Zak pedals his way to success

TOP CYCLIST:  Mintlaw Academy pupil Zak Loney hopes to emulate his idol, Mark Cavendish as a top road cyclist.
TOP CYCLIST: Mintlaw Academy pupil Zak Loney hopes to emulate his idol, Mark Cavendish as a top road cyclist.

A BUCHAN teenager has been selected for the Scottish Cycling Team after impressing coaches with his talents.

Zak Loney (15), who lives just outside Stuartfield, has already competed in more than 50 races this year, taking 11 first places, six second places and six thirds.

The Mintlaw Academy pupil competes in time trials over ten and 25-mile circuits as well as track cycling.

He is currently nationally ranked 25th in the UK - the highest ranked Scottish rider in national ranking.

Zak has raced all over the UK including Newcastle Under Lyme, Lincoln, Liverpool, Middlesborough and Scunthorpe, but headed to Newport in South Wales at the weekend as part of the Scottish team in the Inter Regional Track Championships.

Zak, who trains six days each week, told the Buchanie: “The Scottish selectors pick the best four riders from the whole of Scotland and I have been chosen to compete in the velodrome.

“I have been cycling all my life, but started seriously two years ago.

“I have four racing bikes, with all different set-ups and I practice mainly on the roads around Buchan,” he said.

Zak is a member of Ythan Cycling Club and hopes to emulate his hero, Mark Cavendish one day.

“I do prefer road racing to track cycling, although I’m good at both,” he said.

“My parents support me a lot and drive me around the country almost every weekend to compete in races.

“You have to be really dedicated and I do train a lot.

“Ultimately I would like to be a professional cyclist and perhaps win the Tour de France one day,” he added.