The boy from Ararat
Lucas is very deserving of this contract.
A scorching January afternoon in Ballarat and a group of young budding professionals sat around a bakery table unpacking the 2015 Under 23 National Road Race. Lucas arrived late after a "hard day on the tools" at KHS construction and sat down in the shadows of his older brother Tom. Lucas was six months into a forced break from the bike as the result of an unfortunate knee injury. The sun glistened over Tom's shoulders, who had once again, shown he was the superior Hamilton cyclist with an impressive performance around Mt Buninyong. At this point Lucas' cycling prospects were far off into the distance but his cycling dream was still alive! From the words of Lucas… "Even though I was so far from the cycling world, in reality, I never did think of giving up the sport entirely. In fact, because I was miles from the being a competitive cyclist it made me realise more how much I missed and wanted/needed to be one."
It was the start of 2015 and Lucas was a week away from re-embarking on his journey to a professional cycling career. A knee injury ended the boy from Ararat's prosperous Under 19 career and caused a six-month forced break from the sport. Just to make things worse, this injury had continued until March until he could finally and confidently say - "it was gone"!
Pushing forward to September, the boy who in January wouldn’t have made my grade 4 house relay team had just put 40 seconds into the best of the National Road Series at the Canberra National Tour. For me, an astonishing transformation and from my understanding he worked incredibly hard for it. Lucas continued this form throughout the summer, heading into the national championships in hot form and with a big target on his back.
After a troublesome first year under 23 that would crush the majority of athlete’s careers, there hasn't been much looking back for the young cyclist. Achieving success within the European continent and now establishing himself as one of the best under 23s cyclists is an amazing achievement. A balance between his calculated personality and ability to switch off from the "cycling world" has enabled the gangly country boy to gain so much success and thrive from such a low point in his sporting career.
Lucas' off-season is coming up and he’ll be back in Australia soon for the coming summer. "It will be nice to return to Australia after being away for a big season, catch up with family and friends and enjoy some downtime."
Last week it was announced that the boy from Ararat has signed a three-year deal with the professional outfit Orica - Scott. I feel that this is a great result for both parties and this should be a fruitful relationship. I can now confidently say that he has bounced out of the darkness and surpassed his brother to be the most successful Hamilton cyclist.
See you back at the social club,