Fry keen to prove he is no average Joe in Perfs Pedal

Pedal Heaven's Rory Townsend crests Portsdown Hill just behind last year's Perfs Pedal winner Yanto Barker. Picture: Rob Atkins
Pedal Heaven's Rory Townsend crests Portsdown Hill just behind last year's Perfs Pedal winner Yanto Barker. Picture: Rob Atkins
Abbie Manley leads her Hargroves Ridley Montezuma's team-mate Amy Perryman through a corner at the Swanmore Motocross Track. Picture: Neil Marshall (171339-131)

Fareham Wheelers dream of national service

  • Teenager set for professional debut in Portsdown Hill test
  • Talent eager to repay faith of Pedal Heaven
  • UCI Contintental outfit name powerful six-man squad
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Joe Fry is determined to repay the faith shown in him by Pedal Heaven.

And the 19-year-old is keen to start proving his worth when he makes his debut in the Perfs Pedal on February 14.

Fry, who finished 10th in the junior Paris-Roubaix last season, is part of the Hampshire team’s six-man squad for the race, which marks the start of the domestic road campaign.

He joined Pedal Heaven from RST Racing after completing his junior career last term – and is currently making the most of his first training camp in Alcaucin, Malaga.

Fry, who has also represented Great Britain on the track in junior internationals, has been thrilled with his first taste of life in the professional ranks.

And he is hopeful an extended stay in Spain, which is not set to end until just three days before the Perfs Pedal, will see him get off to a flying start for the newly-promoted UCI Continental outfit.

With it being my first race for Pedal Heaven, I want to show that signing me was a good decision

Joe Fry

Fry, who hails from Potters Bar, said: ‘I have really, really enjoyed it so far.

‘I have loved the step up in the amount of training and all the extra responsibility that comes with it.

‘My motivation has gone through the roof, which is probably down to how comfortable I feel with the whole set-up and within the team.

‘The Perfs Pedal will be our first race as a UCI Continental team, so we are really excited and hoping to make an impression.

‘And with it being my first race for Pedal Heaven, I want to show that signing me was a good decision.’

Pedal Heaven have plenty of options for the 46-mile Perfs Pedal, which is set to include five ascents of Portsdown Hill before its finale at Hundred Acres Wood.

Fry will be joined in the Fleet outfit’s line-up by Alex Paton, who was 12th in the Rutland-Melton International CiCLE Classic last season.

Rory Townsend and Mitch Webber have been selected after finishing fifth and eighth in last term’s battle, which saw ONE Pro Cycling fill the top four places.

Lloyd Chapman, who was fifth behind former Perfs winner Alex Dowsett in the national time trial championships last term, makes his debut.

And Scottish mountain-biker Grant Ferguson, who won a bronze medal in the under-23 cross-country race at the 2015 World Championships, completes the team.

But Fry, who only celebrated his 19th birthday on Monday, insists the squad have yet to talk tactics with directeur sportif Tim Elverson.

‘We have been discussing casually how we want to approach the race,’ he said.

‘But we haven’t sat down properly yet because we have riders all over the place at the moment.

‘When we all get back and sit down as a team, we will be able to get switched on and make sure we are on the same page.’

Click here to read organiser Mick Waite on the 2016 Perfs Pedal.