Hackney cyclist Geoghegan Hart to compete at European Youth Olympic Festival

Former Gayhurst Primary School pupil off to Turkey

While Mark Cavendish and Geraint Thomas are flying the Union Jack high at the Tour de France, Hackney cyclist Tao Geoghegan Hart insists he can join the party at next week’s European Youth Olympic Festival.

The 16-year-old will have to tear himself away from the Tour on television as he travels to Trabzon, Turkey, as one third of Great Britain’s cycling team, fresh from victory at the Crystal Palace Criterium on July 12.

Turkey is the second of three major competitions for the Stoke Newington School pupil this month, with the British Junior National Track Cycling Championships coming next month and the British National Circuit Championships coming up this weekend, just a day before his plane leaves.

And although fixing his sights firmly on Bradford, meaning he flies to Turkey after the rest of Team GB, Geoghegan Hart is adamant he will be fighting fit when he finally arrives.

“I am really delighted to be going to Turkey because it is the first opportunity for cyclists to represent your country so to do that at the first time of asking is a really big thing,” the Cycling Club Hackney starlet said.

“But although this is probably the biggest event this year, it isn’t my only big competitions as I have one after and then one the day before I fly.

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“Although it has been a good year so far these three competitions will define my season and I am determined to give my all in everyone of them.

“Even though they are both big competitions I don’t think doing the first one will affect my chances in Turkey and I will just take it day by day.

“I am really determined to climb the podium in Turkey so that will blow away any tiredness and hopefully I can be successful.”

Geoghegan Hart is set to be busy by the Black Sea, taking part in the criterium, time trial and road race events alongside fellow British Cycling Olympic Talent Programme members Christopher Lawless and Jacob Scott.

But despite his three-pronged attack, it is in the latter where the former Gayhurst Primary School pupil is confident of shining under the Olympic lights.

“Although I obviously want to do well in all free events, personally I am looking forward to the 70k road race the most and I am hoping to medal,” he added.

“Watching the Tour has just made me more and more eager to do it and I am hoping for some hills and some wind and for it to be a great race.

“I don’t think Britain did very well in that race last time so I want to go out there and put that right.”

Lloyds TSB is a Proud Partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and Official Supporter of Team GB on t heir journey to the European Youth Olympic Festival. For more information, visit: www.lloydstsb.com/london2012