BOURNE cyclist Ali Slater has been selected to join the Olympic Academy by British Cycling.
The invitation to join the country’s elite caps a superb year for the Bourne teenager who has high hopes of turning professional.
He has won three national titles this season and twice represented his country at World Championship races.
Slater, along with his Hargroves Racing Team teammate Owain Doull, were the only riders to be selected from the junior ranks, to move to the academy this year, which shows just what an achievement it was to be selected.
Slater will be based at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester for the next year, where he will live the life of a professional cyclist, with his training and racing monitored daily by the top coaches.
When he is racing in Britian he will ride as part of the 100% Me Team but internationally will wear the red, white and blue of the British team.
His selection is a feather in the cap for his former club, Bourne Wheelers whose junior section, the Bullets, enjoyed more success this week.
Tim James and Sian Botteley took on the top riders in the country in the first round of the National Trophy Cyclo-Cross race series at South Shields and performed extremely well.
On a fast, technical and windswept course, the pair rode to their best finishes in national competitions - 12th in the U14 boys for Tim and sixth in the U16 girls race for Sian.
Closer to home, a strong team headed out to South Ormsby for the latest round of the Lincolnshire Cyclo-cross league.
After an enthralling race-long battle with Sam Bentley from the Spalding CC, Campbell Pollock was the top Bourne performer with an excellent second place in the youth race. Campbell just edged the sprint finish at the end.
Backing Campbell up were Dan Buton and Aaron Bateman in seventh and eighth, with Maddie Gammons achieving her best result of the year in 15th place.
In the U12s race, Bourne’s two competitors Dan Galpin and Alex Gammons placed 15th and 17th.
At Melton Mowbray, Joseph Collins came second in the cyclo-cross time trial event organised by the Melton Olympic Cycling Club.