DEVAUDEN’S Lewis Oliva will be one of the first people to race competitively at the new Commonwealth Games velodrome in Glasgow.
The new velodrome, named in honour of Britain’s most successful ever track cyclist, Sir Chris Hoy, will host leg two of the UCI Track World Cup series this weekend.
The hotly anticipated meet sold out within hours of tickets going on sale, as people clamour to see this summer’s Olympic cycling heroes.
And 20-year-old Oliva, who will be representing Wales’ Newport-based trade team, Team USN, can’t wait to get his first taste of World Cup action.
“The competition at the World Cup events can be better than at some of the World and European championships because of the trade teams there, so it’s great to get a chance to compete at that level.”
Affable and bright,he claimed four As at AS-levels in the same year as competing at the Commonwealth Games in Dehli.
The former Monmouth School pupil only stumbled in to cycling after his older brother Chris pestered his mum to take him for a go at the Newport Velodrome.
Oliva was not especially interested. But he had a go on the track and was hooked instantly.
“It’s the buzz of speeding round the boards,” said the sprinter, who will compete in the Keirin and the men’s sprint.
“I used to wonder why anyone would just want to ride round in circles, but I’ve been attracted to that speed, and the pain and physicality of sprinting, turning yourself inside out, is addictive.”
“I’d never even ridden a bike before, so I think that helped because it wasn’t strange riding a fixed gear and I didn’t have any bad habits on the bike to iron out.”