Xavier Hopkins has no perception of depth and a condition that makes his vision shake uncontrollably, reducing him to near total blindness. Yet few can match his prowess at hurtling downhill on a mountain bike. Indeed, he is so accomplished at riding downhill from memory that he is now about to turn his hobby into a profession despite having only 10 percent of his eyesight.
Mr Hopkins, 20, who struggled to find work after leaving his sixth-form college, decided to take his hobby more seriously by training and posting videos of his riding on YouTube and Instagram. He now has 11 sponsorships with cycling and sport companies who have funded him to travel around Europe attending cycling shows and to produce videos for social media. He picked up mountain biking after trying out the sport with some friends as a teenager.