Hannah Payton, 20, broke into top 50 in world this year - but needs funding for next season's big races...

Great Britain’s Hannah Payton, a rising star in the world of cyclo-cross, has turned to crowdfunding site Gofundme to finance her travel to the opening two races of next season’s World Cup and help maintain her top-50 ranking.

Aged 20, she’s the fourth youngest women in the top 50 of the UCI World Ranking, a clear sign of her potential. But with the opening two rounds of the 2015/16 series taking place in North America, she risks slipping down the standings unless she finds the money to compete there.

On Gofundme, the cyclist from Kingswinford in the Black Country, a former junior national champion who competed in all five rounds of last season’s World Cup, including at Milton Keynes, said:

I am raising money to help fund my 2015/16 cyclocross season. The first World Cup is in Las Vegas and the 2nd is in Montreal. I raced all 5 rounds of the World Cup last season and I am now ranked 41st in the world UCI ranking. To be able to keep my ranking in the top 50 it is really important that I am able to compete in these first 2 world cups, but I need some help to be able to fund myself to get to them. They will be huge stepping stones for my development in the sport.

Thank you for any donations you are able to give.

Payton is one of four British women ranked in the top 50 in the world for cyclo-cross – the others are Helen Wyman (4th), Nikki Harris (6th) and Gabriella Durrin (26th).

Currently, she’s raised £1,375 of her £1,500 target, so if you want to help her cross the finish line, head here.

Update, Sunday 15 March, 3pm: Payton hit her target on Saturday, and has since stretched her goal to £2,000.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.