Pedal Heaven directeur sportif Tim Elverson is intrigued to see how Joe Fry handles his first taste of senior racing.
The 19-year-old is set to make his debut for the UCI Continental outfit in the Perfs Pedal on Sunday (11am).
The Portsmouth-based road race will cap Fry’s transition from the juniors into the professional ranks.
And while the Potters Bar talent has shrugged off the pressure of his maiden senior outing, Elverson is not underestimating the step up.
However, he is confident his new recruit will show a glimpse of his ability on Portsdown Hill before going on to have a successful campaign.
The Pedal Heaven directeur sportif said: ‘I’m looking forward to seeing Joe race on Sunday. I know what he is capable of and hopefully we will all see it in the race.
‘It is a big deal for him. It is his first race, so there is a lot of pressure.
‘When we come to races like this, there is a lot of pressure on us as a team because we are expected to win.
‘So for a young lad, starting his first season on a Conti side, having never done a national B road race, he has actually got to go there on Sunday and be one of the guys looking to win it.
‘That is a really big step up. I have to prepare him mentally for that but he is a great lad and I believe in him.
I know what he is capable of and hopefully we will all see it in the raceTim Elverson
‘At the moment he is doing everything he has been told and I am very optimistic he is going to progress into a very good rider.
‘He has got a clearly-defined role in the Perfs and he seems comfortable with that, so we will see.’
Fry today returned from a Pedal Heaven training camp in Alcaucin, Malaga ready for Sunday’s 46-mile battle.
He will join forces with Mitch Webber, Alex Paton, Grant Ferguson, Rory Townsend and Lloyd Chapman for five ascents of Portsdown Hill before racing to the finish on Hundred Acres Road, near Newtown.
Elverson, who rode the Perfs Pedal during his own career, has seen the race develop and its importance grow over the years.
He is delighted to continue supporting the event, despite his Hampshire team’s elevation to the UCI Continental ranks.
And he expects it to be as competitive as ever.
Elverson said: ‘Where the calendar has filled in coming forward, the Perfs doesn’t feel as on its own as maybe it used to be.
‘Now the riders are getting somewhere near ready because before you know it you are in the proper season.
‘It would be nice to be on the continent like some of the other teams at our level but our budget doesn’t allow that.
‘We want to support our local races anyway. I would put a team in it regardless, even if we had a squad elsewhere.
‘So we will be taking it very seriously and will arrive at the Perfs Pedal prepared.’
Don’t miss more from Tim Elverson and race organiser Mick Waite in The News – online and in print – on Friday and Saturday.