Bourne Wheelers top junior rider Tim James is hitting top form at just the right time.
Tomorrow sees him tackling the National Junior Road Race Championship at Ampleforth in the North York Moors.
The event, over 70 very hilly miles, has been Tim’s major target all year, and with several top 25 performances at national level races already this year, the 17 year-old schoolboy, will be in with a very good chance of breaking into the top 10 on the day.
After achieving many good results over the previous three months, he finally took the win in the latest round of The East Midlands Road Race League at Vale of Belvoir last Sunday.
Riding with immense maturity, he bided his time over the first three laps of the demanding 14 mile circuit, picking his time to attack just before the bell. After crossing a two minute gap to the leading six riders, Tim got to the head of the race with seven miles to go. Again he waited, before delivering a fierce assault up the finishing hill, to leave his rivals in his wake, winning by 10 seconds from a fragmented group, with the main bunch over three minutes down.
Club coach Mark Botteley was full of praise for the Bourne Academy student saying: “He stands an excellent chance on Saturday, the course should suit him with it being really hilly.
“As he’s only a first year junior, and therefore in effect racing against people a year older than him, none of the established top riders will be looking out for Tim, but the form he’s shown just recently tells me he’s peaking at just the right time.
“Ultimately anything can happen in a one off championship race, and if he can avoid any mishaps, he could well replicate what Ali Slater did when he was a junior, getting a top 10 in the biggest race of the year.”
Also racing the championships will be Bourne’s other top junior Robbie Ward.
Robbie hasn’t had the recent success of Tim, but Botteley thinks it’s only a matter of time before the Bourne Grammar School pupil gets amongst the leading riders.