THIS year has been a rollercoaster ride for Wrenthorpe cycling ace Oliver Wood, but the 17-year-old is certainly bringing 2012 to a close in impressive fashion.
The Outwood Grange Academy student has gone wheel-to-wheel with Olympic and World champions in the first two rounds of the Revolution Series over the last month.
Domestic team Sportscover Altura gave the 17-year-old a daunting yet thrilling ride in the opening round of the world’s only elite track league in October and his performance was so good they named him as part of their two-man team for the second round at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester on Saturday
And for a second time he did not look out of place, with Wood - part of British Cycling’s Olympic Development Programme (ODP) - competing brilliantly against some of the sport’s biggest names, including Olympic champions Ed Clancy and Steven Burke and Team Sky duo Alex Dowsett and Luke Rowe.
“He rode really well again,” said dad and coach Alastair.
“The results were similar to the first round but he rode differently, I think he rode better and he was more relaxed having already competed in one round.
“He is gaining more respect now from the senior riders which is a good thing. In one race Ed Clancy worked alongside him and that was great to see, it shows that riders like that know Ollie is a good competitor.
“He was disappointed with a few of his results but that just shows how far he has come recently. Overall he came away happy with how he did.”
Wood, riding alongside Sportscover Altura team-mate Alastair Slater, raced in the flying lap, scratch, elimination, points and madison kilometre races and finished the round eighth overall out of 24 top-class riders.
The Rapha Condor Sharp team of Clancy and Andy Tennant were the star performers, taking their points total to 125 from the first two rounds - 25 ahead of their nearest rivals.
Wood’s results are just rewards for a tough year that saw the cycling star enjoy the highs of being selected to compete in the prestigious Junior Paris-Roubaix road race and suffer the lows of a broken arm sustained in a Junior Nations Cup race in Croatia that forced him off his bike for a number of months.
The Revolution Series is the biggest event the Wrenthorpe pedal pushed has been involved in and he has made a name for himself amongst cycling’s star riders.
His performances will also stand him in good stead for the forthcoming Development World Cup, which will bring his year to a close at the Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow.
For Wood, the World Cup is more important than his rides in the Revolution Series.
The event takes place in Glasgow from Wednesday, December 19 until Friday, December 21 and will see Wood go up against his peers, and in front of his coaches, at the ODP, as well as well as the younger Olympic Talent Team and more experienced Olympic Academy Programme.
Wood could also be involved in the third round of the Revolution Series, on Saturday, January 5 in Manchester but any ride will not be confirmed until after Christmas.
See this week’s Wakefield Express for all the latest sports news from around the district.