “I had a good season last year so I’m hoping for the same this year with the Under-23 Great Britain academy and looking at the success the team had last year, I don’t see why its not possible to replicate that.”
The Manchester event starts today and ends on Sunday with a bunch of talented British cyclists taking part.
Watson will be racing on both Saturday and Sunday and will be competing in the points, scratch and potentially, the team pursuit – events that the young rider feels compliment his road cycling performance.
“At the minute I like both road and track and both disciplines benefit one and other,” added Watson, who rode for the GB men’s junior team at the UCI Championships in Harrogate last year.
’It’s an exciting year ahead for British cycling with the 2020 Olympic Games taking place in Tokyo in July.
Britain will be looking to once again flex their track cycling muscles and what better way for Watson to showcase his talents then the British Championships.
Watson says he “wants to make a long and successful career in road racing”, and still hasn’t ruled out the possibility of representing Team GB in track cycling.
While he may be an outsider for Tokyo selection, a good performance in Manchester will do him no harm and attract positive attention ahead of the Olympics.