Sam Harrison aiming to make impression at RideLondon-Surrey Classic
Sam Harrison, British road race national championships 2013
By his own admission Sam Harrison has been blowing hot and cold so far in 2013, but the Risca cyclist is determined to show his true colours at this weekend's Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic with his future on the line.
After missing out on a spot in Team GB's squad for London 2012, Harrison has been busy this year in a bid to force his way back into the reckoning for the Rio Games.
The 21-year-old kicked things off by helping Great Britain's team pursuit win silver at February's Track Cycling World Championships in Belarus, losing out to Australia in the finals.
He then turned his attention to the road, successfully defending his under-23 title at the British Time Trial Championships last month only to then finish a disappointing 40th in the Under-23 men's time trial at the European Road Championships in the Czech Republic earlier this month.
And despite missing a chance to shine at London 2012 Harrison will strut his stuff in the capital as part of the Great Britain Cycling Team for the inaugural Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic on Sunday.
Around 150 of the world's top cyclists will descend on the capital, including two-time Tour de France green jersey winner Peter Sagan, to ride a variation on the London 2012 Olympic Road Cycling Race route that starts at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and finishes on The Mall.
The 100-mile race is just part of a weekend of festivities across the capital in what promises to be the biggest bike event in the UK for more than a generation.
And Harrison is bidding to show exactly what he can do in order to catch the eye of the professional cycling teams set to battle it out.
"This year has been a bit hot and cold so far but I am fairly happy with where I am right now and hopefully I can keep progressing for the rest of 2013," he said.
"I didn't really come into the year with any specific goals outlined but instead just wanted to keep progressing on from last year on the road.
"I try to learn something every time I take to the start line and the RideLondon-Surrey Classic will be great for that because there are some great cyclists from all the top teams coming down.
"It is a massive event and for us young guys it will be great to be out there experiencing what it is like to go against riders from the big teams because that is what we aspire to.
"We all dream to be a part of these teams in the future and I am no different so hopefully I can put in a good performance and show them what I can do."
This weekend is not the last time Harrison hopes to shine in London with the 2013 Tour of Britain finishing in the capital this September.
And Harrison insists the RideLondon-Surrey Classic will go a long way to him getting to grips with the London atmosphere.
"The great thing about cycling is that it allows you to compete in places that you never thought you would get the chance and London is one of those places," he added.
"Hopefully I will have two chances this year with the Tour of Britain going there this time too and I will use the RideLondon-Surrey Classic as preparation for that."
Prudential RideLondon takes place on August 3-4. If you're inspired to ride, visit www.prudentialridelondon.co.uk