Young speed demon showing age is just a number in whirlwind few months

SPEED DEMON: Ben Anderson has had a whirlwind month on the cycling track. Photo: ANDREW MURRAY. 0306amcyc2.

SPEED DEMON: Ben Anderson has had a whirlwind month on the cycling track. Photo: ANDREW MURRAY. 0306amcyc2.

Young cyclist Ben Anderson has had a whirlwind month. 

The 13-year-old – who only celebrated his birthday last week – has been racing all around the country competing in state and national championships in Sydney and Melbourne. 

He was one of the younger riders at Nationals in Melbourne, which was held from February 21 to 24. 

Being over a year younger than the rest of the field didn’t stop him, as Anderson picked up a third place in the Keirin – which involves cyclists following a race bike for a few laps before all hell breaks loose in the final three laps. 

“It was a pretty tough field and I was pretty happy about finishing third,” he said. 

Anderson competed in four events in Melbourne, but took the opportunity to learn off older racers before he competes against the same field next year. 

“They were good, nice people,” he said. 

“I ​got to learn all their tactics and pick up if someone likes to go early or attacks late or what they do there.” 

But Anderson hasn’t put any of those new strategies in place yet – his plan is to keep it simple. 

“I just put my head down and ride,” he said.

However, it will give him the awareness to look out for these strategies when they’re used against him. 

He used some of those strategies in Sydney last week, competing for Orange High School in the cycle leg of an inter-school triathlon. 

His team placed third, and despite Anderson facing mechanical issues he still managed to ride well and put them in a strong position. 

Anderson also competed in the NSW state championships from February 2 to 4, where he picked up two bronze medals in individual pursuit and the JM15 sprint, and a silver in the individual time trial. 

On top of his crazy February, he spent January being just as busy, with Anderson also racing at the Clarence Street Cycling Cup in late January at Brass Hill in Sydney, picking up a second and two thirds across three events.

He also picked up a fifth in the National Track Junior Series over four events, and was selected in the U15 state team for Cycling NSW – as a 12-year-old, if you don’t mind, and was named the Cycling NSW U13 Cyclist of the Year on January 22.

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