SaddleDrunk Team is pleased to announce the start of an amazing relationship with Alex Jones the New Para National Road Champion.
We have asked Alex and his mother few question about Alex's cycling career.
What an amazing trajectory it has been for 17 year old Alex Jones, since he started cycling competitively only 3 years ago! Having been spotted by British Cycling's Talent Coaches winning gold at the London Youth Games TT in 2012, he has been on the Olympic Talent programme Regional schools of Racing, learning the trade on track and road - and the levels of hard work, sacrifice and discipline that it takes to succeed. Born with mild cerebral palsy, last year he caught the eye of the Great Britain Cycling Team para coaches and after a successful first Road World Cup in Italy in June he has gone on to become 2015 National Mens para Circuit series winner and National Mens para Road Champion, a remarkable acheivement for a Junior rider. He has also medalled in each of 5 track events at the UK Games and is looking forward to competing with Paralypmic greats at the National Track Championships at the end of this month.
Alex always enjoyed sports as a child but developed an interest in cycling at the age of 14, joining the Kingston Junior Cycling Club. The coaches there advised him to trial for the London Youth Games, (where he won Gold for the following 3 years) and he was spotted by revered British Cycling Talent and Regional Development coach Graham Macnamee who remains an influential mentor and voice of experience.
Mac nominated Alex for BC’s prestigious Regional Schools of Racing, part of the Olympic Talent Programme where over the next 2 years Alex learned the foundations of competitive road and track cycling and the high standards and hard work expected not only on the bike but off the bike too including nutrition, organization, preparation, discipline and the dedication required to be a top rider. Along the way he was supported and encouraged by his clubs (Twickenham CC, HIllingdon and Prestige), family and school, particularly by his PE Teacher and International Triathlete Mark Yeoman, who showed unwavering belief in Alex’s potential.
Alex’s passion for riding grew, fuelled by fantastic experiences such as meeting the Team Sky riders and Shane Sutton on a training camp in Majorca where he rode up Mount Lluc with them and being taken behind the scenes at the Tour de France with Chris Boardman, Ned Boulting and Gary Imlach. Off the bike, Alex is a BC level 1 coach and regularly helps teach young riders at Hillingdon CC. His other interests are cars and music.
Alex did well in regional events but due to his mild cerebral palsy affecting his performance at an elite National level, he missed out on a place on the Olympic Apprentice programme. However, in a stroke of luck for Alex, he had caught the eye of his current coach, Andy Pitt who offered to take him on a one to one basis in July 2014, starting a fantastically motivating working relationship. BC’s para cycling programmeidentified his potential and nominated him for his first para Road World Cup in Italy in June this year where he was classified by an International panel as a C5 rider.
Following an impressive performance at his first World Cup, Alex went on, under the effective guidance of Andy Pitt, to win the National Men’s Para Circuit Series and after an amazing season has become National Men’s Para Road Champion in his category. He has just returned from the UK School Games having medalled in each of his 5 events and is looking forward to the National Track Championships in Manchester later this month where he will be competing with Paralympic multi-medallists such as Jody Cundy and Jon Allan Butterworth.
After an exciting first year competing as a para cyclist alongside his regular racing commitments, Alex is now undergoing assessments and training with the Great Britain Cycling Teamand his fierce ambition is to continue to learn and improve and earn the opportunity to ride for GBCT at the 2016 World Cups and World Championships and start BC’s four year preparation cycle for Tokyo 2020. Alex is also a Level One BC coach and spends his spare time teaching young riders at his old club.
From next month Alex will be wearing the national champion colour cycling kit made by SaddleDrunk after being approved by British Cycling.
Good Luck Alex.
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