Young cyclist Daniel Tulett explodes onto international stage
DANIEL TULETT'S performances have been so impressive in recent weeks that rivals have dubbed him the Mighty Atom.
The Hayesbrook School pupil has exploded onto the British cycling scene this year and is one of the hottest prospects in the sport. Not only is he dominating his own age group in the UK, he is taking on the best in Europe, as well as stepping up and beating riders three or four years older than him.
"When he was at the regional mountain bike championships, some of the older riders started calling him the Mighty Atom," his mum Catherine said. "He is doing really well and gaining confidence all the time.
"He's training hard and working on intervals. Basically Daniel has a good engine and can generally shake anyone off if they try to stay with him."
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After a great summer which saw Tulett win the national road racing title and circuit series crown, as well as the mountain bike series title, the 12-year-old has hit the ground running this winter by winning the opening two rounds of the cyclo-cross series in dominant fashion.
"In the first round at Abergavenny, Daniel was in amazing form," Catherine said. "He won his age category and then caught, and beat, the riders two years older than him who set off two minutes before him. He caught them all and beat them – it was just awesome. Then, in Ipswich, he caught half of them.
"He sets his sights on certain riders – that's the challenge for him. He has got the national cyclo-cross championships in January and that is one of his main aims."
Perhaps the highlight for Tulett was competing on the Olympic mountain bike course in Essex, where he took on riders who are on the Team GB talent programme and beat all but two of them.
"He watched the Olympics, but was really nervous about the course," Catherine said. "He never thought he would be able to do it, he said it looked so hard. But he did it and loved it."
When he has not been dominating the British cycling scene, Tulett has been shocking Belgium organisers by coming from nowhere to win the East/West Flanders Regional Championship.
"Daniel won that by a minute and a half," Catherine said. "The Belgians didn't know what to say. They hadn't expected him to do so well. All the riders are gridded and he was put to the back. He just flew through the field, was in the lead by the first corner and never looked back."
Daniel wasn't the only Tulett to cause a storm in Belgium. Younger brother Ben also won. It seems there is no end to the Tulett talent pool.