Photo gallery: Cycling starlet from Kelling holds three national titles
06:30 30 April 2014
Archant Norfolk 2014
Schoolgirl cycling sensation Isla Rush is pedalling towards a goal of turning “pro” in her favourite sport.
The 15-year-old from Kelling balances her life between studying for her GSCEs and striving towards becoming a professional road cycle racer.
She did triathlons aged eight and nine, following in the footsteps of dad Steve - and then specialised in swimming, but confessed to getting bored with it.
“I fell out of love with swimming, and felt I was just chasing a line with no end goal.”
Isla, who goes to Reepham High School, took up cycling with the North Norfolk Wheelers doing 60-70 mile rides on a Saturday.
Then 18 months ago she joined the Wyndy Milla team in Surrey where a lot of family still live.
“I once went to a triathlon show and saw the Wyndy Milla team bikes where which were all pink - and as a young girl I obviously fell in love with them,” she explained.
Isla currently holds three national titles for her age group - at 25-mile time trial, hill climb and circuit time trial.
She plumped for road racing rather than track because the nearest velodrome was too far away, but is determined to turn her hobby into a career.
“I want to do some kind of cycling related job - either as a professional cyclist or media for a cycling magazine or TV coverage,” she said.
Isla has just returned from a select invitation training session in Spain with her idol, Olympic gold medallist Marianne Voss from Holland, and, as one of just a handful of youngsters along for the ride, learned tips on technique and rhythm.
Her day involves school, an hour’s training, homework and bed with a rest day on Monday.
“I am pretty good at balancing my time and know that school is really important too,” she added.
Isla, who previously went to Corpusty and Kelling primary schools, is off to compete in the Isle of Man later this mont, and in July heads off to Assen in Holland for a six-day junior event.