For athletes who achieve a string of accolades in their junior career, the adjustment into the senior ranks doesn’t always marry up with similar success. But for track cyclist Lauren Bate, her first year riding at the top has put has been business as usual for the talented teenager.
So impressive were her performances as a junior, that last year Bate was nominated as one of the Great Britain Cycling team’s riders of the year – and for good reason too.
At the age of just 17, 2017 saw Bate become a double junior World medallist at the championships in Italy. Not to mention she was also a four-time junior European medallist by this point.
And with 2018 marking the start of her senior career, a packed schedule which included the World Championships, Commonwealth Games, European Championships and multiple World Cup events has seen the 19-year-old make the step up in style.
“Going in to this year the events were coming thick and fast which in the end I think really helped,” said Bate.
“First we had the World Championships in February/March, and then the Commonwealth Games which we had to maintain a peak for in April so it was a busy start to the year and it’s been busy since with not a lot of time for training blocks.
“This is the busiest it’s ever likely to be so if I can get through this period, when there’s only one event to focus on it should help a lot.”
Not only did the Commonwealth Games mark Bates’ first multi-sport competition as a senior rider, within months of moving up from the junior ranks, but it also produced her maiden senior medal after winning bronze in the team sprint alongside Katy Marchant.
“Winning bronze, at first I was a bit disappointed as I felt we could have possibly gone faster, but then to be able to come away with a result and see our work pay off, especially after being so new to the team, I was really happy with that performance at my first Games.”
In what has already been a successful debut season for the teenager, Bate will look to end the year on a high after being selected in Great Britain’s cycling team for this month’s Track World Cup in Berlin, just weeks before the event moves to home soil in London.