2007 promised to be a big year for Richard Meadows, the 17-year-old cyclist from Middlesbrough. But bouts of tonsillitis and a broken ankle meant the year ended in disappointing fashion

Let?s cut to the chase ? what?s happened to your leg?
I?ve broken my ankle in four places. In the National Junior Track Championships I got taken out in the scratch race, and I knew straight away it was season over. It was a real shame because I had trained really hard all for it.

How did it happen?
Someone swung up the track without looking and took my front wheel out. These things can happen, but it?s really frustrating.

How bad is the injury?
I?ve got it pinned, and my recovery is going alright. I?ve just got my pot off after five weeks, so I?m looking forward to getting back on the bike and training a bit. There?s nothing I can do until then. I can?t even get to college, so they?re sending work home for me. I?ve been going to the gym and doing upper body work.

Even before you did your ankle, you hadn?t had the best of years, right?
That?s right. I had a virus at the Tour of Sussex, and tonsillitis on and off just before the National ?10? and ?25? which meant I posted disappointing times. My training had been going pretty well, Dave Lloyd is coaching me, and I?ve come on a lot with his help.

And you didn?t really feature in the National Road Race Championship, either. Was that one of your aims?
It was an aim, but my main thing this year has been the track. I took the road race championships easy. I didn?t want to go too hard and take the top speed out of my legs.

And so I guess you?re looking forward to next year?
Yes. In some ways my injury came at the right time because hopefully I can get back to full fitness in plenty of time for next season. I?ll be a first year senior next year, and I want to ride the Rudy Project Time Trial Series, and hopefully spend a couple of months in Belgium.

Are you interested in any other sports?
No, just cycling. I started going to the local Go-Ride course, and carried on from there. I tried out for the Talent Team, but didn?t get on!

Where do you want to be in three years? time?
Hopefully on a professional team in Europe. I?m not on the Olympic Development programme, so I?ll have to try and make my own way and get a name for myself.

Do you come from a sporting family background?
Not really, although my older brother, Lewis, rides for Cleveland Wheelers.

What sort of music are you into at the moment?
I like indie stuff, particularly Oasis, but I like The Who and the Kaiser Chiefs at the moment as well.

If you could change one thing in cycling ? other than drugs ? what would it be?
I want people to be more aware in the bunch, and not sweep up the track without looking!

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