Up and coming racer, Alex Kinsley, is well on his way to becoming a professional cyclist and with a little help from specialist law firm, Cycle Law Scotland, has now been selected for the Scottish Cycling Junior Performance Programme 2014.
The 17 year old from Portobello has been awarded a one year sponsorship deal by the firm who came across Alex when he was involved in a collision with a car in 2012.
Alex, who was 15 years old at the time, had recently joined Edinburgh Road Club (ERC) and was using a borrowed racing bike. He was cycling home from rugby training when a car turning right at a crossroad, in very low sun, cut him down. Alex was thrown onto the car bonnet and windscreen before hitting the ground on the other side. He was taken to hospital and sustained a minor head injury and a few cuts and scrapes.
Alex said, “I was only wearing my jogging bottoms and a t-shirt the day of my crash but luckily my helmet and backpack helped protect me from more serious injuries.
“Even though it was a pretty terrifying experience, I’m grateful I was able to walk away without too much damage.
“I wasn’t too worried about getting back on my bike and was able to ride again a week or so later. I don’t feel unsafe when I go out now as what happened to me was an unlucky accident and I think it’s unlikely to happen again, but I do take a bit of extra care when I’m near cars turning right across my path.”
Following his recovery, Alex approached Cycle Law Scotland to raise a civil case against the driver of the car and won a compensation claim of over £4000. Alex put the money towards replacing the borrowed ERC bike and invested in his own racer. From this point, his passion and dedication for the sport grew.
In early 2013, Alex was assigned ERC coach, Gareth George, who has since managed his training and journey into competitive road races. After 3 months of intense training, Alex entered and won his first event, the Gifford Road Race, in April 2013. He then went on to compete across Scotland in 21 other races winning a further three and achieving his Cat 2 cycling licence, which will enable him to compete at a much higher level this season.
Alex said, “2013 was an amazing year for me and I’ve had a fantastic time training and competing. I really wasn’t aware of my ability until I got to train with Gareth and race against other people."
At the end of last season, Alex’s ability to fund his talent was under pressure and he was forced to seek out sponsorship if he was going to be able to continue racing. It was then that he decided to approach CLS to investigate whether they would be keen to help him achieve his goals of racing across the UK and eventually being picked for a professional team.
Alex added, “I’m grateful to CLS for deciding to sponsor me as it means I’ll be able to take my cycling to the next level and hopefully attract the attention of some professional teams in the new season.
“My goals for this year include achieving my Cat 1licence and taking part in as many competitions as I can whilst completing my Highers at the same time.”
The sponsorship will fund service repairs to his bike as well as cover travel expenses for trips to compete in England.
Cycle Law Scotland founder, Brenda Mitchell, said, “Cycle Law Scotland met up with Alex again at the first Pedal on Parliament event and was very glad to see that he was using his settlement to further his cycling career. He had bought himself a new bike and gone on to great things with the Scottish Cycling Junior Development squad. He has now been selected for the Scottish Cycling Junior Performance Programme 2014.
“Alex is clearly a very talented cyclist which is why we are delighted to sponsor him.
“Cycle Law Scotland is dedicated to supporting cycling at grass roots level and we wish Alex all the best.”
Alex is due to take part in his first 2014 race on 1st March at the Musselburgh RCC Team Time Trial.