Welsh cyclist Manon Lloyd wants to add her own chapter to Great Britain’s remarkable success story on the track.
The talented 18-year-old joined the Great Britain Cycling Team Olympic Academy Programme last October after winning two gold medals at last summer’s junior European track championships in Portugal.
Having watched the likes of Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell and fellow Welshwoman Elinor Barker flourish on the world stage, Lloyd is motivated to follow in their footsteps.
“I just hope that maybe one day I can be up there,” she said ahead of competing at the final round of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Colombia with Welsh squad Team USN.
“They've come through the academy and stuff like that so hopefully I can progress on to the podium (programme) one day and be like them.”
Excellent victories in the team pursuit and point race in Anadia last July highlighted Lloyd’s potential as a future star of the women’s endurance scene.
With the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Tokyo 2020 Olympics realistic long-term ambitions, Lloyd has been busy training ahead of a trip to Cali for the final round of this season’s UCI Track Cycling World Cup.
“It's been really hard but I've really enjoyed it, training every day, twice a day. It's been good so far,” said Lloyd, who is based at the Wales National Velodrome in Newport.
“I'm familiar with the Newport track, I've trained here for two to three years now and it’s not too far from my home, it's only an hour-and-a-half away. I do feel like a full-time athlete now!”
Lloyd is one of a number of promising riders to have benefited from the formation of trade outfit Team USN.
Elinor Barker and Amy Roberts made their track world cup debuts in the squad’s colours and are now competing for places in Great Britain’s team pursuit line-up.
“If you didn't have Team USN we wouldn't get half the experiences we do," Lloyd said. "Team USN helps us quite a lot, supporting us and it is really good, we are grateful to have them behind us.”
The visit to South America will be Lloyd’s third appearance in the series.
She made her debut in the competition as a junior in January last year in Mexico before a second outing in London in December.
On both occasions Team USN’s pursuit quartet were knocked out in qualifying, missing out on a ride in the first round.
“It doesn't really feel like my third one, I'm quite nervous about it,” Lloyd said.
“We didn't do so well (in London) but we gained a lot from it, we learnt quite a lot from London. The week before quite a few of us crashed at the Revolution Track Series and that put us back a bit.
“We did alright but not as well as we hoped to do.”
Hopes for the weekend, like the velodrome in Cali, are high for Lloyd. At an altitude of over 1000 metres the Velodromo Alcides Nieto Patino, which hosted the 2014 world championships, will aid faster times.
The top eight teams in qualifying will progress to the first round and Lloyd, who is joined by Ellie Coster, Emily Kay, Emily Nelson and Amy Roberts, is keen to get a second ride.
“We've been talking about it in training and we think we can, it's just what everyone else does on the day as well. We could crash and bad things could happen,” Lloyd said.
“If it all goes to plan we should hopefully get a second ride, that's what we are hoping for, that is what we are going there to do - get a second ride and a good time.”
Reports, results and images will appear on the British Cycling website. The UCI YouTube channel will broadcast live from the event from 9:00pm to 11:45pm GMT.
You can also follow British Cycling on Twitter @BritishCycling for updates.