Young rider sponsored
CYLCING: Amateur Joshua Cunningham has gained £250 funding from sporting charity GLL Sport Foundation to help make his dream of turning pro a reality.
This year he became the first Englishman to join The Royal Antwerp Bicycle Club and race for the Belgian team.
He spent the cycling season in Zottegem, Belgium – the hub of European racing - competing for the Belgian amateur team.
He ha achieved top 10 placings in amateur races, such as in Wetteren, and top 20 results in higher level, international competitions around Belgium.
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He also gained wild card entries into professional races in Hoboken, Antwerp and Geel, where he played prominent parts in the racing – earning him a place on brand new semi-pro team 'Viasport' for 2012.
Describing himself as "an all-rounder with a fast finish", he came late to cycling for a would-be professional, after timing himself cycling to college aged 17.
Cunningham – a garden landscaper during the off-season - is hoping to raise funds so he can continue to progress as a rider and make a name for himself.
The 21-year-old's package includes training membership at K2, run by GLL, worth £500.
"This year has been a success and progression for me. I am stronger, have gained good results and played an active part in racing. I have had injuries, illnesses and crashes, but have done enough to progress to a higher level in 2012.
"I am extremely grateful for the help from the GLL Sport Foundation. It lifts a lot of weight off people's shoulders. Without gestures like this the dreams of many people like me would be broken."