Ben is one of 24 apprentices across the UK and represents the North and Midlands Group. However, Ben was in the unique position of being offered places on both the Endurance and Sprint Teams. He chose the Endurance as it offers track and road events, indoors and outdoors, and he feels he has a better chance of success in this area. Ben has, however, been invited to join some of the sprint camps as he is highly regarded as having a very good sprint.
This is an incredible opportunity for Ben who will commit to around 25 days training away from home at Manchester, Derby and Glasgow, cycling both indoor velodrome sessions and outdoor road rides. Already, Ben has a rigorous and tailored training programme to adhere to, training five times each week, comprising of turbo training and road rides, that he has to complete and upload for his coach to review. Such is Ben’s commitment, he also travels to Manchester Velodrome every Friday night.
Ben has been competing regionally since he was five years old and at a national level since he was eleven. His determination and resilience to succeed continue unabated. His next steps are to demonstrate improvement and consistency with a view to being selected for the Junior programme next September.
Chris Booth, Great Britain Cycling Team Coach, said: “Ben has demonstrated that he has good physical attributes to be a bike racer from an early age. He is powerful, strong and also packs a decent sprint. To complement this, Ben was able to overcome a number of setbacks last year showing resilience, grit and maturity – this is what really caught my eye.
“He remains disciplined in everything he does from his reflections to his nutrition and is committed to getting the best out of himself. More often than not, it is these types of personal qualities that determines whether an athlete is able to reach their maximum potential. Ben has a strong desire and hunger to develop as a bike racer and if he continues to work on the fundamentals, every day with consistency – I am confident he will have a successful year and a bright future in this sport.”
Ben rides for the PH-Mas/Paul Milnes team based in Otley. Nick Hendry, team manager, commented: "We are honoured to be running the junior team for our 8th season. Over the years we have a number of national champions and are supporting the 2020 youth, CX and junior ladies teams with the generous help of PH Plasterers, MAS Design and Paul Milnes Cycles. It’s great to have Ben in the team and I believe he certainly has the right attitude and aptitude to go far."
Keeping up with the family tradition is Ben’s eleven-year old brother Matty who rides for Hetton Hawks Go Ride Club. Matty is already competing regionally and has enjoyed recent success at club level in road racing, hill climbing, cyclo cross and often attends Manchester velodrome to develop his track racing skills. Matty is looking forward to following in Ben’s footsteps on the national arena.
Ben said: ”It was a very proud moment when I was awarded my Great Britain cycling kit in the Velodrome at Manchester where so many GB riders have had success. I am really committed to my cycling and ensure I train hard in line with Chris’ training plans. Even after a few weeks I am already feeling the benefits”
Jenna Potter, Headteacher, concluded: “This is an incredible achievement for Ben and demonstrates not only his cycling expertise but also his determination to be the best that he can be. He is doing a fabulous job of balancing his intensive training schedule with his GCSE studies.”
Further information can be found at: https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/gbcyclingteam/article/20150723-The-Rider-Route---Apprentice-0%20?