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Page last updated at 10:10 GMT, Monday, 21 March 2011

Joe Kelly selected to join GB Olympic Academy programme

Joe Kelly
Kelly is a member of the Manx Viking Wheelers Cycling Club

Isle of Man cyclist Joe Kelly says he is 'over the moon' to be awarded a place on the Great Britain Olympic Academy programme.

Kelly is the eighth Manx cyclist to be included in the scheme following the likes of Mark Cavendish, Peter Kennaugh and Jonny Bellis.

"I couldn't be happier, this is what I have been working so hard for," said the 18-year-old.

Kelly was personally recommended for the programme by Mark Cavendish.

"I am going to be learning from brilliant coaches and I can't wait to get going," he added.

Kelly has been spending part of his time training with the academy since the start of February and head coach, Chris Newton, was so impressed with his displays that he awarded Kelly a place in the eight man squad.

"He is another extremely talented rider from the Isle of Man," Newton said. "He has shown a real aptitude on both track and road and we feel he has a very bright future.

"The Isle of Man has an incredible track record of developing great young riders and we are delighted to have another on on the programme," he added.

Joe Kelly
Kelly will learn about both road and track cycling on the programme

Kelly was something of a latecomer to the sport and has only completed one full season of racing.

He will represent Team Isle of Man Microgaming at two races in Ireland at Easter before rejoining the academy full-time and will travel to Europe in April to develop his road skills before spending winter on the track.

Isle of Man cycling manager Mike Doyle said: "He came into the sport late but his enthusiasm combined with a raw talent is incredible. We are sure he will go on to achieve great things in the sport."

Kelly will join fellow Manxman and Commonwealth Bronze medallist Mark Christian on the programme, who is currently in his second year.

Doyle added: "To have two riders in the programme from such a tiny island is a remarkable achievement and a testament to the hard work of the island's cycling community."

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