At the recent track cycling world championships in Minsk, Belarus, the Australian pursuit team claimed the gold medal against arch rivals Great Britain. The defending champions (and reigning Olympic champions) lined up with two riders from the London Games and two relatively young riders but they were beaten by the silver medallists from last year (at both the worlds and Olympics) in both the qualifying ride and the final. Australia included three riders from the London Olympic team – Michael Hepburn, Glenn O’Shea and Alex Edmondson – but the fourth rider was 18-year-old Alex Morgan.
He might be young, but Morgan’s ability and professional approach to racing both on the track and road is another reminder of what a bright future there is for Australian cycling. He’s 183cm tall and races at around 67kg. He’s already got an impressive resume of successes in a range of events and has represented Australian at the junior level for several years already. In his first year out of the junior ranks, he was given a start in both the team and individual pursuits at the world championships: together with Hepburn, O’Shea and Edmondson, he won gold on the opening night in Minsk; and the next day he backed up to make the bronze medal ride on his own… he finished fourth.
On 12 March 2013, Alex Morgan was named as part of the Jayco-AIS World Tour Academy team. He joins Edmondson, Alex Clements, Caleb Ewan, Campbell Flakemore, Damien Howson, Brad Linfield, Mitch Mulhern and Adam Phelan in a journey of discovery as part of what is effectively the national under-23 team. Later this year, they will head to Europe to contest races all over the continent.
RIDE Cycling Review will trace the progression of Morgan and his cohorts with interest as this is a talented bunch which is bound to make an impression on the international racing scene in 2013 and beyond.
During the course of the year, Morgan has agreed to help us follow him and his team-mates in the race they contest but also with behind-the-scenes insight, including a photo diary when time permits. Like most teenagers in the modern world, he is armed with a smartphone and a Twitter account – @alex_morgz. He is still in high school but his study will be done with the help of an athlete’s program devised by the AIS and Cycling Australia. This is the first instalment of his photo diary for RIDE and it covers the time from world championships to the World Tour Academy launch earlier this month.
Inside the worlds: photos and comments by Alex Morgan