Gold-getter John finishes season on a high note
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CAITHNESS cycling world champion John Paul has finished his season on a high by retaining his British national sprint title.
The 18-year-old, originally from Lybster but now based in Oxfordshire, took the honour at the British Junior National Championships in Manchester.
His success secured him a gold medal and another national jersey, and he also picked up a silver medal in the Keirin event to cap a great season.
"It has been just like a dream," said John, who is a member of Team GB.
He is planning to have a well-earned break before competing in the team sprint in the Senior National Championships in Manchester at the end of September.
Longer term, the City of Edinburgh cyclist’s aim is to compete in the under-23 European contests and then move into the senior category on a full-time basis.
John completed an impressive treble in Manchester when he added the British junior sprint title to the world and European crowns he already holds.
He was the leading qualifier ahead of fellow Great Britain international Matt Rotherham, who had also featured at the Junior World Track Championship in Moscow.
As reported in the John O’Groat Journal on August 26, John joined the ranks of cycling greats, such as three-time Olympic gold medal-winner Sir Chris Hoy, when he received a coveted Rainbow jersey – worn by the reigning world champion in any bicycle racing discipline.
He took the world title for the under-19 individual sprint at the championship held in the Krylatskoe Velodrome.
"When I won it was such a surreal feeling because I’d dreamt of becoming world champion every night for two years. It still hasn’t sunk in," he said.
On his way to the title he beat current world record holder Max Niederlag, from Germany, in the semi-final before taking on and beating Frenchman Julien Palma in the final to secure his first world title.
The outstanding achievement came around a month after John was crowned a double European champion at the Junior European Track Cycling Championships in Portugal, where he picked up gold medals in the individual sprint and Keirin event.