A-Mae-zing cyclist earns GB selection
A Hartshead cycling starlet looks set to follow in her mother’s footsteps after being selected for Team GB in the European Youth Olympic Festival next week.
Abby-Mae Parkinson is one of six cyclists to be picked to represent their country in the 12th festival, which begins in Utrecht, Netherlands, on Sunday.
For the 15-year-old, who was born in Dewsbury, pulling on the Team GB vest for the first time is another step on the road to emulating her mother and realising her dream of competing in the Olympics.
Abby-Mae’s mother Lisa Brambani, who was national road race champion four times, competed for Great Britain in the Seoul Olympics of 1988 and went on to win silver in the Commonwealth Games two years later.
And while the Rio Olympics may come around too soon for the youngster, Abby-Mae will have her sights set on future Games following eye-catching performances as a junior.
The RST Racing team rider has gone on to register ever-more impressive victories, including the National 10-mile Time Trial title in 2011, but it was her recent form that caught the selectors’ eyes and she has scooped the North West Tour, in Blackpool, and the Hogg Hill national youth circuit race during the last year.
Abby-Mae will be competing in the road race and the six-mile time trial in the Netherlands but she is equally at home in the world of cyclo-cross and is currently the British U16s National champion and the U16s National Trophy Series champion.
Abby-Mae’s form going into the trip to Utrecht couldn’t be any better and earlier this week she set a new national record for a 10-mile junior time-trial with a time of 21:36 - a performance that has given her great confidence.
She said: “I am so excited to be competing for Great Britain.
“I haven’t really raced abroad that much and I haven’t done that many six-mile time trials so it will be interesting to see how it goes.
“In the future, I definitely want to be a road racer but the cyclo-cross is great fun and provides perfect winter training.”