Lovett all set for junior challenge with i-Team

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

  • South Downs College student expects steep learning curve
  • Sixteen-year-old rider aims to make mark at national level
  • Cycling starlet shrugs off being only girl in new seven-strong team
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Victoria Lovett is expecting a steep learning curve in the junior ranks.

But the 16-year-old, from Horndean, reckons she has the perfect backing to make a successful climb from youth level.

Lovett has been named in i-Team’s seven-strong junior race squad for the 2016 campaign.

The Portsmouth-based club have taken the plunge and put together a package worth nearly £25,000 to support the talented crop of racers.

It is a bold move but one Lovett, who has ambitions of making her mark at national level, reckons will pay off.

‘This will be my first year as a junior,’ said the South Downs College student.

Victoria Lovett. Picture: Sarah Standing (151998-6314)

Victoria Lovett. Picture: Sarah Standing (151998-6314)

‘It is hard to tell how we will do because it is such a big step up from youth level.

‘It will be quite a big learning curve.

‘But if you train hard and put 100-per-cent effort into everything, that’s all you can do.

‘I think we will be really competitive at regional level.

It will be quite a big learning curve. But if you train hard and put 100-per-cent effort into everything, that’s all you can do.

Victoria Lovett

‘And I would love to get a top 10 in a national road race.

‘I think that would be a really good thing to aim for.’

Lovett tasted success on the track and in circuit races during 2015.

She has followed up victories in the SwiftCarbon Southdown Velo Goodwood Series and Pedal Heaven Eelmoor Circuit Series with further glory at Calshot’s velodrome in recent weeks.

The squad, from left: Nick Kimish, TJ Nel, Jack Noble, Victoria Lovett, Joe Clark, Kyle Henderson and Harvey McNaughton. Picture: Sarah Standing (151998-6275)

The squad, from left: Nick Kimish, TJ Nel, Jack Noble, Victoria Lovett, Joe Clark, Kyle Henderson and Harvey McNaughton. Picture: Sarah Standing (151998-6275)

The teenager, who swam for Havant & Waterlooville before switching her focus to two wheels, is now relishing getting stuck into winter training – whatever the weather.

And she believes being the only girl in the team will spur her on to greater heights.

Lovett said: ‘I quite like it because it makes me work harder when I’m trying to keep up with the men.

‘I haven’t known any different. When I started with the club I was the only girl and I am the only girl in the team now.

‘We were all friends before, so the team spirit is already there. We work very well together.

‘And I love training. I don’t mind the cold and the wet.

‘You need to train in the wet to race in the wet, so you have to embrace it.’