Euro gold for Ilford cyclist

ILFORD cycling star Joe Perrett has struck gold for Great Britain on the first day of the Junior and under-23 European Championships. His event was an 18-mile time-trial from the outskirts of Ostend to the town of Hooglede in Belgium. The 18-year-old you

ILFORD cycling star Joe Perrett has struck gold for Great Britain on the first day of the Junior and under-23 European Championships.

His event was an 18-mile time-trial from the outskirts of Ostend to the town of Hooglede in Belgium.

The 18-year-old youngster, who goes to Davenant Foundation School in Loughton, rides for the Glendene Junior Cycling Club in Brentwood.

He turned in a scorching ride to match the 36 degree heat, averaging just over 30mph and beat his nearest rival - Bob Jungels from Luxemburg - by 16 seconds.

There were 74 competitors in total from 32 countries.

"It was a good course," said British Junior TT champion Perrett, who admitted this is his best victory.

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"I like a long course and had been training hard for it before the nationals. I was told a week before, that I was doing the European TT so I started doing 28k time-trials around Hanningfield reservoir which is a tough course, a lot like the one today with long straights and a few climbs.

"I did a few time-trial efforts round that, as well as a few good long road rides and then backed off for the nationals.

"The bends out there today looked worse than they were and I was still able to fly around them."

Indeed it has been a hectic month for Perrett, who has gained two national titles for 10 and 25-mile distance time-trials and contested the National Championship road race at Abergavenny.