Countdown to the Olympics with cyclist Pete Mitchell (week one)

As part of the countdown to the Olympics our weekly column comes from local athletes in the build-up to London 2012.

MY name is Peter Mitchell, I am 21 and since becoming a member of the British Cycling Olympic Academy programme in November, 2008, I have been training full-time in Manchester.

I have competed around the world with my best results being second at the Under-23 European Championships in 2011, fourth at the Beijing World Cup in 2011 and fifth at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

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The road to London 2012 is an ever shortening one but definitely a realistic goal. It will require discipline, commitment and self-belief, all of which are qualities that I feel I possess.

As a sprint cyclist and part of the British Cycling programme, I am a member of the team looking to follow up on the unprecedented Olympic success of 2008, next year at the London Games.

Being able to compete in a home Olympics is an ambition that not many athletes get to fulfil.

To be competing in front of a home crowd at the most prestigious sporting event, I’m sure, will be an experience that will compare to no other. This motivates me each day as the hype and enthusiasm for the Olympics is something we see every day.

Although London is my major long-term goal, it is still a year away and gives me plenty of time to continue developing as both a performer and sportsman.

My first competition this year was the Beijing World Cup where I finished fourth in a highly competitive international field and this success fuelled my motivation to my most recent goal, the Under-23 European Championships, in Portugal, in July.

It was a valuable opportunity to compete against some of the world’s top riders and gain competition experience at an international level.

After four days of racing, I left with a silver medal in the team sprint, and came fifth and eighth in the sprint and kierin respectively.

I will carry these results forward to my next goal and opportunity to prove myself which will be the National Championships in September. This championship will clearly show where the competition lies for Olympic selection and so is a key part of the pathway towards me making the 2012 team.

To follow my progress or support me, contact me via