A Stockport schoolboy inspired to take up cycling after the London Olympics is celebrating after being signed up to a professional racing team.
Jack Smith, 16, who goes to the The Manchester Grammar School, has joined Innovation Trek Racing, sponsored by Trek Bicycle Store in Wilmslow and Ellis Whittam, and is the team’s only junior rider.
He previously raced for the SportCity Velo and Cheshire Maverick cycling clubs.
Jack now has a professional coach and is hoping to race in competitions across the UK and Europe later this summer.
Innovation Trek Racing was launched earlier this year to help guide young racers on the pathway from participation to professional.
Based in the North West with riders from across the region, the team cater for road, time trial and track racing and is run by a British Cycling qualified coach.
Jack said: “It’s really exciting being part of such a professional project and it’s opened up lots of new opportunities for my cycling.
“The London Olympics inspired me to take up cycling as watching it looked really exciting and interesting.
“I really enjoy the freedom of just being able to get into the middle of nowhere in the Peak District or Cheshire in just a few hours. It really helps me unwind and have something other than work to focus on.”
Jack is currently studying hard for his GCSEs at The Manchester Grammar School this year which will limit his racing in May and June, but his early season results are promising and he is looking forward to the challenge of racing in competitions.
The talented rider was inspired to take up cycling after seeing the London Olympics, and trains almost every day. His most memorable races were the Isle of Man tour and the Tour of Scotland, where he achieved a great result to finish eighth in stage 2.