Shropshire teenager becomes Olympic cycling apprentice

A Shropshire teenage cyclist, who hopes one day to ride in the Olympics, has taken the first steps towards achieving his dream.

Tomos Owens, who at age 15,  is the youngest rider of the Shrewsbury-based Paramount Performance Cycling Racing Team has been invited to become an Olympic Development Apprentice with the Great Britain Cycling Team.

The young rider from Llanymynech was chosen for the scheme after coaches recognised him as a skillful bike racer with potential to develop into a world class athlete.

As an apprentice the former under 12 British Circuit Series Champion will now be trained by British Cycling coaches to develop his riding performance and will have access to world class training facilities.

The scheme lasts one to two years and if Owens demonstrates continued progress and performance he will graduate onto the Olympic Graduate Programme and will be another step closer to realising his Olympic dreams.

The Year 11 Llanfyllin School pupil said: “I’ve not really had a great season so to be recognised by British Cycling for this apprenticeship scheme is amazing.

“I would love to compete in the Olympics one day. It would be absolutely awesome so this is one giant step closer to realising that ambition.”

The youngster is used to putting in hours of training around his school studies but the apprenticeship will mean participating in regular 10 hour training days and workshops at Manchester Velodrome to improve skill and performance.

“It will be hard work but I’m really looking forward to it,” said the young rider.

“I would spend all day every day on the bike if I could but I am doing my GCSEs this year so have to dedicate some time to study and revision.”

Owens first got into cycling when he was just nine-years-old after being encouraged by his grandfather who was also a keen cyclist.

As well as becoming British Champion a few years ago Owens has also been the British Track Omnium champion twice and Welsh Omnium Champion. He also won the Welsh Road Championships when he was 10, 11, 12 and 13-years-old.

Whilst competing in the Olympics would be a dream come true for the young rider Owens, who enjoys road cycling more than track riding, has his sights set on riding in the Tour of Flanders and in the Paris-Roubaix.

Ben Lawrence, managing director of Shrewsbury-based insurance broker Beaumont Lawrence, which sponsors the Paramount Performance CRT team, and the racing team manager, said: “Tomos is an extremely talented cyclist and this is a fantastic opportunity for him to improve his skill and performance on the bike.

“We will be fully supporting him throughout the apprenticeship and hope one day to see him riding in the Olympics.”

The paramount Performance Cycling Racing Team is also sponsored by Stan’s Cycles.

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