Junior Correspondent: Inspiration From The Greats Of Road & Track
16yo junior correspondent Maizy Evans is an accomplished rider in her own right – here she discusses two cyclists who inspire her to do better each and every day.
Pocket rocket Caleb Ewan, what an inspiration!
I have known Caleb for the past 5 years. He comes from my hometown and I have very fond memories of being lucky enough to train and race with Caleb himself.
One strong memory I have was about 3 years ago, it was one of my first times riding a track bike and stress was one of the top things on my mind. There were about 15 of us, 10 children and 5 adults at the local velodrome. Caleb and his mum arrived with plastic crates full of Caleb’s old cycling kits and accessories.
I remember rummaging through all his kits, it was kind of like a sprint; elbows were out and it became quite aggressive. I managed to score a pair of AUS gloves and a NSW kit which I still have to this day!
The craziest thing about Caleb’s successes is that he started out just like most of us….
Caleb started bike riding at the age of 8, inspired by his father - who was also a competitive cyclist. He started competing at a high level at the age of 10 ( similar to myself) and in 2010 he became the Junior National Road Race Champion! The following year, he won multiple disciplines at the Junior Track National Championship and went on to become the World Champion Omnium at the Junior World Track Championships.
In 2013 Caleb joined the Jayco AIS World Tour Academy before being offered a position in the Orica Green Edge team. Some of Caleb’s many achievements include winning stage 1 and 6 of the 2016 Tour Down Under and then winning stages 1,3 and 6 of the 2017 Tour down under. Caleb has also won multiple stages of the Giro d’Italia and 3 stages of the Tour de France last year.
As well as Caleb’s outstanding results, courage and sportsmanship whilst on the bike, he also has a beautiful family. In 2018, Caleb married his fiancé- Ryann, Ryann and Caleb then had a beautiful baby girl in June last year- Lily. This is what inspires me most about Caleb, not many of us can put ourselves in his shoes and we don’t tend to think about the position many of our elite athletes are in.
Caleb dedicates himself to his training and puts in the effort for his well deserved results but more than that he balances his sport with his family and their lives. The Ewan family are now living in Monaco with Caleb training and racing regularly over there.
I have been inspired by Caleb from a very young age and continue to fan-girl him when watching on television.
Anna Meares – Queen of the Track
It is really hard to define who you are as we are always changing.
Although we can be resilient, life always throws things at us that change how we view the world.
I think very few people are able to be so resilient that when their life gets hard, they don’t change who they are. One of these people is famous track cyclist Anna Meares, author of ‘The Anna Meares Story: Fighting Spirit of a Champion’ - this is a book that changed my life.
This autobiography identifies the concept of resilience as Anna tells the story of how she overcame adversity. Ultimately, I think this book has changed me because of how much I can relate to her story and how she continually overcomes the challenges life.
It was while reading this book my passion for cycling journalism began. I felt truly inspired and that is something I want people to feel when they read my articles.
...The Anna Meares Story: Fighting Spirit of a Champion’, it is a book that changed my life...
I’m not much of a reader, I never have been. But for many reasons I fell in love with this book. I would read a chapter every night in bed, eagerly awaiting the following instalment to see what happens next.
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You know when you get a book, usually a biography of some sort and it has those random gloss pages filled with pictures … and before you actually start the book you flip to those pages to look? Well I did that, for days before actually reading the first page. This was partially due to the fact the pictures were graphical which added a sense of fear.
The book wasn’t scary or anything just this one chapter where she talked about her accident – a major crash which put her off the bike for some time. She wrote how she fell in to a “dark hole of depression”, although this hasn’t happened to me I can still relate to the feeling of isolation, and constantly being told you won’t be able to ride again. She got back on her bike and continued to succeed which gave me a lot of hope. Hope is one of the main things I learnt from her book.
Anna Meares began cycling at the age of 11, following her older sister Kerry. She went on to achieve many big things on the velodrome including a gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Silver medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics and three gold medals at the 2012 World track Championship in Melbourne.
Meares suffered an incredibly horrific accident in 2008 where amongst many severe injuries she broke her neck. After reading about this and following her recovery and journey back on the bike, This was one of the most inspiring things I’ve ever read about, the amount of courage and perseverance that it takes to come back from something as bad as that is unimaginable and that’s where my passion for cycling - and attitude of 'never give up' began.
Anna is now retired and lives with her partner, Nick Flyger and their newborn daughter in Adelaide, Australia Anna continues to help coach in Adelaide and also presents inspirational talks.
Wise words from Anna that should inspire the whole cycling community and women in cycling:
“What it is to be a strong woman. It's not always about being skinny. It's about your presentation and your confidence and everyone is unique.”
Maizy Evans is 16 years old. She has been riding for 9 years and racing at a national level for 7 years. This was her first article for Bicycling Australia Magazine and featured in the May / June edition.