Cycling stardom for little Barney

BMX finalist Barney Devereux, five, with his three-year-old sister Sydni on their specialist bicycles
BMX finalist Barney Devereux, five, with his three-year-old sister Sydni on their specialist bicycles

A five-year-old cycling superstar is set to appear at the world championships after being named one of the best BMX riders in the UK.

Barney Devereux, of Higham Ferrers, is ranked 13th in the UK in the age six and under category and following his latest appearance at the UK BMX national series on Sunday his ranking is expected to rise even further, possibly to 11th.

After coming 11th in his latest race at the National Cycling Centre BMX in Manchester he is on track for a place at the world championships in Birmingham this May.

His dad Marc said: “There is a proper international standard track at the National Cycling Centre which can be quite daunting for the little ones but Barney loves it. He’s absolutely fearless and he loves the crowds.

“This is a big year for cycling in this country with the Olympics and the world championships being held here too.

“We just felt it was too good an opportunity for him to miss.”

Barney trains with the Milton Keynes BMX Racing Club and began taking part in the East Anglian racing series last year.

At Sunday’s national competition there were about 20 children in Barney’s age group.

Barney is following in his father’s footsteps, as Mr Devereux was also involved in BMX racing in the 1990s.

Mr Devereux said: “Barney started riding BMXs when he was four years old and he just picked up the bug straight away.

“I’m absolutely made up for him – in his first year he’s already outdone what I managed to do.”

As well as Mr Devereux, Barney receives a lot of support from the rest of his family, including his number one fan, his younger sister Sydni.

Mr Devereux said: “Barney gets a lot of support – the whole family is very big on sport. His biggest fan is his little sister Sydni. She’s only just turned four and she’s now gearing up to start BMX racing soon too. She’s got her balance and she’s just learning to pedal. She goes to every single one of Barney’s meetings.”

The world championships will take place on a new track at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham just a couple of weeks before the start of the Olympics.