A KENDAL cyclist has achieved his dream by signing a professional contract with top league team.

James Knox has signed with Team Quick Step, and will compete at the highest tier on the world stage next year.

Already successful at a lower level with Team Wiggins, Knox is looking forward to taking his cycling to the next level.

Knox said: "Obviously this has been my ambition and I have been working towards for three or four years.

"Getting here is a bit surreal. It hasn't really sunk in yet. I have signed my contract but I haven't met the rest of the team yet.

"The races are going to be harder and bigger. I will be up against better riders.

"There will also be a far bigger responsibility on me to perform well and represent my team in the way they expect.

"Up to now I have been doing it off my own back, but now there will be outside pressure as well."

Knox starts riding for Quick Step in January, where he will be given his calender for the year. He will meet the rest of his new team in October.

In the meantime he is still riding for Team Wiggins, and will race in Hong Kong to finish off the season in October.

He has also been called up to ride for the national squad in the world championships in Norway.

Knox hopes that his recent success will see him racing in the biggest events in the world in the near future.

He said: "I hope to do some of the biggest races in the world. It might not be this year, but I have a tow year contract so I can work towards it.

"Hopefully I will be able to compete in the Tour de France. That's what you dream of as a cyclist."

While competing in the Tour of Britain this year Knox was accidentally knocked off his bike by former world champion cyclist Mark Cavendish.

"It was just one of those things that happens in cycling," said Knox. "You get close to others. I wasn't that upset about it at the time as it is part of a race.

"He came and apologised after the race anyway, which was nice of him."