July 24 2014 Latest news:
Friday, July 11, 2014
Barkingside boy makes national podium
With Tour de France fever spreading around London this week, Barkingside youngster Caelan Miller had cycling success of his own to celebrate.
As the top riders in the sport made progress on the early stages of the gruelling race, nine-year-old Miller produced a fine display at the National Youth Championships at Redbridge Cycling Centre to pick up a silver medal.
Miller, who attends the East London Vélo club, managed a superb second place finish in the under-10 race, continuing his terrific form of the season.
Dad Paul said: “We’re really chuffed with Caelan as he has worked so hard to make his ambitions come true.”
The race was a tense and tight affair, as several riders tried making early breaks, but Miller stuck to his task, following every movement with caution as the wet conditions affected the course.
Miller worked hard to remain on the back wheel of leader Ben Askey as the laps went by and the two riders eventually broke away in a fiercely contested affair.
But despite a brave sprint finish, Miller fell just seconds short of being crowned National champion.
Paul added: “Ben has always been up there so Caelan was wary and tried to stick with his movements.”
Miller’s silver medal comes after a fine fifth place finish at an event in Milton Keynes, where he narrowly escaped an accident, and another fifth at the tough Hillingdon circuit, where he had finished 14th a year earlier.
Miller began cycling, despite the family having little background knowledge about the sport, as dad Paul revealed: “A chance trip to Redbridge Cycling Centre at Hog Hill one Saturday morning changed our lives!”
Miller then joined the Lee Valley club, which held weekly training sessions and provided great facilities, where coaches suggested the youngster “hit the tarmac” and start road racing.
“To be honest we kept our intentions to ourselves and the club had no idea he was switching to road racing, as he’d done no training in that area,” said Paul.
“We learned that he’d need a racing license from British Cycling to be sent to the club.”
The decision appears to have paid off, as Miller is now enjoying success all over England and can be regarded as one of the very best cyclists in his age group in the country.
Miller one day dreams of becoming a cycling icon, and undergoes an intense training routine of four to five days per week in a bid to make his ambitions come true.
And who knows, maybe one day this pupil from Ilford’s Fullwood Primary School, will grace the nation’s TV screens in the colours of Great Britain!