WORLD champion Shanaze Reade believes Gosport BMX rider Ayesha McLelland is on track to achieve Olympic glory.
Prodigious talent McLelland, aged 17, is part of British Cycling’s Olympic Talent Team.
And she is aiming to claim a place at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.
McLelland, who attends St Vincent College, underlined her growing potential last year by finishing third in the junior female race at the British BMX Championships in Somerset.
And Reade – who has won world BMX gold in 2007, 2008 and 2010 – is adamant McLelland can follow in her wheel tracks.
‘BMX has always been a close-knit community and I know all of the prospects, like Ayesha, and they really are pushing things on now,’ said Reade.
The 2011 season has yet to hit top gear but McLelland is already training hard.
The Gosport BMX rider has set her sights on transferring domestic success into international achievement.
‘The year’s gone alright for me so far – there haven’t been many races because the season hasn’t started,’ said McLelland.
‘But I’ve been training at Bath University and I’ve been out and about with British Cycling and I’m hoping to go to some European events later in the year.
‘But before that I’m competing in the national series between March and September and I want to finish in the top three hopefully.’
Reade knows what it takes to get to the top and believes young prospects like McLelland are well on the way.
‘They are really working with their colleges and trying to fit their training in and really taking it seriously whereas before they might have gone out with their mates and not even thought about training.
‘You can see the culture is changing right from the top to the bottom.
‘I think it is extremely important that British Cycling have put that structure in place for athletes. It gives them hope that they will hit their goals and targets and it keeps them on track.’
n Shanaze Reade, a proud Stripe and BMX World Champion and Track Cycling Champion, is playing her way to London 2012 with Cadbury Spots v Stripes.
To join in the game, go to spotsvstripes.com