Ambitious Clark relishes i-Team captaincy role

Members of the Gosport BMX Club squad heading out to the World Championship

Gosport BMX squad target global glory

  • ‘Dad of the group’ targets podium spot in regional championships
  • Petersfield racer relieved to stay put with Portsmouth club
  • Clarke praises the impact of team manager Watson
0
Have your say

Joe Clark is dreaming of stepping on to the podium at the South Region Road Race Championships.

The 17-year-old will embark on his second campaign in the junior ranks in 2016.

The squad with team manager Guy Watson. Picture: Sarah Standing (151998-6279)

The squad with team manager Guy Watson. Picture: Sarah Standing (151998-6279)

But this time the Petersfield racer will have the support of the new i-Team junior race team.

The experience Clark gained from his maiden season will see him assume the role of road captain in the talented squad.

It is a post he is relishing as he aims to build on 11th place at the regional championships last summer.

‘It is good to be a leader in the team,’ said the Alton College student.

I enjoy being the dad of the group and I think we should be a force to be reckoned with.

Joe Clark

‘I don’t think I am too mean to the rest of them!

‘I just try to make sure everyone is getting on all right.

‘When we’re out for rides, it is just about making sure everyone is eating and drinking and helping out if there are any problems like punctures.

‘I enjoy being the dad of the group.

Joe Clark. Picture: Sarah Standing (151998-6341)

Joe Clark. Picture: Sarah Standing (151998-6341)

‘And I think we should be a force to be reckoned with.

‘I think we can get riders into national series races and possibly get a few results there.

‘Personally, I want to get a podium in the South Region Road Race Championships.

‘I was 11th last year, so there is definitely room for improvement there.

‘And it will be my second road race season, so I will be a bit more experienced.’

Clark admitted he would have had to consider his i-Team future had the new seven-strong squad not been formed.

Without the focused support for junior riders, he may have attempted to win a spot on another team.

But he is relieved he can now stay put.

‘It is really exciting and will be a really good experience,’ said Clark.

‘I have been riding for i-Team for a few years now but it is really good to see the club progress.

‘I was having a few thoughts about moving on but it is great to be able to stay here.

‘I have got everything I need here. I have a good team, a good coach and some great people supporting us like Southsea Cycles and Moda.

‘It is really nice to have their help on board.’

Clark, who competed in the six-stage European Cycling Junior Tour of Assen last summer, also paid tribute to his manager Guy Watson.

He said: ‘Since Guy started coaching me around this time last year, it has made a really big difference to my fitness.

‘I struggled a bit as an under-16 but I had a much better season last year.’