Asker wins maiden Eastern Region Road Championship title as the Bury St Edmunds cyclist chases pro dream
Sam Asker is hoping his maiden Eastern Region Road Championship title is merely a step on his journey to achieving his dream of getting a ride for a professional team.
The 18-year-old from Bury St Edmunds got the under-18 junior crown for finishing third overall in a field also competing for senior and junior titles across Central and South East regions on the Birch Course in Colchester on Sunday.
It adds to the Eastern County Cycling Association (ECCA) Senior and Junior Road Championship titles he won for another overall third finish, at East Hanningfield, Essex on May 5.
The former West Suffolk Wheeler & Triathlon Club member, who now rides for the development team Lee Valley Juniors, to enable him to take advantage of the facilities at the Olympic Park, followed it up with the ECCA Junior Circuit Championship title on his club’s home roads at Hogg Hill.
His promising start to the season is in stark contrast to some disappointing form following on his return from a broken elbow a year ago.
“It put me down but I feel I have come back again now after starting my season early in mid-January,” said the former King Edward VI School pupil.
“I raced it (the Eastern Region Road Championship) last year after recently returning from my big injury and I did not do well at all; I pulled out in the end.
“I definitely went into it this year targetting to win it though as my results have been getting a lot better.”
Asker made a strong start to Sunday’s 120km (74.5m) race making an eight rider breakaway around 40 minutes and that built up a lead of more than two minutes from the chasing pack.
But as just three of them remained, he was unable to live with the sprint finish, with his other results showing him it is something he needs to continue to work at.
But ahead of his first big stage race, a six day event in the International Junior Tour of Ireland, on July 9, his ultimate aim remains the same.
“Hopefully to become a professional and have it as my job. That is what I would love to do,” he said. “Hopefully next year I can get into a professional team and work my way up.”
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More by this authorRussell Claydon