RIDERS from across the globe flew to Auckland over summer to test their mettle in the BMX World Championships.
And one Wigan schoolboy took the handlebars to pedal his way to the dizzy heights of fourth in the world rankings.
Paddy Sharrock of Rose Bridge High School has his sights set on becoming a professional BMX rider and one day hopes to compete for Great Britain as an Olympian.
The 14-year-old has already achieved British and National Championships over the past five years, competing in classes up to two years above his age and is part of the Mid Lancs BMX Club.
Despite already having achieved so much in the sport he got involved in thanks to a shop owner telling him about a BMX track when he bought his first bike, Sharrock is determined to work even harder to progress.
“After getting fourth I realised how much hard work it takes to be number one and to be that World Champion so from that day I’ve been more driven to get to the top,” he said.
“Ever since the first time riding I’ve never not wanted to ride my bike.”
This year saw Sharrock progress to the Championship Men’s class to help him on his way to the European and World stage. His goal was to make the top eight but as the year progressed he addressed his goal, finishing the season in second place – a stunning achievement against riders that are at least two years and some as many as 10 years older.
Last week he attended the selection day at the purpose built BMX training facility in Manchester for the British Cycling Olympic Programme where he hopes to be successfully chosen to stay on the Talent Team for another year or even selected for the Development Programme.
Sharrock is also keen to point out that his achievements so far are not soley down to his talent.
The rider extended his thanks to friends, family and his school for their understanding, as well as his private sponsors including: Blakeley’s Waste Management for their continued support with a vehicle and Screentek for their support to get to New Zealand.
Sharrock is hoping to take on the World Championships again next season.