Chesterfield teen to represent Team GB at 2023 UCI Cycling World Championship
Except, of course, at the age of 14 this could very well just be the start of something special.
For Nevaeh Gourlay, however, the main focus is on simply enjoying herself at the event in Glasgow and making the most out of the occasion.
Angela Gourlay, Nevaeh’s nan, spoke to the Derbyshire Times the day before the family made the trip from Chesterfield to Glasgow.
She explained that Nevaeh had initially wanted to start BMX racing aged seven - following in the footsteps of her cousin - only to be told she wasn’t old enough.
Angela said: “We said she wasn’t old enough but now I wish she had done because she didn’t start until she was 10 but she’s just a natural. Training was very hit and miss during the lockdowns but in four years she’s got to the British championships and now the World championships.
“I think we knew straight away (that Nevaeh was good at the sport) because she was even more daredevilish then than she is now: and I think she's had a couple of crashes along the way but that tends to make her think more about the way she approaches races.”
The Springwell Community College student has been competing regionally against people aged between 17 and 25 due to the shortage of teen racers. Her first race at the world championships will be on Wednesday (August 9) and Angela said the family were encouraging her to enjoy herself and not put any pressure on the outcome.
She explained: “There’s about 200 competitors from 32 countries so we’re not expecting her to win but she just loves competing and it’s a real once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s a big thing for her and she’ll learn so much from it: she always gives one hundred percent and as long as she’s having fun then that’s all we can hope for.”
The UCI Cycling World Championships are ongoing in Glasgow until August 13. OVer 260 cyclists will compete in around 190 events - including road racing, track cycling, BMX, and para-cycling.