Teen cycling sensation Maddie Leech is one step closer to her Olympic dream after being selected for the GB Cycling Team Senior Academy.
Maddie, 18, from Lindley, has already competed on the world stage and won gold and silver medals.
Back in August she picked up a gold and a silver medal at the European Junior Championships in Apeldoorn in the Netherlands. She collected gold in the team pursuit category and won silver in the women’s junior points race.
The academy that Maddie will now be attending is based in Manchester at the world renowned velodrome. Maddie will spend the next year living in the city and is now classed as a full-time athlete with her sole focus on her training and competing in tournaments.
Maddie’s mum Joanna said: “Maddie is very excited to be going. She left on Sunday and moved into her place in Manchester. Whilst we have got used to her being away from home it became real the other day and we are so proud of her.”
Maddie returned home after her 5th place finish in the World Championships back in September. She then flew to Switzerland to compete in the European Elite track championships a week later.
Maddie is now settling into life in Manchester and will soon be flying out to Majorca to do some warm weather training before travelling to the Swiss city of Geneva to compete in a track competition.
Joanna is sure that Maddie will be keeping her options open regarding whether she specialises in track cycling or road racing.
Joanna said: “Maddie is really interested in the track and has been since watching the 2016 Olympics. However, she does like racing on the road too and I’m sure being in the academy will improve her in both disciplines.
“We do get excited when we watch her, particularly on the track where you get to see all the action.”