The UCI Junior Track World Championships start in Glasgow today and Wakefield track star Ollie Wood is gearing-up for the ride of his life.
The 17-year-old has been picked as part of Great Britain’s five-man team for the prestigious junior track event, which runs until Sunday at the Chris Hoy Velodrome.
The Wrenthorpe rider will go wheel-to-wheel with the best young track cyclists in the world in the omnium event, which starts on Friday and includes the individual pursuit, scratch race, time trial and points race.
And the Outwood Grange Academy student is also hoping to be part of the four-man team pursuit team. The event, which is given top priority by British Cycling, starts today with qualifying this morning and the final this afternoon.
It is the first time Wood will have competed in the championships and he hopes his performances in the red, white and blue will provide some career highlights.
“It’s the biggest thing I’ll have competed in, hands down,” he said.
“I’m really looking forward to it. It’ll be the first time I’ve competed in the Worlds.”
“We know teams from Australia, New Zealand and Russia will probably be strong in the team pursuit, but my opponents in the omnium will be a bit of an unknown quantity.
“I’ll have probably competed against a few of the guys before but not too often so I don’t really know what to expect.”
Despite the unknown qualities of some of his opponents Wood has travelled north of the border looking to secure a top-six finish and give his chances of progressing to British Cycling’s Olympic Academy Programme a real boost.
Wood is currently part of the Olympic Development Programme but will have the chance to move up to the under-23 programme later this year if he impresses the British Cycling coaches.
The championships mark the start of a busy few weeks for the talented youngster, with the National Junior Track Championships taking place the week after the Worlds in Manchester.