KEEN young cyclist Finlay Cousins was over the moon when he got to meet his hero Chris Froome.
Eight-year-old Finlay has idolised Tour de France winner Froome since he started cycling last year.
And he was overwhelmed when he got to meet him in Southampton.
Finlay, from Gosport, said: ‘I was really excited and happy to see him.
‘I was at the front and he spoke to me about how long I had been cycling for.
‘I was wearing a Team Sky T-shirt and he asked if I supported them.
I think Fin was a little star-struck and overwhelmed with meeting his hero.Dave Cousins
‘I told him I liked his shoes which were blue.’
Finlay’s dad Dave saw on Twitter that Froome was training at Southampton University and would be meeting fans afterwards.
It was not until they were heading to see him that Finlay was told.
He added: ‘My dad told me we were going to see a new cycle track so I had no idea.
‘It was exciting.’
Dad Dave said it was great that Froome chatted with Finlay and it was a dream come true for him.
‘Finlay was right at the front when Chris Froome and his coach left the university,’ he said.
‘He stopped and spoke to him and we mentioned how Finlay had skinny legs, just like Chris did and he said that would be good for when Finlay is racing up mountains.
‘I think Fin was a little star-struck and overwhelmed with meeting his hero.
‘Around 120 other people were also there to see Chris and I think he was a little shocked at how many people there were.
‘He stopped for a picture with Fin though. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and Chris Froome is such a good role model.
‘The discipline he puts into his races is something I want Finlay to copy.’
As previously reported in The News, Finlay joined the Fareham Wheelers as a way to deal with his ADHD and aural dyspraxia.
He was struggling to communicate at school, but cycling has seen him grow in confidence and improve at school.
His mum Michelle added: ‘Finlay has a group of friends he met through cycling and he has a good laugh with them when they meet at the cycling tracks.
‘He is the youngest member of the Fareham Wheelers but he loves it. He has some great role models who coach there and they have helped him a lot.’