Cyclist Joe Fry is aiming to channel any nerves at representing Great Britain for the very first time into a positive performance at the European Youth Olympic Festival.
The 16-year-old has been chosen as part of a 44-strong British team in Utrecht testing themselves against more than 2300 athletes from 48 other countries on the continent.
Riding on two wheels since the age of seven when he switched sports from playing tennis, Fry is one of six British cyclists in the Netherlands and will compete in the road race and time trial events.
Three of those cyclists, Fry included, come from the RST Racing Team and he is determined to use that to his advantage at the 12th edition of the Festival in Utrecht.
“I do get a bit nervous before racing,” said Fry. “It will be the biggest race of the year, the hardest I have ever competed in. It will be the first time I have competed for Great Britain.
“Just thinking about it makes me a bit nervous and then when I get to the start I will be even worse. But I try and have a bit of a laugh with my teammates and just try to relax and take my mind off it.
“We are always talking to each other and making sure everyone is OK. Everyone knows each other in cycling, it’s a really good social sport although a tough one.
“It would definitely be an aim of mine to go and win but just to be on the podium would be brilliant or helping out my teammates to get a win or a good result.”
Despite his nerves, Fry, who is a member of the British Cycling Olympic Talent Programme, has already bagged wins in the National Youth Circuit Series on the Isle of Man this year.
And looking to emulate the likes of swimmer Rebecca Adlington, who went from the Festival podium to medal success at two Olympics, Fry wants his appearance to mark the start of his own journey.
“I want to do cycling as a career so this is a good step towards that,” added Fry. “It’s amazing to be given all the coaching and be able to wear the kit that you see all the pros wearing.
“I am really excited for it. I’ve been talking to all the other teammates that are going. It’s going to be brilliant and a really good experience.”
© Sportsbeat 2013