A talented teen cyclist picked up a string of medals at the national junior championships - despite competing against rivals up to four years her senior!
Lauren Bate-Lowe struck silver in the under 16s sprint at the National Cycling Centre Velodrome in Manchester and bronze in the under 16s 500-metre time trial.
She also took bronze in both the under 18s sprint and under 18s keirin - despite being just 14 years old!
Lauren, of Haydock, has elevated herself from casual cyclist to elite racer in a whirlwind 18 months - and she’s happy to keep everyone guessing.
She only took up cycling last year and secured a place on British Cycling’s Olympic Talent Programme with just nine months’ experience on the track.
The London 2012 Olympics served as Bate-Lowe’s inspiration and the Cansfield High pupil is eager to break down more barriers as she bids to work towards her own Olympic dreams.
She said: “I have only been cycling for just over a year and it has been really quick progress and everything is still all new. I was just watching the cycling at the Olympics on television and got into it that way.
“I was only 13 when I raced in the national championships last year and I was racing against 16-year-olds, but I still got fifth in the sprint.”
Bate-Lowe’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed and she’s already a member of the SSE Next Generation ambassador scheme, which provides support for some of the UK’s brightest sporting prospects.
She even rubbed shoulders with six-time Olympic track cycling champion Sir Chris Hoy at a get-together in Loughborough - and has just as much ambition to reach the pinnacle herself.
“It is great to have the support and it can help me buy equipment and just help me complete everything I need to do each week,” she added.
“It is nice to be recognised too and to know that people see me and know I am good at what I do. I got to meet Chris and I rode with him not long ago so he recognised me, which was nice. We just had a chat about sprint stuff and it was good fun.”
Lauren’s next big target is the Sainsbury School Games in a couple of weeks.