Peter Latham profile: Te Awamatu Prodigy

Lieswyn and Latham

Lieswyn and Latham (Image credit: Barry Harcourt)

Peter Latham experienced the same parental pressures as most aspiring racers do - go to university, earn a degree, make money, and have a family. Dutifully, he began a university education in land surveying at Dunedin on the South Island, but has since suspended coursework to choose another path. Cyclingnews diarist John Lieswyn profiled this unassuming, determined young rider at the recent K2 and found out how he has become one of the hottest rising stars of New Zealand cycling.

New Zealand may not have the population and economy to support professional road racing as does the USA or Europe, but per capita it produces far more top level cycling talent. New Zealand's secondary school cycling program introduces high school students to the sport, and many towns, including Peter's rural hometown of Te Awamutu, have a concrete velodrome. Tracks offer supervised, safe and traffic-free environments for secondary school competitions and give federation officials a method for selecting the best new talent to represent New Zealand on the international stage. Junior riders are inspired by the Olympic, World Championship and ProTour successes of Sarah Ulmer, Julian Dean, Hayden Roulston and Greg Henderson. Their careers reveal a definitive ladder to a professional contract with a road team overseas.

Peter Latham is a graduate of that process; he began cycling in a school program at age 13.

Click here for the full profile.

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