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Sam Asker from Bury St Edmunds ready to show what he can do in first senior National Road Championships



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Bury St Edmunds’ race ace Sam Asker is looking forward to testing his legs out against some of the world’s best riders in the senior men’s National Road Championships in Scotland this weekend.

For the 21-year-old, who lives and trains in his home town, it will be his first taste of the prestigious event, having qualified for it last year only to see a chest infection rule him out.

Riding for the semi-professional Richardsons Trek team, based in Southend-on-Sea in Essex, the 201.2km route over a four-lap circuit from Castle Douglas in western Scotland is seen as effectively a free hit.

Bury St Edmunds cyclist Sam Asker in action on the roads for his Essex-based team Richardsons Trek Picture: Taylor Summerfield Photography
Bury St Edmunds cyclist Sam Asker in action on the roads for his Essex-based team Richardsons Trek Picture: Taylor Summerfield Photography

“It is mainly just excitement as there is little expectation,” said the 21-year-old ahead of Sunday’s race.

“Everyone is just looking at the big dogs so it is not really expected we perform a massive amount so it is just go out there, see what you can do and have a bit of fun racing the pros.

“It’s definitely going to be the most fierce competition I’ve come up against.”

Sam Asker (centre) enjoying a laugh with his Richardson Trek team-mates Picture: Taylor Summerfield Photography
Sam Asker (centre) enjoying a laugh with his Richardson Trek team-mates Picture: Taylor Summerfield Photography

The Bury St Edmunds schoolboy, who went to King Edward VI School, takes the start line with some decent form behind him though.

He won his first senior open road race a few months back, the DAP CC Road Race near Beccles, a National B event. And earlier this month he won the chase for second behind team-mate James Jenkins in the Men’s Eastern Region Championships near Haverhill.

“I’m feeling really good and really confident,” he said.

“I’ve already had a race win this year, I’ve just got second at the regional champs behind my team-mate which was a really good result for the team there, getting a one-two, so the legs are feeling really strong and prepared.”

Sam Asker (orange) takes the strain to reach the crest of a hill for his Richardson Trek Picture: Taylor Summerfield Photography
Sam Asker (orange) takes the strain to reach the crest of a hill for his Richardson Trek Picture: Taylor Summerfield Photography

He will be going up against the likes of Mark Cavendish, who won his only national road race title on its last appearance in Scotland in 2013, and Ben Swift, victor in the last two editions. UCI WorldTeam riders Fred Wright, Owain Doull and Jake Stewart are also expected to be among those lining up with him on the start line.

And Asker is looking to impress to help stake his claim for a move up into the first rung of the professional ranks, Continental, for next season.

The rider, who began his journey with the West Suffolk Wheelers, said: “The level above is what I am hoping to move into next year, it all depends on how this season goes.

“I will be handing out my race CV this year for sure.”

He added: “If I can sneak maybe a top 20 that would be amazing but a lot of things would have to go my way for that to happen.”