Oliver is wheely determined
BARKINGSIDE S Oliver Rossi has vowed to follow in the footsteps of Tour de France stars Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins after returning from the European Youth Olympic Festival in Finland. The 16-year-old could only watch as Great Britain team-mates Jo
BARKINGSIDE'S Oliver Rossi has vowed to follow in the footsteps of Tour de France stars Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins after returning from the European Youth Olympic Festival in Finland.
The 16-year-old could only watch as Great Britain team-mates Josh Papworth and Jon Dibben returned home from Tampere clutching medals.
Papworth took the criterium title ahead of Dibben, while the Southampton-based racer also took silver in the time-trial.
But Rossi insists he can emulate Cavendish by competing for the biggest prize in cycling later in his career.
"I've been following the race and I think that is what everyone aspires to," said the Barking-born flier.
"But the EYOF has been brilliant and I've learnt so much over just three days of competition.
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"We are amongst the best bike riders in Europe, so it is obvious that we are going to learn a lot by competing here."
Rossi's week got off to a solid start in the time-trial as he finished 23rd, clocking 10:21.12 over the 7.1km course.
The rookie then finished 18th in the criterium, before ending the week with a 37th place finish in the gruelling road race.
"The road race was tough," said Rossi. "I put in a big effort around the halfway mark with about five laps to go to try and get away, but I got caught by the pack straight away and after that it was just impossible.
"I felt like my legs were burning and a few times felt like giving up. It was unbearable, but I saw it through.
"I wasn't happy with the time trial and the criterium was a bit of a disappointment, but I've certainly learnt a lot from the week."
The British Olympic Association selects, runs and manages Team GB at the summer, winter and youth Olympic Games. It promotes the Olympic Movement, enhances athlete success and develops Olympic sports in the UK.