If Harry Carpenter continues 2014 in the same manner he has done already with only minor adjustments, he will be able to look back fondly in his debut season racing with the U23 Jayco-AIS team.
Carpenter started 2014 racing at the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic, otherwise known as the Bay Crits, before harrowingly missing out on gold in Australia's men’s U23 time trial championship to Jordan Kerby (Drapac). Carpenter was next seen animating the U23 criterium in a long solo break for which he was rewarded with the points jersey.
"I'm really excited, it's been a great start to the season with Bay Crits and Nationals so it's great to get into the team and be able to head to Europe with all the boys. It's going to be busy and it's going to be a tough year for sure but it is going to be great," Carpenter told Cyclingnews.
Carpenter made his way into the break on the Herald Sun Tour’s decisive stage into Bendigo which saw Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge) claim stage honours and take control of the GC.
"It was a little bit strange. The break was up the road with myself and Tom Hamilton in that but when we went over the top climb, that was when the three got away [Simon Clarke, Cam Wurf, Jack Haig] and what was left of the bunch came over, it was only about a minute gap.
"I think a lot of people did think it would come back with 40km to race but a lot of games started to be played between teams and before we knew it, it was the finish and it was too much to bring back."
Racing in Europe
Reiterating what his teammates had said about the year ahead with Jayco-AIS, Carpenter explained that 2014 was all about absorbing as much as possible, both on and off the bike.
"I think just learning on a whole in Europe will be a target for me this year, just trying to get used to the lifestyle and racing over there because it's different."
The time trial is a discipline in which Carpenter has shown he is more than capable and where he sees potential victories awaiting him.
"It would be great to have a crack at some of the big time trials. We have Oceanias [Oceania Road Cycling Championships] coming up which I'd like to really have a shot at and see where that leads into for the rest of the year.
"I think after I had a good ride in the Nationals in the [U23] time trial that's why I want to have a good run at Oceanias and try to set up a spot for the Worlds would be a dream really to do the time trial there. We'll see how it goes but I'll be definitely trying to do that."
Exercising the mind and body was an adage the Ancient Greeks lived by and its one that Carpenter also lives by as he explained to Cyclingnews.
"I'm doing mechanical engineering at Adelaide at the moment. I'm into second year now so I'm going to just keep trying to do a few subjects each year and it's definitely something that I enjoy and it's something good to do off the bike.
"It's something to challenge the mind when I'm not out there suffering on the bike and especially it helps organisation I've found. Having something to do when you're not riding that you need to get done helps with the organisation of cycling so much more."
When asked if he occupies himself with questions of physics when out on the bike, Carpenter responded that "usually [I’m in] too much pain on the time trial bike to be thinking about anything else but when I get home it's just something else to take the mind of riding and get into some other things."
The Jayco-AIS team gives young riders the opportunity to see whether they have what it takes to make it in the professional peloton and Carpenter is adamant that cycling is where his passions lays and, hopefully, his profession for the next 15 years.
"I want to take it as far as I can. It's something that I enjoy so much and to be able to that as a career would be unreal. But of course not everyone makes it and that's why I'm still chasing study as well as that's something I enjoy and if it doesn't work out in the end but at the moment, everything is for cycling."
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