Hi Eddie, Welcome to our regular Spotlight On series, which focus’ on SWAS Athletes and gives our readers a chance to get to know a little more about you, your sport and your pathway to where you are now.
So, Cycling. What made you pursue this sport In particular?
My family were right into cycling so I guess I have been watching them compete over the years and it seemed natural for me to start riding also. When I started racing I just loved it and also because it is something I can do with my Dad and brother it makes it easier and fun to do together.
Can you explain in basic terms the different types of cycling?
Basically, I ride track (on a velodrome) in summer and Road during winter. Road racing can have all types of events, from a road race, time trial, criterium, hill climb and much more. Track racing has even more types of events, from pursuits, Madison, points races, scratch racing and more.
What is your favourite discipline in cycling?
My favourite event would have to be the individual time trial (ITT), because it is just you against the clock with no one else to help you.
Do you compete in many events? Are there many opportunities to compete locally or is it all out of area?
I compete as often as I can. Just locally I race the Port Fairy and Warrnambool Cycling club races. I also compete in all the junior events around the state, which this year is 5 Junior Tours and then the State Championships. Most of these events are in Melbourne or central Victoria, like Wangaratta, Broadford and Eildon. Track racing in summer is mainly in Melbourne.
Do you compete against all ages and abilities or is it specific to your age, gender etc.?
Locally I race the junior races as well as senior, wherever the handicapper puts me. In the Junior Tours I have been in the U17 A Grade. I am bottom age in that age group so it is a huge challenge this year.
Do you have to travel a lot to be able to achieve your best?
Yes, just about every second weekend we are away racing somewhere in the State, and if not away we are racing in Warrnambool or Port Fairy. The travel makes it a huge commitment for all my family, lucky they like cycling too.
Can you explain what a usual week looks like including training, school, competition and other general interests?
School always comes first which can be annoying sometimes when all you want to do is ride your bike. Monday and Friday are normally my rest day where I won’t ride my bike but instead will do a gym session. Tuesday – Thursday are training days were I will normally get up 5.15am to ride before school. On the weekend I will race either locally or at a tour, or do some longer hours on the bike to get some endurance in my legs. I also try and swim once a week, and work whenever I am needed.
Where do you go to school, and are they supportive of your cycling?
I go to Emmanuel College, I love it because lots of the teachers are supportive because they are also cyclists and are always up for a quick chat about the local morning bunch ride or how I raced on the weekend.
Family is the backbone of all of our athletes, can you tell us a bit about your family, are any other family member cyclists too?
I’m extremely lucky to have such a supportive family that are always pushing me to do my best whether that’s at riding or my school work. Mum and Dad both run their own business which keeps them busy but somehow always find time for us kids. Everyone in the family is into cycling apart from my sister but I’m sure that will change one day, maybe.
In your cycling training, how far would you ride in an average week and what sort of fitness goals do you have to help you achieve your best?
Training varies from week to week depending on what events I have coming up but an average week ranges from 10 – 15 hours of training on the bike and then additional hours on top of that with gym and other activities.
How long have you been involved in SWAS? Do you have a favorite part of the program?
This has been my first year being a part of SWAS, my favourite part of the program would have to be the SWAS days where all the athletes from all sports or just your sport get together and train with each other or go to a big event.
Can you tell us what benefits you believe SWAS gives you, to help give you an edge over non academy cyclists?
Being a part of SWAS has given me the opportunity to work with an amazing coach, Kerry King. Kerry is very supportive and also sets me a challenging training program each week. The cycling kit and SWAS clothing is great, as well as the Training Peaks account which is where my coach puts all my training for the week. I feel I am well supported as a SWAS athlete, and the opportunities it provides.
You attended the VIS Day with other SWAS Athletes, How was it? What did you take away from the day?
It was great to see what facilities and support Victoria’s best athletes get access too. I got the most from the sports Psychologist who explained about mental battles athletes can go through and ways to best manage those battles.
If you were to speak to a younger child wanting to try cycling, what advice would you give them?
Give it a go, you either love it or you don’t but the least you can do is give it a go. Cycling can be a hard sport to get into because of the costs and equipment required. It’s not a main stream sport so only a handful of others my age are riding. But there is a lot of support from other experienced local cyclists that have been riding for a long time with lots of knowledge about the sport and are more than happy to lend a helping hand or give advice.
Of all of your competitions so far, which has been your favorite? Can you tell us about it?
My favourite event would have to be Nationals in Bunbury (WA) last year. It was one of the biggest races I have ever competed in with so many other incredible cyclists. I was fortunate to be a part of the state team and met a lot of cyclists my age that are now friends.
Who is your sporting hero?
I don’t really have a hero; instead I look up to and admire many athletes from a variety of sports who have achieved success.
What is your ultimate long term goal?
My long term goal is be good enough to ride overseas in Europe. To do this I will need to continue with both my Track and Road cycling as a junior for the next three years. If I continue to train and race I would love to think I may get a ride in an NRS team in Australia, which may lead to racing overseas.
And lastly is there anyone you would like to thank today?
I would like to thank all those people that have helped me so far with my cycling, I have been lucky to have family and friends that also love cycling and have help me to develop a love for it. I have had a couple of coaches now which have been fantastic to me and helped me make the most of the opportunities I have had. My parents try to do whatever they can to help me get to races and be able to do what I love whatever sport that has been. I would like to thank South West Academy of Sport (SWAS) for allowing me to be part of their program and all those that support this program including Royal Bikes and my coach Kez.
Thank you for taking part in the Spotlight On series, we really appreciate your time and look forward to watching how you grow and succeed in the future.