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5 Minutes With: Up and Coming Youth Track Rider Amber Joseph

We caught up with the 15-year-old track sprinter shooting for the 2020 Olympic games...

Whilst the road season is quietly waiting for spring before bursting into full flourish, the winter months are very much an active time on the track.

With our excellent 2012 Olympic performance setting a high bar, the seniors are mainly beavering away in preparation for Rio. We spoke to one hopeful whose Olympic dreams lie a little further in the future.

Amber Joseph is a 15-years-old sprinter, who has just been named the Youth Ambassador for cycling insurance company, PedalSure. They’re headline sponsors for Team PedalSure, who are currently leading the standings at the UK track series, Revolution.

Having taken up cycling only two years ago, Amber is building a reputation for herself as an excellent sprinter with a 500m potential.

Before taking up cycling the teenager, who was born in Barbados, was a keen swimmer – but it was when she took part in her school triathlon that she discovered cycling.

A family friend and Barbadian track cyclist, Barry Forde, noticed her talent and soon after she won a gold medal at a National event. Asked what she loves most about cycling, Joseph tells us: “What I love most is the speed. The people are all great so it makes it a lot of fun too.  Of course I love doing well and getting good results which just inspires to do more training to improve. I just love it all!”

In 2013 Joseph moved to the UK, and her mum sought out a coach – eventually finding John Wann who specialises in training young girls in road and track racing. In him she gained both a coach, and an adoptive father figure. Wann and the young rider’s school, Sherfield, which offers scholarships for athletes offered support and guidance.

Where some of us struggle to find motivation, Joseph has it in bucket loads. Describing her average training week, she said: “I train everyday on the bike on rollers or the turbo, for at least an hour, except for the days when I go to the gym. That’s usually 2 to 3 times a week. On gym days, I just do 20 minutes on the rollers to spin my legs.”

Training involves racing track leagues – as triple European champion Katie Archibald advised us recently it should. Joseph says: “I do a track league on Tuesday depending on the season, it’s on Monday in the summer. I do a road ride on Sunday.  Obviously that changes depending on the weekend cycle of events and races, and what my coach and I set. I train on average 8 hours a week.”

Track training is very different to road training – consisting of lots of short, really, really intense efforts. When asked what helps Joseph through the tougher sets, she said: “I just do it because I want to do well. I do listen to music so training is easier… I can just zone out.”

Team PedalSure are currently leading the team standings in the Revolution Cycling series touring the country over winter. Amber will be racing at Round Five, on January 2 at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester. As a junior, she races in the HOY Future Stars category, competing over a six lap dash, points race and scratch race.

The end goal is to be a pro cyclist when she’s a senior and with the 2020 Olympic games in her sights things are looking promising for this young athlete.

Being an ambassador for PedalSure, who cover both cyclists and their bikes up to £150k, means a lot to Joseph – she said: “I can’t wait to be a part of PedalSure and feel very honored to have been asked to be their Junior Ambassador. Really looking forward to the 2016 season and I now know my bikes are insured.”

We look forward to seeing Amber progress!

Interested in the track? Check out our velodrome guide to get started.

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