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Last Updated: Saturday January 03 2009 11:42 GMT

I'm a sprint cycling champion

Emily Racing
Emily Racing

Press Packer Emily, 13, has been cycling since she was five and has been chosen to take part in the DHL Sprint School.

Here's her report about how she got into cycling and what it was like being in a special race day at Manchester Velodrome.


"I started cycling about eight years ago, when I was five years old.

I saw a picture in my Dad's cycling magazine of the Olympic mountain bike champion, Paola Pezzo.

She was wearing a pink cycling kit and riding a pink bike. I liked pink then and I decided that I wanted to race on a bike like her.

I lived in Sunderland then and I started going to a local cycling club, where I learnt lots of skills and started to race.

Racing

Now I race a lot during the summer, all over the country. Last year I was National Champion. I do the weekly track league at Halesowen and through that I was selected to go to the DHL Sprint School.

At the start of December I got to put what I had learnt at the Sprint Schools in to practice when we had a race day at Manchester Velodrome.

Keirin

We were doing Keirin racing. Six riders follow behind a motorbike for four laps gradually speeding up, and then you have to sprint for two laps to the finish.

We all did six races. I was racing against five boys in all my races. I managed to stay in the top group all day which meant I got to ride in the final. Overall, I came fourth, which meant I was the first girl.

Emily doing her lap on honour with Chris Hoy
Emily doing her lap on honour with Chris Hoy

I was really pleased with how I had done, especially when I found out that part of my prize was to present the World and Olympic champion Chris Hoy with some flowers and do a lap of honour with him in front of 3,500 people.

The GB riders are all great. They come and watch us and give us advice about how to improve. Chris Hoy was there during the day with Jamie Staff, Jason Kenny and Ross Edgar and they were all brilliant.

Selected for GB team

I have learnt so much on the Sprint School, made some good friends and had lots of fun. I have now been selected for the GB cycling Talent Team and want to keep enjoying my cycling, learning and getting better so hopefully one day I could be like Chris Hoy and be an Olympic champion.

Emily, 13, Worcestershire.


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