Pedal power propels teenager to national track event
BARELY in high school, Ipswich Grammar student Lachlan Fearon will soon be taking on the country.
The 13-year-old Mt Alford boy has been selected to ride for Queensland in the under-15 team at the Junior Track Cycling National Championships in Adelaide.
He is one of only six young riders to be in the boys team to compete against riders twice his size this week.
While he might be young, Fearon makes up for it with his dedication to his sport.
He trains on the roads around Boonah six days a week, waking up at 4.30am every morning.
He rides for about an hour and a half every morning before heading to school in Ipswich.
While he trains on the road, the national championships will be on the track, a discipline he only started two years ago.
His mother Liz Fearon said Lachlan had dreams of going pro and representing Australia.
"He wants to go the whole way," she said.
"He's so dedicated to cycling and enjoys it so much. But he manages to fit it all in with his school work which is a real credit to him."
Lachlan started riding three years ago after attending a try-it day on the Gold Coast.
He was immediately hooked.
While he joined the Gold Coast club, he spends much of his time in Ipswich at the city-based Ipswich Cycles.
Liz said Lachlan had rushed his bike to the store on multiple occasions after crashes and breakdowns.
Since taking up the sport, Lachlan has travelled around much of Australia to compete. It has taken him to Perth, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Townsville, Cairns, Rockhampton and Bundaberg for meets.
He has also met and ridden with some of the country's finest cyclists including Robbie McEwen, Kerrie Meares, Sara Carrigan and Jonathon Cantwell.
However, Liz said young Queensland cyclists were hampered on a national level with few tracks in the area.
"He's been riding at Chandler (outdoor velodrome) but most of his training is on the roads around our house,'' Liz said.
"Queensland kids are disadvantaged by the lack of tracks for them to train and ride on."
The Junior National Championships will be held at the Adelaide Superdome from Wednesday through to Saturday.