Preston tot is riding high on his BMX

WHEELS OF FUN: James Cottrell, three, with his dad Mark

WHEELS OF FUN: James Cottrell, three, with his dad Mark

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Talented tot James Cottrell needs no encouragement to get on his bike.

The three-year-old has been in the saddle for almost two years, and is already making his mark in the world of BMX.

James Cottrell, three at Preston Pirates MBX club

James Cottrell, three at Preston Pirates MBX club

And in his latest race at Preston Pirates BMX Club he beat opposition from older members to come first.

James, who attends St Pius X Prep School nursery, on Garstang Road, Preston, morphs into a top-notch BMX balance bike racer at the weekend.

Mum Amanda, 31, said: “We’ve encouraged James to ride his bike from a very early age, and he has been riding on BMX tracks with his dad since the age of two. We take him to the coaching sessions at the Pirates every Saturday morning, and he responds well to the encouragement he gets; he’s really blossomed.

“BMX isn’t just about the physical side, it’s about listening carefully and maintaining focus and concentration. It’s great that he has a hobby that we can enjoy as a family.”

James, from Sandringham Way, Cottam, joined the Pirates in September 2013. This year, he has taken part in four races, as part of the London Road club’s summer series.

His dad Mark, 40, a keen BMX rider himself, said: “He’s done well at each event, and the coaching he’s been getting has really shown through with every race, most notably his last event, which he won.

“He has all the necessary BMX safety equipment, but what he doesn’t wear is his glasses, so we have no idea how he manages to see where he’s going.”

Ian Brookes, chairman and coach at Preston Pirates, said: “Since James first began training he’s shown a high level of talent. Some of the riders he competes against are actually school age, but James is still in nursery so he’s doing incredibly well.

“The last boy we had like James was my son Alex, who is now 11 and ranked number five in the world for his age. Now, he’s mentoring James.”

James has competed on various BMX tracks, including the Preston one, which is 400m long and punctuated with various ‘jumps’, which, depending on speed, can see riders and bikes leave the ground.