Record-breaking Thatcham cyclist Aimee has no fear ahead of step up to seniors
Thatcham track cyclist Aimee Dickson has brought the curtain down on her junior racing career with two more record-breaking performances.
The Kennet School sixth-former took two-tenths of a second off her own Irish junior women’s flying 200 metre record in early November, at an international-class event in Newport, south Wales.
But two weeks later, before that performance could be formally ratified, she went even faster at the final round of British Cycling’s 2023 national track series.
She shaved off another tenth of a second, on the way to a sixth-place finish against riders who had won European and Commonwealth titles just a few months earlier.
It capped a remarkable year which saw Dickson take 0.9 seconds off the previous record, set in 2015; as well as winning Irish national titles in match sprint, time trial and the scratch race.
She also took the Irish outdoor 200m record, whilst racing at London’s historic Herne Hill track in July; and set a new 500m record last winter, beating both the junior and senior benchmarks.
Her only real disappointment was that she didn’t get to race in an Irish jersey.
“I qualify for Northern Ireland through my dad,” she explains, “and I felt like I could have made the podium at the Commonwealth Youth Games. But Cycling Ireland didn’t send any female riders there, or to Europeans.”
With age groupings being based on calendar year, Dickson’s junior career now comes to an end. She will race as an under-23 or senior from January; but the step up holds no fear for her.
“I’ve raced Olympians, world champions and professionals this year,” she said.
“Literally, I’ve been watching riders on TV in the Track Champions League, and then a week later, I’ve found myself lining up to race them head-to-head.
“As a junior, there were targets like the national records, which I could use to motivate myself, and build my reputation. I know I’m going to have to work harder, and fight harder to get results at elite level. But I’m ready for that challenge.
“I made the most of every opportunity I got as a junior. I just need to keep doing that in the seniors too.”