CYCLING: Tom aims to move up a gear to fulfil dream

Gunning for glory: Tom Neale, pictured competing at the Manchester Velodrome, is just one of the bright young talents at Spalding Cycling Club. Their time trial season gets under way next month. Photo supplied
Gunning for glory: Tom Neale, pictured competing at the Manchester Velodrome, is just one of the bright young talents at Spalding Cycling Club. Their time trial season gets under way next month. Photo supplied
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SPALDING Cycling Club’s talented teenager Tom Neale is hoping for a breakthrough year ahead of the new time trial season.

This campaign will provide the 17-year-old with an opportunity to gain further experience and obtain senior elite status as a competitive racer.

Neale has been riding for three seasons now and expects to concentrate on road races and time trials in 2011.

His long-term goal is to secure a berth in a professional racing team and take part in international road races in the UK and abroad.

Such ambitions are backed up by the Spalding rider’s considerable success regionally, with the highlight seeing him selected to represent the East Midlands in the Junior Tour of Wales last season.

His target events for 2011 include the National Road Race Series, with events taking place across the UK including Wales and the Isle of Man.

Typically in these events, the teenager will be riding more than 60–70 miles alongside over 60 other riders.

Away from the track, Neale is studying for a national diploma in sport at the South Holland Post 16 Centre before undertaking a university degree in sports studies.

But when he’s not studying, the youngster is busy training on his bike or in the gym in order to get ‘match fit’ for the season ahead.

His current schedule includes 15-20 hours a week on the bike, with competition riding an extra to factor in.

Neale and a host of other Spalding riders will be on the grid for the club’s first Pode Hole time trial event on Tuesday, April 5.

The road-race events continue throughout the summer, with riders able to sign up at the Fisherman’s Arms from 6pm on race day. The first rider then sets off at 7pm.

New members are always welcome whatever their previous experience and fitness – and Neale has nothing but praise for the club.

He said: “Spalding Cycling Club has got a number of experienced riders willing to pass on advice which I have found really invaluable.

“Anyone interested in bike racing should join their local club to learn from other riders and help develop their skills.”

Contact membership secretary Sarah Bentley on 01775 766419 for more information.