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Red-hot Oliveira to race for top US team

Big opportunity: Oliveira

Matthew Oliveira will race for the top junior development cycling team in the United States at the four-day Green Mountain Stage Race in Vermont next month.

Oliveira has been invited to represent Hot Tubes after his superb performances at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Nassau, Bahamas, last month where he won gold in the time-trial and bronze in the road race.

The 17-year-old, who competed at the Green Mountain race for Bermuda last year, said he is thrilled to be able to don the team’s eye-catching sky blue kit and race alongside some of the best junior riders in the US.

“I discovered Hot Tubes last year after their dominating junior performances [in Vermont] where they won several stages and the overall title,” said Oliveira, who will race from September 1 to 4.

“They have some of the top juniors in America and I’m so excited to be able to race with them as a team in the same kit!

“Hot Tubes have one rider who is not American, Liam Holoweski [of Bahamas], who also competed at the Commonwealth Youth Games. He mentioned my name to his coach Toby [Stanton] who contacted me and it went from there.”

Oliveira, of Warwick Academy, hopes he will be asked to return for further races for Hot Tubes if he impresses.

“This is the last main race of the season in the US and if I show them a good performance I may be asked to come back to race in 2018,” Oliveira said.

“Also, I would be able to travel the world with the junior team and race in countries like Belgium and in competitions such as the Tour of Ireland — a massive junior tour with riders from all over the world.”

Oliveira said his medal success at the Commonwealth Youth Games and the NatWest Island Games in Gotland, Sweden, has given him the self-belief that he can compete against the world’s best young riders.

“I did not expect to do so well at the Island Games and Commonwealth as the level of competition is so high and I didn’t think I was capable of a podium,” said Oliveira, who won bronze in the men’s individual town centre criterium and silver in the team event in Gotland.

“However, I did manage to pull off four medals between the two competitions which has shown me my capability against international competition.”

Oliveira said his victory in the Bermuda Bicycle Association’s Presidents Cup last weekend served as perfect preparation for Vermont, where his Bermuda team-mates Kaden Hopkins and Alyssa Rowse will also compete.

“I was very pleased with my performance to win the Presidents Cup,” he said. “The 62-mile race was a good distance in preparation for Vermont as the races are around 70 miles long. However, the race didn’t prepare me for the mountains we will be going up!

“I will be racing with Kaden in Vermont but we’ll be on different teams. It will be extremely unusual because we have raced together for all local and international and races in the past.”