Leigh Howard: Young, and very fast

Leigh Howard (VIS)

Leigh Howard (VIS) (Image credit: Shane Goss)

According to some observers, Leigh Howard is arguably the best all round track cyclist, for his age, Australia has ever produced. The 16 year old from Geelong has been the best cyclist in every discipline on the track for his age group over the past four years in Australia. With two major track race wins on the board in recent times, John Trevorrow looks at what may be in store for the young Victorian.

Howard has followed his mum Kym into the sport and remembers being carted around as a toddler following bike races around the state. "I remember going up to Mt Buller and watching mum race against the top ladies. I also met Magnus Backstedt and Stuart O'Grady, who gave me a drink bidon. That started my love affair with cycling," Howard says. "Not long after that I started my first race in Hamilton. I think I got third and I reckon I could have won, but I dropped the bidon that Stuart O'Grady gave me and I stopped to pick it up," recalls Howard.

Between 2002 and 2005, Howard has won 17 gold medals in races he's contested on the track and five on the road in state titles. At the national level he has won 14 gold medals and two silver on the track and on the road two gold, one silver and one bronze. Comparisons are definitely going to be made between this exciting youngster and Geelong's greatest cyclist, the legendary Russell Mockridge.

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