LUCY Horrocks may look up to most of her rivals but it is in stature alone.
For the Barnoldswick teenager, who stands barely 5ft tall, is proving to be a big hit in the exciting sport of cyclo cross.
In only her second full season of competing, Lucy has won the Under 14s Girls National Trophy Series and last week finished in second place in the National Championships.
As far as Lucy is concerned, good things come in small packages!
“She has grown to the heady heights of 5ft and is still quite a bit shorter than a lot of her rivals,” said mum Juliette. “She does struggle a little bit when she has to carry her bike because it is quite heavy especially when she has to jump over the hurdles. But it is obviously not too much of a hindrance because she is winning races and titles!”
That is certainly the case. In the six race National Trophy Series, Lucy, who races for Barnoldswick’s Hope factory team, won four of them and was only denied a clean sweep after crashing in the first and last races.
She took a tumble on the opening race of the season in Abergavenny where she finished in fourth place but then on to win in Southampton, Durham, Milton Keynes and Bradford.
The title assured, she wanted to finish on a high but another crash in the last race in Shrewsbury meant she had to settle for second place.
“Lucy is delighted to win the Series but she is very competitive so wanted to win all the races,” added Juliette. “I think she would have done had it not been for those two crashes.”
The West Craven High Technology College student narrowly missed out in the end of season finale when she finished in second place in the National Championships in Derby.
“She did brilliant but it just wasnt to be on the day,” added Juliette. “The National Championship is something she would love to win and next season she will be competing in the under 16s age group.
“She will be at the younger age of that category but the times she is recording at the moment are very similar to those who are winning in the under 16s section so she will have a chance.”
Lucy is also a very good runner - something that has no doubt helped her cycling - and she won a bronze medal in the English Schools Fell Running Championships two years ago.
But she is just concentrating on the cycling for now, although her parents continue to encourage her to run as part of her training regime.
Lucy’s love of the sport has certainly rubbed on her family, rekindling a cycling passion in her dad Mark while her mum has taken up cyclo cross. Brother Sam has also dabbled but he now serves more as a one man support team.
“I love it,” admitted Juliette. “I only took it up because Lucy started and I wanted to give it a go. It is a fantastic sport and its popularity seems to be on the increase.”
Cyclo-cross is a form of bicycle racing which takes place in the autumn and winter.
It consists of many laps of a short course which can feature pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount and carry the bike while navigating the obstruction.
Dad Mark has also got the riding bug again having been a multi Lancashire and Lakeland circuit champion as a younger.
However, at the moment it is the girls in the Horrocks household who are leading the way with mum picking up a third place in the Vet 45 category in the National Championships. She also won a bronze medal at the North of England Championships as well.
“We’re no where as good as Lucy but for me, I was delighted to finishe in third place,” said Juliette. “At the end of the day, it was me and Lucy showing off our medals. I’m not too sure how happy her dad was though!
“Sam has enjoyed the cyclo cross as well but he’s 15 now and enjoying other things. But we do try and make it a family occasion and he will come to the events and help out.”
With the cyclo cross season now over, Lucy is turning her attention to road racing and circuit racing with Cycle Sport Pendle.
Lucy is hoping to be part of a four girl team from Cycle Sport Pendle to take part in the Scottish Tour in April which she is awaiting accreditation to compete at the velodrome in Manchester.”
“It is something she has fancied trying and is really looking forward to it,” added Juliette. “She would love to be a national champion one day and that is what she is aiming at but she is now looking to take up other cycling events as well.”
And given little Lucy’s success in cyclo cross, don’t bet against her being a big hit in road racing too.