A YOUNG athlete is enjoying a cycle of success as he proves to be among the best competitors in the country.

Richmond School and Sixth Form College cyclist Ben Partridge was first across the line in the National Series Road Race, his latest success at an elite level.

The 13-year-old was also selected recently to be part of a four-man team to represent the North East at the British Cycling Inter Regional Track Championships held at the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome, Glasgow.

His strong sprint finish secured him first place from a field of 72 in the U14s 60km National Series Road Race, staged on closed roads at Torbay.

“They were the best riders in the country and I wasn’t expected to win,” said the Year 9 student of Caldwell, near Richmond.

“I was able to take the lead at about the half way point. I had been saving myself for the sprint finish because that is what I am best at and I crossed the line about 2m ahead.”

A member of the Hetton Hawks Cycling Club, Sunderland, Ben covers around 70 miles a week in training, riding most days. He has been riding competitively for the past four years and hopes to compete for Team GB one day on the road and track at Olympic and World Championship events.

At the British Cycling Inter Regional Track Championships in Glasgow 12 regional teams of four boys and four girls, all under 16, were selected to take part in a range of track events.

The North East boys had a particularly young team with Ben the youngest boy at the whole event.

Ben’s highlight was a personal best in his flying 200m, as the team was placed 6th in the team sprint. Overall the team was 11th, a respectable position given the age difference compared with some of the other teams.

Richmond School and Sixth Form College’s head of community sport Tony Potter said: “Ben is a tremendous competitor with a killer sprint finish. He is so strong for his age and we are predicting further success in what is a very bright future on the road and track.”