Washington teenage cyclocross star makes North East proud despite pandemic
A Wearside teenager described as one of the best young cyclists in the country is continuing to make the region proud – despite a year of races being interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Elizabeth McKinnon, 15, who has represented the North East in a number of races all over the country, is continuing to follow her passion undeterred by the limits placed on the sport by the pandemic.
Elizabeth usually competes in cyclocross throughout the year, but 2020 has seen races cancelled left, right and centre due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite this, the youngster has still been training six days a week and has dreams of pursuing a career in cyclocross.
The sport is a form of bicycle racing taking place over wooded trails, steep hills and obstacles, requiring the rider to quickly dismount and carry the bike while navigating the obstruction, then remount.
Elizabeth’s mum, Vickey McKinnon said: “She makes me so incredibly proud. Seeing her win races and seeing her on a British cycling podium is just amazing. She had a knee injury last year and she’s so resilient she fought back from it and got better and better.
“I’m just as proud of her academically as well. It’s her GCSE year this year and she puts just as much effort into school as she does her sport.”
Elizabeth has been part of Derwentside Cycle Club since age nine and has been competing ever since and is also sponsored by the Washington Rotary Club.
Despite having limited racing opportunities this year, Elizabeth was able to compete in a tester event held in Milnthorpe last month where organisers were trying to see if races could be done in a covid secure way and placed fourth.
Elizabeth is still hoping to get the chance to compete in some races this year, including one in York in December and is hopeful of being able to compete in the cyclocross National Championships in January next year, which will be taking place in Crawley.
As she gets older Elizabeth is hoping to compete in cyclocross in races across Europe and make a career out of the sport.