A seven year old BMX rider from Clayton-le-Woods has raced his way to the top becoming a British champion.
Finley Hough, who was shooting around on a balance bike when he was just two, has just won the British BMX championships (BRITS) in his age group.
The young star has enjoyed a successful year, coming fourth in the BMX European Championships in France and sixth in the BMX world Championships in the USA.
Dad and fellow biking addict Graham Hough, 42, said: “From having no expectations to suddenly making world and European finals, he’s surprised a lot of people.
“He does really take it all in his stride.
“He’s a great kid when it comes to racing. He’ll high five and shake hands with everyone.
“He never really talks about it. We don’t really discuss it because we are worried about putting pressure on him.”
“He’s quite a shy boy but when he puts his helmet on he goes to business.”
Graham, an IT consultant, had initially taken Finley down to Preston Pirates BMX Club when he was just two years old at the advice of a friend.
From then on Finley was “completely hooked” and his little brother Jude, four, is also a budding competition biker.
“They are much better than I ever was but we’re all just as keen,” said Graham, whose wife Hayley, 35, works for deaf charity, Action on Hearing Loss.
He added: “Secretly we are obviously bursting with pride but we want the kids to be modest. We’re as proud of Jude as we are of Finley.
“We are most proud of the effort that they put in irrespective of the result we know that they go out and they put everything into the cause. It’s nice that they listen to their coaches bearing in mind they are taking and lots of information.
“The results are an unbelievable bonus.”
Finley, who was on a pedal bike aged three, trains about four times a week at Preston Pirates, is competing most weekends and is often out riding for his own pleasure.
The Clayton-Le-Woods Church of England Primary School student also races for Factory Team Bikes in America which provides him with his racing equipment.
Graham says there is no way Finley would be where he is today without the input from the coaches at Preston Pirates.
“The way that they nurture the talent and get the best out of him, Finley would not realise his potential without them,” he said.
“The time they invest in the children is unbelievable.”
But there is no time to rest because training has already started for next year with the winter series races to prepare for.
“He needs to continue working on new skills and techniques, there’s always something new to learn,” said Graham.