Sat. May 21st, 2022

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The easy option is to compare Cameron Rogers with his famous cycling uncle. After all, the Canberra teenager wants to drive the same road as Michael Rogers, a triple world time trial champion. But coach Glenn Doney says the better comparison right now is with Michael Matthews, the winner of the Tour de France Green Jersey and international star. Doney wanted to know. He has cast his eyes over the best cycling talent in Australia for decades, including overseeing Matthews’ rise from the capital to the biggest stage of all. Therefore, Doney’s eyes lit up as Rogers stopped the clock on a worn time trial track at Mt Stromlo. “[Cameron Rogers] as second year under 19 and Bling [Matthews] as a freshman senior … there was probably about a 20 second difference between them over the same distance, “Doney said.” I’ve always measured people on what Bling did on a course that I have not changed in years. I told [Rogers] then he was about 20 seconds behind the best that Bling did. It brings him well on the right track. MORE CANBERRA SPORT “He will follow in Uncle Michael’s footsteps, and he has maintained that all along. He is a great support to do so.” Cameron Rogers gets a chance to take another step towards that goal and test himself against some of Australia’s best elite riders when he makes his Tour Down Under debut in Adelaide this week. He rides high on confidence after winning the Australian Under-19 title near Ballarat last weekend, adding a fourth national championship gold medal to his trophy cabinet, just 17 years old. “It was a pretty great feeling to know all the work I had put into me with my coach and family … it was a huge team effort and it all paid off,” Rogers said. It’s all part of the journey to reach his European professional goal, and Rogers says family history adds motivation rather than pressure when he jumps on the bike. Father Peter and his brothers were professional cyclists. Uncle Michael spent almost 20 years on the professional circuit, winning the world time trial championships in 2003, 2004 and 2005 as well as winning the stages of the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia. “Mick has done it all before and knows what’s going on. He and Dad chat a lot with each other … I’m definitely very lucky to have it,” Rogers said. “I certainly do not see it as a pressure. I see it as having people I can chat with about what’s best and what not to do, really some internal information.” I’m pretty excited about the Tour Down Under . I can not believe that I really got the chance, because I saw it as a child and wondered if I could do it when I was 20 years old. I’m 17 and now I’ve got that chance. “Rogers returned home to win the Under-19s road race, narrowly beating other Canberran Oscar Oscarlain across the line. It secured him a place at the World Championships in Wollongong later this year and was a timely boost before joining BikeExchange for the Tour Down Under 20 years after his uncle won the race.Rogers will juggle year 12 assignments at Canberra College this year with his cycling ambitions, where Doney hopes he can perform well enough to earn a place on the development trip to Belgium in the coming months.Doney and Rogers have worked together for almost two years.In that time, Rogers has won the national championship in road racing and criterion as well as two gold medals on the track.He won his track gold medals after only three training sessions in the lead. “He is robust. Not at all fragile, “Doney said.” You can throw the kitchen sink after him, and it does not worry him, he’s a little like Bling [Matthews] in this context. “I think he’s going to be a Classics rider. If it’s a sprint finish on a slope, he’ll lick his lips.” Rogers has his vision of learning what he can in Tour Down Under before chasing his European dream. “It’s going to be an experience. I want to ride with and against riders who have that experience … all these massive guys smashing it up now. I can not wait,” Rogers said.

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