Joe Truman is a pedal stroke closer to realising his Olympic dream.
The track sprinter, who is a member of Portsmouth-based i-Team, has been called up to British Cycling’s Olympic Development Programme (ODP).
The 16-year-old, from Petersfield, has joined two other riders in linking up with the group which is designed to help the country’s finest young talents reach their potential.
London 2012 champions Jason Kenny and Laura Trott are among the cyclists who have graduated from the scheme, which was introduced in 2005.
Now Truman has the opportunity to follow in their wheels.
Having only started racing competitively three years ago, it has been a meteoric rise for the teenager.
He became a dual British under-16 champion in August – winning the sprint and time trial at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester.
And now he is part of the ODP, Truman has the opportunity to work closely with British Cycling’s top coaches and push himself to greater heights.
‘The ODP committee selects their riders based of performances throughout the year at nationals and other events,’ said Truman.
‘I managed to win both the sprint and 500m time-trial events at nationals, which were held in Manchester.
‘Based on my victories in Manchester and a few other events, I was invited to join the ODP.
‘It has been a bit of a whirlwind so far. We have only had one training camp, so it’s all very fresh and exciting.
‘But being recognised as one of the best sprint racers in the country and being able to train with other riders of the same ability – and have the opportunities to go to European and world championships – is a great opportunity.’
Truman followed up his success at nationals with a hat-trick in the Inter Regional Youth Championships – as he claimed glory in the sprint, 500m time trial and keirin.
He was also 10th in the National Junior & Youth Madison Championships, while continuing to ride in the Calshot Winter Track League and Portsmouth CTL Circuits at his home track at the Mountbatten Centre.
His stellar campaign has also seen him feature in the Winter Revolution Series.
Joining as a guest rider for professional outfit Rapha Condor, Truman won the six-lap dash and points race on his debut at the Manchester velodrome in October.
In the second round of the Sir Chris Hoy-endorsed event – which took place in Glasgow at the end of November – he won the points event, while finishing second in the dash.
‘The Revolution events are almost like a showcase where adults and juniors all rider together,’ said the sprint starlet.
‘It’s a great opportunity for up-and-coming riders – as everyone goes out at the same time, so you are riding among the pros and get to see what they do up close.
‘I am a guest rider for Rapha Condor, which means they provide all my equipment at the events and help with training.
‘It gives young riders like me a chance to show possible sponsors what we can do.’
Truman still has one major goal left this year – and that is to break the national sprint record for his age group, which currently stands at 11.08sec.
He said: ‘I came so close to breaking it earlier in the year when I achieved my personal best of 11.13.
‘There aren’t any more official events left this year, so hopefully I can just push myself in one of the ODP camps and get those few tenths of a second off my time.’