COLAC district cyclist Simon Harrington says he is ready to make his international debut.
The 15-year-old Forrest Mountain Bike and Cycling Club member left for New Zealand yesterday to contest two major Junior New Zealand Road Tours.
He will contest the five-day event as part of a four-man Australian Junior Development team.
Harrington said he looked forward to competing at his highest level.
“I’ve never been overseas before so it’s pretty exciting,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to getting a bit of experience, I haven’t really done any road racing, mostly just mountain bike riding.”
So I’ll be getting a feel for that and getting used to a team environment and having fun.”
Harrington, the son of Neil and Geraldine Harrington, has emerged as one of the Forrest club’s more talented juniors along with Hamish Middleton and Carl Moloney since taking up the sport three years ago after seeing it in a magazine.
Club president Norm Douglas encouraged the teenager to take the sport seriously two years ago and Harrington said he hadn’t looked back.
“I just like the variety of riding, I also do cross country and downhill – I enjoy the adrenaline, particularly trying harder courses,” he said.
“Getting into the Australian development team, I was pretty stoked. Now I just want to keep improving and working towards competing more in the future.”
Harrington left for the event at Rotorua with team managers and teammates Mitch Greenway of Victoria, Hamish Prosser of ACT and Western Australia’s Reece Tucknott.