Talented teenager Ellen Flewitt has joined the ride at new all-female mountain biking team f-riders.
The 14-year-old started racing on the road and track at the age of 10, previously riding with Fareham Wheelers before making the switch to mountain bikes.
And the Fareham-based downhill specialist, who harbours aspirations of competing on the world stage at the age of 16, is now looking to take her development to the next level as f-riders bid to bridge the gap between the top elite riders and the rest of the pack.
Manager Nicola Beswick is happy to have the south-coast rider, who trains at Rogate Downhill bike park in Sussex, on board.
Beswick also outlined her hopes for the f-riders team she helped to launch earlier this year.
She said: ‘Ellen is an extremely talented young rider and we’re thrilled to have her on the team.’
‘We created an all-female team to try to bridge the gap between pro riding and amateur by establishing a strong support network between our riders to help them to push their riding even further.
‘Even competitive riding is increasing.
‘British women have been dominating the top of the global field in downhill racing in particular, but they have all had to get there on their own.’
Flewitt’s own stock as a rider has risen since joining f-riders, as was illustrated when she met current world champion Rachel Atherton recently at a race meeting.
The 28-year-old had heard much about the Fareham racer, which left the bemused teenager happy.
Flewitt’s main focus for now, though, is the upcoming national championships in Glasgow, in which she came second in her age group last year.
– JAMES BURGOYNE