THE Tour of Britain could reignite competitive cycling in Bucks when it passes through our streets in September.
That is the view of High Wycombe Cycling Club president Gordon Wright, who believes that while social cycling numbers are up, competitive cycling in the country badly needs a lift.
He said: "This is great for local cycling. It will attract riders of some quality so we should see some big names here.
“Britain leads the way in terms of track racing and is gradually coming up on the road as well.
“Now there are more cyclists on the road and in clubs and last year the numbers at High Wycombe Cycling Club were good with nearly 300 members. That the biggest it’s ever been.
“But the big growth is in sportifs. On the competitive side, cycling is having a tough time domestically.
“Hopefully the Tour will create a lot of interest and a lot of motivation. With its upgraded status, it has to be fantastic.”
Meanwhile, Wright believes his club could be on the verge of a magical era with a junior team of real class coming through the ranks.
Supported by the clubs Race Team, 16-year-old pair Ollie Blagden and Ben Croxford plus Jimmy Austin, who is 17, have all shown considerable time trial potential in their first year racing.
But it’s 16-year-old George Clark, right, who is setting the pace, cutting nine minutes off his ten-mile time in just one year.
He went on to finish fourth in the national ten-mile time trial.
Wright, who has coached Olympic gold medalists in his time, said: “I’ve been coaching a long, long time so it’s easy for me to benchmark how they stack up against other riders.
“The early signs are incredible and I’ll take half a bet that by the end of the year he’s on the British Olympic Development Programme."