They’ve raced against each other for years and happily admit their friendly rivalry is a driving force, but now Orange’s Ben Anderson and Luke Tuckwell are stoked they’ll be able to join forces when they represent their state later this year.
After both claiming gold medals at the NSW Junior Road Championships last weekend Anderson, 13, and Tuckwell, 14, gained automatic selection in the state’s four-strong under-15 team for next month’s national titles in Western Australia.
“[Earning state selection] was definitely my goal, it’s been my goal all season,” Tuckwell explained as Anderson nodded in agreement behind him, both adding how excited they were to tick that box.
In his first year in the under-15 age group Anderson earned selection by winning the road race in a time of 1.00.11 last weekend, but he also picked up silver medals in the criterium and individual time trial.
Tuckwell won the latter, clocking 13.32.26 to finish 19 one hundredths of a second in front of his fellow central west speedster.
“I was happy with the way I performed all weekend,” Tuckwell said, he was superb in the road race and criterium as well.
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As per any rider both Anderson and Tuckwell have their own specialties and that’s where they’ll look to shine at Bunbury next month.
While Anderson is as versatile as any his focus will largely be on the road race and crit races while Tuckwell is a time trial specialist.
“I’d like to medal in the time trial, and then I just want to support Ben in the road race and the crit,” Tuckwell said, adding it’ll be a huge test considering the quality of the other states’ riders.
“There’s some really good riders from the ACT, one’s been racing in Europe, and there’s some good riders from Victoria too.
“I’ll just try to pick up a medal in any event that I can too,” Anderson added.
The pair are genuine gold medals chances though, make no mistake there, they’ve both beaten the riders that look to be their main competition in the past.
There’s little doubt being able to ride together will be a huge benefit, considering their past.
“We’ve got different coaches so we don’t train together much, we race against each other a lot though,” Tuckwell, who rides for Bathurst Cycle Club and is trained primarily by Marian Renshaw, said.
“There’s a bit of rivalry there between us,” Anderson, coached by Sydney’s Tom Dawson, smiled.
“Especially in the club races, we tend to go one-two in most of them,” Tuckwell added.
The Cycling Australia Junior Road National Championships run from September 21 to 23.