British starlet Adam Blythe has secured a position as a stagiaire on the Silence-Lotto squad this autumn.
Sheffield-born Blythe was surprised when he found out: “It’s amazing; what I’ve achieved is really good. I wasn’t expecting it. I was talking to my manager about what would be nice next year, and he said that Lotto were looking for a stagiaire, and that he’d mentioned I was a good rider.”
However, he was conscious of keeping his feet firmly on the ground, adding, “I’ve just got to keep focusing on winning bike races.”
One of four riders partly funded by the Cycling Time Trials organisation, Blythe is currently taking a well-earned break from racing after a packed schedule on the continent. The 19 year-old sprinter has earned plaudits after a host of good performances for feeder team Davo this year, including a stage victory at the Thüringen Ruhdfahrt.
His formative years have been more unorthodox than those of his U23 Great Britain colleagues. Blythe left the Olympic Development Programme by mutual consent in early 2008, opting for full immersion in Belgian cycling culture.
The decision appears to have paid off richly for fast man Blythe. After winning two Tour of Hong Kong stages as a stagiare with Konica-Minolta last winter, he has continued his good form into 2009. Whether taking victory on the track at the UIV Cup at the Gent Six-Day this winter or using his sprint to good effect on the kermesse circuit, Blythe’s name has often been found near the top of the result sheets.