T-Lowe takes off
After taking second overall at the Redlands Classic and Best Young Rider at the Tour de Georgia, Trent Lowe has blasted into orbit as an accomplished cross country MTB and road racer. The 20-year-old Victorian has combined ample talent with amazing physical capabilities and a controlled approach to become arguably Australia's most promising mountain biker. Cyclingnews' Les Clarke caught up with 'T-Lowe' at his base in Colorado.
Place Trent Lowe's palmares next to his birth certificate and you'd be amazed. Born in October 1984, Lowe only began competitive cycling at 14 years of age, and by the age of 18 had become junior World Champion. Last year he became Australian Under 23 national champion after heading to the US to race. He took second in NORBA #3 that year before moving to the Subaru-Gary Fisher team in 2005 to race with some of America's best mountain bikers in Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and Willow Koerber.
At this year's Redlands Classic Lowe rode his first pro road race, as part of the Jittery Joe's-Kalahari outfit, taking a win on stage 1 and finishing second overall, against experienced campaigners such as Tim Johnson, Charles Dionne and Scott Moninger. After another strong performance at Sea Otter (taking a win in the short track stage before crashing out on the last day) Lowe was off to Georgia, where he was an important part of Jittery Joe's assault on the Tour de Georgia.
It was all a bit hectic; "I crashed pretty heavily on the last day of Sea Otter - I was concussed; I realised I'd hit my head after seeing that the stickers on my helmet were missing...I'd only got that helmet a couple of weeks before." That night it was time to jump on a three hour flight to Georgia, where a three-hour time difference awaited him. "I started Georgia pretty hungover from the travel, the concussion and the time difference - it was a bit weird."
Taking to the start with new teammate Geoff Kabush and riders such as Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer and Lance Armstrong, Lowe surprised most people, not least of all himself, with his performances - taking the Best Young Rider's jersey and 11th overall by the end of some extremely tough racing miles. When asked whether he expected to perform so well, he's typically modest; "Not at all. The best young rider was great to get, but even more satisfying was seventh place on the Brasstown Bald stage. To do that was great, considering just getting through the race would have been an achievement in itself. Also, where else do you get such quality training miles?" It's this last statement that indicates Lowe's constantly got his eyes on the prize, even when most would sit back and just have a look at their recent success.
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