ADAM Ward his hoping that he can take the next step on the road to a professional cycling career following his move to Team Bioracer-DHL-FR Services for 2019.
The Dublin-based outfit is made up of the top 12 under-23 riders in Ireland and it will allow the best young prospects in the country the opportunity to train and race together in a wide range of events locally and further afield.
“Hopefully this is the next step. It’s really the first under-23 only team that’s been in the country for a long time,” he said.
“They have a lot of events on, but there putting a lot of emphasis on training so I’ll be doing some events at home, but not every week like last year.
“They have a lot of connections in the UK, so hopefully I’ll get the chance to compete in a few Classic races over there.”
Joining the 18-year-old Dunamanagh man in the team are Dillon Corkery (19), Conor Gallagher (18), Jack Caldwell (19), Sean Moore (21), Andy Maguire (21), Aaron Doherty (18), Brendan Flanagan (18), Conor McCann (20), Cian Sutcliffe (21), John Buller (19) and Luke Smith (19), and Ward is looking forward to getting started once he overcomes a bout of flu.
“I picked up a bit of illness over Christmas, so I’m still getting over that, but I’m looking forward to getting started and hopefully I’ll get back to it soon,” he explained.
“Conor McCann, from Bellaghy, is probably my closest team-mate, so I might do a bit of training with him on the longer runs, but a lot of it will be done on my own, especially in the middle of the week and when I get back to the gym, which will hopefully be soon.
“There are a few training camps to go to, but I just need to be to be going well for March/April for the Premier calendar.
“The big one for me would be the Rutland Cycle Classic, which is in England and it has a bit of all sorts, going through fields and stuff! It would be a pretty interesting 200km race in one day!”
While 2019 is a big year on the saddle, it’s also a big one off it for Adam, who also has his A-Level exams to sit at St Columb’s College in Derry.
However, having had to balance life on and off the bike for a few years now, he can’t see any problems arising.
“Because we’re not racing that much, it shouldn’t have much of an effect on my exams,” he explained.
“It should be a bit handier than last year because the quantity of the racing should be a bit lower, but I’ve been managing to do this for four years now, so we’ll see how it goes.”