The blistering pace of Bourne teenager Sian Botteley has been rewarded by a ride with a national race team as she targets a pro career.
The 16-year-old showed sensational pace while racing for Bourne Wheelers cycling club last year and has joined women’s race team, Squadra Donne Shutt Velo, this season.
After a promising first race for her new team at Elvedon, Suffolk, already this month, she is training hard for the four-day Tour of Malta in April.
“There is only so far you can go with a town-based club,” said Botteley who attends Bourne Grammar School and has been racing for two years.
“This way I get a clear race calendar and the majority of races will be national level. The women’s teams’ series are all over the country and bring the bigger teams together.”
Among the racers Botteley faced on her debut for her new team was Olympic mountain biker, Annie Last, but the Bourne rider made an impressive start, crossing the line in 11th.
She knew one of her new team members from races last year, and team manager Jon Miles from her dad, Mark’s, days racing with Letchworth Velo.
Now Botteley, who trains six days a week, is determined to become a full-time racer and is relishing the test that Malta’s rugged terrain will provide after Easter.
“It’s a big step up,” she added. “Compared to the other women that I am racing with, I am still new. So I have no idea how far I can get.
“There will be a 20 mile time trial and three 40 mile stages in Malta - and it’s going to be hilly.
“I climb hills fairly well but do not fly up them. If it come down to a sprint then I can be up there.”
l Another Bourne Wheeler who is making rapid progress is 13-year-old Maddie Gammons.
After a successful first road race of the year the previous weekend, Gammons entered her debut mountain bike race on Sunday.
The Bourne rider finished third in the first qualifying event for the inter regional MTB championships at Hadleigh Park, Staffordshire.