Matthew Oliveira has set his sights on an overall victory at Junior Tour of Ireland this week.
Oliveira will be representing Hot Tubes, a top developmental team in the United States, at the six-stage race in Ennis, County Clare, which starts today with a time-trial.
The 18-year-old hopes to make a name for himself at the 530-kilometre race, in which top riders such as Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish have competed.
Cavendish took the sprint jersey classification in 2003, a feat Oliveira is keen to replicate.
“I’ll be looking to win the time-trial and gain the lead jersey,” said Oliveira, who will be among a team of six riders. “My teamwork with the other riders will be key to maintaining that lead. My team-mates will be looking to cover attacks and the moves of other teams trying to get away or bring me back. They will be making sure no one gets a time advantage ahead of me.
“I’m also looking to do well in the sprint finishes every day since that is my niche. I love to sprint and I think I have a good shot at getting the green jersey — the sprinter’s jersey.”
The former Warwick Academy pupil said he is brimming with confidence after his third-place finish at the Tour of America’s Dairylands, in Wisconsin, last month.
“The top teams in America, Europe and South Africa are competing, close to 200 riders in the field,” said Oliveira, who will represent Bermuda at the UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria, in September. “I’m full of confidence after getting several podium finishes in Wisconsin, where I was able to highlight my talent as a sprinter.”
With six races in successive days, Oliveira will be taking measures to ensure he gets sufficient rest and recovery.
“The competition is definitely tough and I’m going to be sore after each race,” he said. “Soaking in Epsom salt, stretching, rolling out, eating the right foods and staying hydrated will be key aspects to doing well.”