John Paul is a track rider you should know about. Although he isn’t a household name yet, he is up and coming and has a chance to get on the full British Olympic programme.
From BBC Wales I got some background on how he got into cycling: he was originally a 100m runner, but in 2004 was watching the Athens Olympics and saw Chris Hoy win gold in the kilo. From ther he found the nearest velodrome, which was in Reading.
This kind of story is great- a young guy, inspired by a great rider, who went out to follow a similar path for himself. The trouble with this type of story, when it relates to a talented, promising athlete, is that there can be pressure from the media. It’s too easy to make comparisons and place undue pressure on someone, but on the other hand, role models such as Sir Chris can inspire young people and some athletes thrive under stress and strive to reach high goals that they set for themselves.
But it’s not baseless hype, he is getting results: he is the current National junior sprint champion, won silver in the team sprint at the National Track Championships as part of a senior team with Callum Skinner and Kevin Stewart (behind the ‘A Team’ of Sir Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny and Matt Crampton). He also has a host of junior wins other wins to his name. See his profile on the Braveheart Fund site.
Below is an under 16 John at a Revolution track event in 2009, setting a new national record for the flying 200m in 11.3secs.
John is currently a Braveheart-supported rider, and as part of that support he is required to post online diary entries- a good way for us to keep up with his racing and results.