TEENAGE cycling star George Wood says it will be an ‘incredible experience’ to race alongside some of the worlds elite cyclists at next weekend’s British Road Race Championships.
Canvey lad Wood, 18, is enjoying the most profitable spell of his career, coming second in a race at the London Nocturne earlier this month, winning at Hatfield Puncheur last month and winning an 11-mile Silverstone 9up team time-trial on Friday with his Richardson’s Trek team – topping the leader board by an impressive 29 seconds.
And Wood, along with a number of his teammates, will be riding in the under-23 road race at the British Cycling National Road Race Championships in Monmouthshire next Sunday, with world famous riders including Sir Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and Alex Dowsett.
“Just being a part of the race is going to be humbling,” said Wood. “When I was asked by the team manager if I was available that weekend I said ‘erm..yes!’ I couldn’t turn this opportunity down and I can’t wait to get started.”
Wood says a realistic option for him would be finishing in the peloton.
“I want to win every race but you have to look at who you are competing against and these are professionals who do this as a job.”
Wood currently works part-time in Hannah’s Bakeries, in Grays, and says he has struggled to get in as much practice as he would like, so he has worked cycling into his everyday commute, despite often starting work at 6am.
“I love it,” says Wood enthusiastically. “It is about 20 miles from Canvey to Grays and I am able to ride home every day, sometimes taking a different route to clock up the miles. I managed to do a 200 mile ride recently so that was good preparation.”
Wood also praised his parents for their support of him and said, after finishing second in the Leigh Day Kermesse – known as the UKs premier amateur cycle race – at the London Nocturne earlier this month, he saved his champagne and gave it to his dad as a Father’s Day present.
“It made sense,” he laughed.
“It is hard to fit everyone in sometimes and keep everyone happy so while the other guys on the podium sprayed their champagne I hung onto mine.”
Wood said being on the podium and racing through London’s crowded streets was an eye-opening experience and gave him a flavour of what the professional riders have on a daily basis.
“I want to be a professional cyclist one day so I need to be looking to improve and make that next step all the time.
“Seeing all those people cheer you on was overwhelming.
“And I have to thank Richardsons-Trek for helping me develop and I am so grateful to them,” he added.