The Mayor of Surrey Heath, Councillor Bob Paton, has welcomed local cyclist George Harper, a full-time professional cyclist for Velosure-Giordana Racing Team, to Camberley this week.
With Britain’s biggest cycling race the Friends Life Tour of Britain just a few weeks away, George Harper, 22, from Winchester took time out of his training schedule to see where Stage 7 will start.
With teams and line ups still to be officially announced, many will be hoping some of the biggest names in the sport will be racing from Park Street and through Surrey Heath. George has spent many months training and is looking forward to riding on familiar territory.
“It means a lot to me to be riding the Tour of Britain, especially with a stage starting so close to my hometown. It’s a huge privilege to be able to say I’m part of it. Camberley is the hometown of my previous team who took me on and helped me through the ranks and I’m very grateful for that, so for me having a stage of the race start here seems very fitting. It’s a great place”.
The training regime for George has been gruelling, with cycling trips and races across Europe in preparation for the Tour. A training camp in Switzerland with climbing and back-to-back riding is his warm up for the Ipswich GP 200km road race, which he is keen to improve on last year’s 5th place finish before tackling the Tour of Britain. He is keen to inspire a new wave of cyclists and offered this advice to young riders:
“When times get tough and you feel you can’t go on, and all you want to do is quit, be it broken bones, illness or bad luck; don’t! It’s those who battle on and don’t let it get them down that deserve to be at the top, and only them.”
Councillor Bob Paton, Mayor of Surrey Heath said: “It is fantastic to see a local athlete doing so well in the world of cycling. George is committed, dedicated and bursting with enthusiasm for the Tour of Britain and I have no doubt he’ll excel here on familiar soil on 13 September.”
The Friends Life Tour of Britain comes to Camberley on Saturday 13 September and departs Park Street at 10am. The race is supported by The Atrium, The Mall, Collectively Camberley, Camberley Guest House, Luff and Wilkin and Knights Security Group.
For more information go to www.surreyheath.gov.uk/tob2014