CYCLING: Katie achieves dream ride with world’s best

A FORMER Grantham College student has achieved her dream of getting a professional cycling contract with the world’s top women’s road racing team.

Twenty-one-year-old Katie Colclough signed with the United States-based HTC-Highroad last week after an initial approach to her Olympic Academy coach Simon Cope from the team’s manager.

Katie, of Frieston, will be part of a 39-rider international roster that can boast Tour de France multi-stage sprint winner Mark Cavendish among its ranks, in a squad that has been the most successful in the world for the last two years.

A talent on both road and track, Katie will still be able to share her passion for the velodrome with her commitment to her new team. As well as international road racing, Katie is firmly on track for a place in the Great Britain Olympic track team for endurance events in 2012.

Katie’s journey to becoming a member of the top-ranked UCI pro team began with Sleaford Wheelers and she often raced in Witham Wheelers’ 10-mile time trial league on Gorse Lane. She progressed through British Cycling’s Talent Team, and then on to the Olympic Development Programme and the Olympic Academy.

Throughout the upcoming road racing season, Katie and her new team-mates at HTC-Highroad will be up against a strong Garmin Cervelo set-up and a new Italian-based team backed by former Tour star Mario Cipollini.

But her immediate concern before that is to gain GB selection for the team pursuit at the Manchester round of the World Cup in February, with an eye to riding the World Track Championships in Holland the following month.

Katie is currently training on the road with her HTC-Highroad team-mates in Majorca, based near Palma.