Hoy’s success in the kilo at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games caught the attention of Skinner, who celebrated his 12th birthday on the day his fellow Scotsman won gold, and led him into a cycling career.
Having progressed through the British Cycling system, by 2010 Skinner was with the Senior Academy and earned selection to ride for Scotland in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, aged only 18, where he came fourth in the team sprint with John Paul and Chris Pritchard.
A year later, the Glaswegian rode for Great Britain at the UEC Under-23 European Track Championships in Portugal where he won two medals, a bronze in the sprint and silver in the team sprint with Peter Mitchell and future Olympic team mate Philip Hindes.
In April 2013, Skinner was moved onto British Cycling’s Olympic Podium Programme and, in January 2014, won his first medal at a UCI Track Cycling World Cup meeting, winning bronze in the team sprint with Paul and Lewis Oliva in Guadalajara, Mexico.
The end of 2014 saw Skinner tap a rich vein of form and catapult himself into serious contention for Rio, starting with the British championships in September when he was victorious in the kilo, sprint, keirin - beating Matt Crampton into silver in all three events - and the team sprint.