Sam looks long term – rejects big boys
SAM CULVERWELL’S cycling brilliance in 2019 has been enough to capture contract offers from all four of Britain’s currently active UCI Continental race teams.
However, the 19-year-old has looked beyond some of the UK’s most prestigious racing outfits to sign for an as yet-unnamed U23 team that races across Europe with a focus on long-term development.
The same breakout season has also made him the unanimous choice for the Guernsey Press Sporting Achievement of the Year trophy.
He has followed the trail of James McLaughlin and Tobyn Horton to become the third cyclist to win the award, presented annually by the GP sports desk, for which Women’s Super League footballer Maya Le Tissier was the previous recipient.
Culverwell’s outstanding run of results in 2019 included three National B victories, a National A runner-up, an Island Games gold medal and two Belgian ‘kermesse’ wins, but the teenager feels his 12th at the National Championships is the single greatest performance.
‘It’s really great to have been given this award and it’s always nice to know that your achievements don’t go unnoticed,’ said Culverwell.
‘For cycling as a whole to have three different names on the trophy, it shows the quality of the riders that the club produces.’
Culverwell thanked the Guernsey Velo Club and domestic team sponsors Estera for the support that has ultimately enabled him to reach this level.
He also paid tribute to 2013 winner Horton ahead of supplanting the now-retired Madison Genesis rider as Guernsey’s premier elite cycling prospect.
‘It’s great to almost follow in the footsteps of Tobyn, who won this award six years prior, and he’s unfortunately retired now.
‘He’s very much been a mentor throughout this year, and also in previous years, giving me advice and travelling to Belgium to meet me and stay out there with me for nearly a week, which was brilliant.’
- More in Thursday's Guernsey Press.