Broken bones can’t stand in way of ‘amazing’ win for national champion Oli Stockwell
- Credit: Archant
Oli Stockwell has called his British National Cycling Championship win “amazing”
And what makes it even more special is it was the first race back for the 14-year-old from London Colney after breaking his collarbone less than six weeks earlier.
The Welwyn Wheelers man had suffered the break at the North West Youth Tour around Lancaster at the end of May.
He said: “The rider in front of me came off and I went straight over the top of him and over the handlebars.
“It was only two weeks before the nationals that I got back on the bike and did some hard training.
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“But I was able to do some work on the turbo trainer indoors before that.”
Stockwell revealed he hadn’t gone into the race with any expectations but wondered whether the lack of racing in between may have kept him fresh.
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“I hadn’t raced since then so I just wanted to see how I was,” he said. “But having the break may have helped me peak, having that rest before.
“I wasn’t really thinking anything before. I just wanted to see what happened and see how I felt.”
The race itself saw Stockwell jump clear on his own around the halfway point of the one hour race at Redbridge Cycling Centre.
And despite a frantic chase by the peloton, he held on to win by nine seconds.
“We had a bell on the last lap and I was half-way round that lap when I knew I’d done it,” he said.
“Before then I was just trying to hang on to the end. Every time I went up the hill I could glance across and see them.”
He will now wear the iconic British National jersey, worn at senior level in the past by the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish, for the next year.
His first outing will be in the Netherlands at the Assen International Youth Tour, which will be his first outing in a continental race.
He hopes it won’t be his last though as he holds dreams of turning professional, like others from the Wheelers.
He said: “When you see the likes of Andy Fenn, you can see that it is possible.
“I was always riding my bike but it’s been four years since I’ve started competing with Welwyn.
“I do all the disciplines my I think time-trialing is my best. I was third though in the national cyclo-cross.
“Climbing is probably the weakest part of my road cycling. I can still keep up but I’m not the fastest up hills.”
The Verulam School pupil said his achievement has been met with plenty of congratulations from friends while mum Sam said the school themselves have been excellent.
She said: “He works hard at school but his priority is riding his bike. But the school have been really good with him and appreciate he trains hard and puts the work in.
“He’s very calm about things. It’s incredible for him that he’s getting to be up there and do all this stuff, especially with all the hard work he puts in.
“Because he’d been injured we didn’t consider it a possibility. He’d always done well but it’s incredible.”