A cyclist from Barnstaple is set to compete at a professional level alongside a Paralympic champion.

Megan Dickerson.Megan Dickerson.

Megan Dickerson will be racing at the RTTC National Closed Circuit Championships at Thruxton Motor Racing Circuit in Hampshire.

The 23-year-old is one of just five riders selected to be part of the inaugural all-female Skoda DSI Cycling Academy.

She will be joined in her team by academy principal, Dame Sarah Storey, Yorkshire world championship junior team rider Caitlin Peters, and national champion, Zoe Backstedt, to form Storey Racing Gold and will be managed on the day by Storey Racing team manager Barney Storey.

Since joining the Academy, Dickerson has undertaken a training ride with Storey Racing ahead of a British National Road Race Championship event, ridden stage four of the Tour de France with the Internationelles and Donnons des Elles au Velo Jour-1 cycling team, and completed L'Etape du Tour and Prudential Ride London 100 with Dame Sarah's race team.

The Skoda DSI Cycling Academy group.The Skoda DSI Cycling Academy group.

Dickerson now lives in Bristol after finishing her studies at Bristol University. She works full time in cycling as a social media executive.

She said: "I joined the Bristol University Cycling Club in fresher's week four years ago and my passion for cycling has grown from there. Time trialling is my speciality so it will be incredible to ride alongside Team Storey and Dame Sarah herself.

"I'm looking to impress; I'll push myself from the start, give it everything I've got and hopefully we'll get a good result.

"I've had some amazing opportunities in cycling, and have learnt so much from Sarah, Barney and the ŠKODA Academy already."

The academy was established in May and is open to female cyclists aged between 17-25.

Its aim is to provide young, amateur cyclists with a pathway to the elite level by giving them the experience of being a professional rider, covering the performance, nutrition and media profile required to be a modern-day professional athlete.

Dame Sarah Storey, who collected her 36th World gold medal at the UCI Para-Cycling World Championships in the Netherlands, last month, was chosen by ŠKODA UK as academy principal.

Dame Sarah said: "We are glad to be welcoming Megan into the Storey Racing Gold Team where she will be competing in the team trial alongside myself, Caitlin Peters and Zoe Backstedt.

"Megan has impressed everyone with her performances in time trial competitions this year and having the opportunity to race in this line up will further develop her skills."