Crystal Lane (right). Picture provided by British Cycling

Exeter graduate sets sights on Paralympic Games

A lifelong sports fan and former footballer, Essex-born Crystal Lane only took up cycling after her mum saw Paralympic champion Sarah Storey competing at the Beijing Paralympics: "I came into the sport because my mum had seen Sarah on TV in Beijing, and noticed she had a very similar disability to me,” Crystal said. "I saw a campaign to find potential Paralympic athletes for 2012, I filled a form in online and I've been training with the GB Para-Cycling Team ever since."

After successfully applying for UK Sport’s Paralympic Potential Talent ID programme in 2009, in December 2010, Crystal was announced as one of three athletes in the 'talent' section of British Cycling’s GB Para-Cycling Team for 2011. Crystal was born with an under-developed left arm and competes as a C5 athlete. She is missing fingers on her left hand which affects her ability to use a standard brake lever, so instead controls both of her brakes and gears with her right hand.

In her international debut at the 2011 Para-Cycling Road World Championships in Denmark (8-11 September), Crystal made sure the cycling world will remember her name, winning the bronze medal in the road race behind team mate Sarah Storey and Poland's Anna Harkowska.

As well as pursuing her ambitions to compete in the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Crystal would like to build a career in sports nutrition. She completed her degree in Exercise and Sports Science at the University of Exeter, and was a Sports Scholar who benefitted from the support of the University's High Performance Programme. She will be studying an MSc in Sports Nutrition at Loughborough University in October 2011.

Date: 5 October 2011