The 2014 Commonwealth Games in July is coming around fast - and cycling starlet David Fletcher is bidding to be there on the starting line.
The 24-year-old, who lives in Clipstone and is formerly from Edwinstowe, races in cyclo-cross, where he finished runner-up in the British National Championships held at Derby last month.
But he is also a keen mountain biker and it’s in that discipline he hopes to represent England at this year’s mult-sports extravaganza in Glasgow.
That would go some way to making up for the frustration of missing out on the London Olympics in 2012, where he was a first reserve.
“The Commonwealths is obviously one of the biggest events of the year across all sports and to be there would be a fantastic experience,” said Fletcher, a former pupil at Rufford Comprehensive and Dukeries College.
“With it being in Britain it would also be extra special with the home crowd on your side.
“I have been riding professionally for six or seven years now and this would probably be the pinnacle so far.
“If I can get a place on the team, which means I need to keep riding well, then I would be hoping to get into medal contention.
“But there are a lot of good guys going and there’s no guarantees at this stage.”
Fletcher races in cyclo-cross for London’s Orange Monkey team but has ridden for local club Sherwood Pines Cycles in the past.
The discipline is contested on bikes that look similar to those for road races, but the terrain is slightly more rugged such as grass, parkland, farmland and wooden trails.
In finishing runner-up in the cyclo-cross nationals, held at the Moorways Leisure Centre on Sunday 12th January, he was second behind regular rival Ian Field.
Fletcher added: “It is one of the main events of the year and is the highest I have finished in the elite section, having won at U23 and junior level, so I was very pleased.
“I was third last year so I’m going in the right direction.
“I’ve had some good battles with Ian and it was a close run thing, with only about 20 seconds between us at the end.
“But he’s that little bit older and I’m still relatively new at elite level so there should be more improvement to come.”
Next on Fletcher’s list is the World Championships in Hoogerheide, Holland in the early part of February.
Having represented his country right though the junior set-up he has now earned himself the chance to excel on the world stage after receiving his official England call-up this week, though the British riders will not go in as favourites,
“I think a top 20 finish would be a good achievement for our team members because we are about the middle of the pack in world terms,” he said.
“The Belgians have been the ones to beat and will be favourites once again.”