SHEPLEY cycle racer Leon Gledhill enjoyed a very promising start to 2013 on duty for Great Britain in Belgium.
The Shelley High School student, 16, who rides for the BBM Sportscover team, was part of this year’s first Olympic Development Programme visit to Europe, at the two-day meet at the Eddie Merckx Velodrome in Ghent.
In the sprint discipline, Gledhill turned in three sterling performances to qualify for the final of Group Three, where he was just edged into second place on the line – he finished eighth overall.
In the Kierin race, Gledhill electrified the arena with a great show of maturity and tenacity, staying on the wheel of the French Olympian Benjamin Edelin.
Coming off the last bend, Gledhill stuck to his task and got the win by a fraction of a wheel to qualify for the final.
In the final, Gledhill again stayed on the wheel of Edelin through to the line, despite the best efforts of the Frenchman to get clear of him.
In a fantastic finish, however, Edelin held on to the lead with Gledhill taking a very well-deserved second.