A Moray based Para-athlete has become national cycling champion after a brilliant performance at the UK National Para Cycling Road Race and Time Trials in Manchester.
Steve Bate, who is registered blind and currently works for the award-winning Outfit Moray in Lossiemouth, succeeded in winning the national title alongside his pilot Adam Duggleby.
An instructor and bike revolution manager at Outfit Moray, Steve is now set to leave his post in and move with wife Caroline, who also works at Outfit Moray, so that he can concentrate fully on training in Manchester for the Paralympic Games in Rio in two years time.
Following his stunning success this week Steve said: “We wanted to put in a good performance to finish off our first season riding as a pair.
“The course was a challenge on the tandem, with blind corners and the greasy road surface, however Adam controlled the bike amazing well. We have built a great deal of trust and understanding in each other this year and worked really hard, so it’s great to get a result for the coaches and our families.
“If you told me at the start of the year we would be National Para Cycling Road Race and Time Trial Champions I wouldn’t have believed you.
“With the Rio Paralympics less than two years away we have our eyes firmly fixed on the big picture, but for now we will enjoy some time off the bike.”
Steve admitted that it will be a wrench to leave Moray and in particular his job in Lossiemouth, where he has worked for eight years. He said: “They are an inspiring team to work with and they are like a family really.
“The work we do has such I great impact on the local community and it’s been great to help young people understand themselves and see them flourish.
“It has taken an amazing opportunity to pull me away, I’m not sad I’m leaving, I look back on the eight years and smile because it has happened.”
Ian Rideout, who is Chief Executive at Outfit Moray, said: “Steve’s win on Saturday was amazing and whilst we are supporting him all the way to achieving gold in Rio, everyone at Outfit Moray will miss them both Steve and Caroline greatly.
“They have both been key to the growth and development of Outfit Moray over the last eight years and helped us change so many lives through outdoor learning and adventure.”