SKYPE: Andy Layhe - Bike Pure info at bikepure.org

Path to Success

19
Jul

Some people in school ask me why I do the sport, “what’s so enjoyable about peddling everyday of your life, don’t you get bored” my answer is simple, there is only one answer, ‘its passion and the drive and the will to win and be one of the best in the world at what I do, that’s my goal in life what’s yours?’ They don’t reply, they just carry on drinking there can of sugary coke and eating a chocolate bar, whilst I’m sipping on a my bottle of water and munching an apple.

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It’s not easy juggling sport and school. You’ve got the early mornings, fixing your bike before school so you can train on it after school. The late nights after you come back from training and have to do your homework or revise for exams or tests, the one thing about me is I am always thinking about Cycling, during lessons ,after lessons and its something that I should do less of to get my mind somewhere else except for cycling for a change, I think its quite healthy to do that sometimes. This wasn’t a shock to me thought as I already found out how difficult it was before I started my career as a cyclist, I was a keen footballer, 100% focussed on it and didn’t think I was going to do any other sport except football for the rest of my life.

I was already started cycling and had been since I was born, as my Dad was a keen cyclist, a Welsh and Great Britain International back in his day and one of the most influential people in my life, he supported me 100% in what I did, and looking back must have been a bit frustrating standing in a freezing cold field watching me kick a ball, when he could have been out training or riding his bike with his two sons, The one thing about my dad that’s different to other dads, is he never puts an ounce on pressure on you, never has and never will, I think that’s why he’s had a successful career and I’ve had a pretty decent one so far.

The worst thing that you can have is someone screaming at you from the side lines, really frustrates the hell out of me! Some one else that’s been a big part of my life is my Mum ‘the Queen’ as she is now known, she’s always been there for me every step of the way , taking me all over the country to race and train, I’ll always be grateful for that!
I bet your all wondering why I’m talking about football more than cycling at the moment, well my cycling career started properly in 2010 at the age of 12, on the 19th of July to be exact, stage 15 of the 2010 Tour de France from Pamiers to Bagneres-du- Luchon.

Some of you may remember it, it’s the stage where Andy Schleck dropped his chain and more or less took him out of contention for the yellow in Paris. I remember watching this stage live on Eurosport I was plonked right on the edge of my seat, amazed by what I was seeing, the grimace on the face of Andy Schleck as he was trying to get back to the group inspired me and I haven’t looked back since….

Over the past three years I’ve had some great success, despite my 2 welsh championship wins on both the road and track in 2011, and then my second welsh track champion title in 2012, I wanted more, I wanted to be the best in Britain not just in Wales. So I set my self some goals. Goal number 1 was my local chain-gang. Hmmmmm…not a very big goal but a step, a step on road to success, that was what I was looking for, I achieved that goal in the winter of 2012 frequently winning the bunch gallop, for a just turned 15 year old kid riding with some of the top riders in Wales and winning the sprints I was pretty happy.

It was then on to my next goal, the Great Britain Olympic Talent Team, a talent programme set up by British Cycling to give the best 16 boys and girls in the country opportunities to race abroad and go on camps to develop that TALENT, and once again from my hard work I had gained my place on the Programme for the 2013 season. Yet again I had taken another step on my path to success.

I had a few more goals on my path yet to be completed, one of them was to win a national series, which I did once again a couple of weeks ago at Hog Hill in London, a very proud day in my life as I didn’t only win it I won it by bike lengths, from the photos and the videos you see from the race you can see my pure emotion coming across that finish line, I had sort of made a milestone in my career to win a national series, from being no where to be seen on the cycling circuit, to beating 110 of the best bike riders in Britain by 5-6 bike lengths is something that I will never ever forget!

Success is miles away from where I am now, its a long, tiring and bumpy road to where I want to be in a couple of years. It takes grit, determination and the drive to be the best you can be that will take you to your destination, you’ll have your set backs, but just get over it, fight back and get on with it, and with all of those things you can make it……..

Joe Holt
Hog Hill GP 21-4-2013

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