Joe Truman is keen to taste more senior action after competing in the prestigious Revolution Series at Lee Valley VeloPark last weekend.
The 18-year-old, who is a member of Portsmouth-based i-Team, was one of the youngest riders at the event.
He found himself wheel to wheel with superstars of the sport, including Kiwi world and Commonwealth team sprint gold medallist Eddie Dawkins.
And although he did not emerge victorious, Truman believes his experience of the Revolution Series – along with other high-profile competitions – will serve him well as he progresses through the junior ranks.
He said: ‘Riding against Eddie was one of the highlights of the weekend and taught me a lot about racing.
‘Being a Brit competing with a home crowd was great.
‘I’ve never competed with such vocal support before.
‘I went to the event to gain more experience in a senior environment but I managed to set some really good times and came close to a personal best, so I was happy.’
Truman placed eighth in the sprint as Dawkins, who got the better of him in the quarter-finals, took the win.
In the keirin, on his way to eighth overall behind German winner Maximilian Levy, he was second to Sandor Szalontay in the minor final.
Being a Brit competing with a home crowd was great. I’ve never competed with such vocal support before.Joe Truman
Meanwhile, in the men’s longest lap – which sees riders show off their track standing skills before sprinting to the line when the gun fires – Truman grabbed an impressive third place.
The race, also called the Marymoor Crawl, was won by Dutchman Jeffrey Hoogland.
Truman, from Petersfield, is part of British Cycling’s Olympic Development Programme.
His displays have also led to a place on the Hampshire Talented Athlete Scheme and a recent nomination for The News Sports Awards.
Truman’s meteoric rise is all the more remarkable considering he only took up sprint cycling two years ago.
He had previously focused on road racing until a bad crash opened up a new opportunity on the track.
Having been crowned a double national junior champion on the track last year, the teenager is now eyeing international glory.
And impressive rides at the junior World Championships and European Championships could see him grab a place on the British Cycling Olympic Academy Programme (OAP).
Based at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester, the OAP is a residential scheme which boasts stars such as Laura Trott, Jason Kenny and Phillip Hindes among its graduates.
It is the finishing school that fine tunes riders before the jump to the Olympic Podium Programme – which is dedicated to supporting athletes in their bid for medals at major championships. And Truman’s eyes are firmly fixed on the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
He added: ‘I now face an intense block of training before going to the European Championships in July and World Championships in August.
‘This is my second year on the Olympic Development Programme.
‘All the help and support I’ve received – from my bike coach and my strength and conditioning coach – has really improved my riding.
‘Being on the Hampshire Talented Athlete Scheme has also provided me with valuable support.’
The Revolution Series’ final round is on Saturday, March 14 at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester, with tickets at cyclingrevolution.com