Matlock's mountain biking star Cameron Orr heads for Commonwealth Games after British Championships glory
Matlock cyclist Cameron Orr will once again line-up in the colours of Northern Ireland at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which begin in Birmingham this weekend.
Orr, 23, will be taking part in his second Games having also competed in Australia in 2018. He has since been travelling the world competing in the World Cup XC mountain bike series in which he is now part of the elite category.
And he goes into this year’s event in fine form, having just become UK National XC Champion at Kirroughtree Forest in Scotland – Bakewell’s Annie Last making it a Derbyshire Dales double by winning the women’s event on the same weekend.
He said: “My big goal this year was to win the British Championships and I’ll be proud to wear the three stripes for the rest of the year.
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"To win it in my first year as an elite rider made me really happy as I’ve come close a few times in the past.”
Orr now has his eye on a medal in the Commonwealth Games as he competes for Northern Ireland, for whom he qualifies thanks to it being from where his dad, Rob, hails.
He said: “I finished eighth in Australia but obviously I’ve come on a lot since then and feel in good shape to challenge for a podium place.
"I’ll be in the road race again as well but that may well be a more tactical race for the team rather than going for an individual honour but if the chance is there then we’ll see.
"It will be great to race so close to home and lots of my friends and family will be able to come and watch as well.”
Orr is now a full-time professional on the XC circuit and part of British Cycling’s Performance Pathway programme. That sees him receive funding for numerous aspects of his career which are also aided by UK Sport and National Lottery grants, as well as sponsors including Longcliffe Quarries.
He said: “Obviously there is a lot of travelling and accommodation to take into account and that’s before all the competitive costs come in, but I’m very lucky to have good backing.
"I’m keen to break into the top 40 in the rankings as that will move me further up the grid for the international races in which I’ll be back competing once the Games are over.”