A tough, re­ward­ing time

South Western Times - - Real Estate -

SWAS 2016 Male In­di­vid­ual Ath­lete of the Year Con­nor Lam­bert is part way through a six-and-a-half month stint in Europe where he is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing life as a pro­fes­sional ath­lete. He fills us in on his ad­ven­ture so far.

On March 21, I took off to the Nether­lands for six-and-a-half months to race with a club team based out of Valken­burg in the Lim­burg re­gion.

My ex­pe­ri­ence since be­ing here has been amaz­ing yet in­sanely hard at the same time.

This has been the long­est time I have spent away from home. I have had many ups and downs since liv­ing away from home purely for cy­cling.

I have loved get­ting this op­por­tu­nity to live the life of a pro cy­clist.

Be­ing able to go out at what­ever time I like to train as well as be­ing able to race up to three times a week.

The rac­ing here in Europe is ab­so­lutely in­sane com­pared to any rac­ing back in Aus­tralia.

For me, it has been a bit of a strug­gle find­ing my feet in rac­ing, al­ways be­ing one of the youngest in the race and rac­ing against grown men at the top of the game.

While be­ing here I have had some good re­sults for some­one my age and not grow­ing up with this style of rac­ing.

Since rac­ing in Hol­land/Bel­gium, I have had a few top 20s in Bel­gian ker­mese races and top 50s in Dutch Club com­petite rac­ing.

The level of rac­ing here is crazy good and there is usu­ally about 180 peo­ple per race and the races are nor­mally 120 to 180km long.

Also in Europe, I have raced the Ir­ish na­tional cham­pi­onships.

In Ire­land, my age group – the U23s – race in the same race as the Elite men. In the time trial, I was 11th over­all in the elite men's and I was fifth U23 and only two sec­onds off fourth and within one minute of the podium.

The road race was 175km long and I was up against some of the very best Ir­ish pro­fes­sional rid­ers.

At the end of the race I was 25th over­all and sev­enth U23, which I was happy with.

I now be­gin the se­cond half of the Dutch rac­ing sea­son and look for­ward to pro­gress­ing and get­ting some bet­ter re­sults in the club com­pet­i­tive rac­ing area.

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