A Natural Born Racer
Some people are born knowing what they will do, and Luke Tuckwell is one of those as once he sets his sights on something he won’t quit until he gets there.
Luke has just returned from the National Cycling Championships in Western Australia, returning with a bronze medal in hand.
“I was pretty happy! I was targeting the time trial as my event so getting third in the road race was a pretty good surprise. It was a very close finish, there was only half a bike length between me and first.
“For the road race it was a 38km race with hills here and there, so it was up and down for the whole race, then a straight run into the finish. It was a good course and I really liked it,” said Luke.
This was Luke’s first year competing at a National level and he says the competition was pretty fierce.
“This is my first time at Nationals and with the NSW team so that was really good. The NSW State level racing is really hard, there is really good competition. There were some really good riders from Victoria and Queensland. I kind of just focused on myself and just did what I could do. I just went as hard as I could, not really worrying about what other people were doing, I just focussed on what I was doing,” said Luke.
Luke has been preparing for this event for the past 6-7 months, but he has been riding for much longer.
“This is about my sixth riding season, but I have been riding since I was about eight,” said Luke.
Luke’s dad Drew tells a story about when Luke first became passionate about riding and the age he was when he first got on a bike.
“This is a really embarrassing story for him, but it started off that I wanted to watch the Tour de France highlights and he was about three years old. So, kids dominate tv use and I told him that it was Wiggles riding bikes and it was an easy sell as the leader wears the yellow jersey and there were red and blue riders. I sold it to him that it was the Wiggles riding the bikes then he actually wanted to watch it and he has been hooked ever since. I started riding again and he always said that he wanted a bike like Dads with curved bars and skinny wheels. We got his first race bike when he was eight, but he was riding a bike really well from about the age of three or four.
“It was something that he picked up quite early and quite well and he just loved riding his bike. For him it was always racing, either going up a mountain for the Tour de France or he was sprinting to the finish. Racing came very easily to him and he is a competitive kid as I am very competitive, so the apple doesn’t fall far,” Drew laughed.
Luke set some pretty big goals this year and he smashed every single one of them out of the park, so we asked what was next for him.
“That is the end of road season for me for my age group, so I will have a break now then head into track season on the velodrome,” said Luke.
Drew is beyond proud of his son but he says it is much more than just racing.
“When your kids show enthusiasm and a bit of talent you are happy for them to have a crack, so I am really pleased for him as he has shown a lot of dedication and a lot of people have put a lot of time into him.
“It is really nice but at the same time as long as he is doing it with a smile on his face that is what is most important. I am thrilled for him. You don’t want your kids to be unhappy and successful, you want them to be happy and if they can be successful with what they are happy doing then that is great,” said Drew.
Luke says, “A huge thank you to my coach, she is very humble, and she says that it is all me and dad doing the hard work, but she is great. She is the best coach! Marian Renshaw has been my coach since day one”.
Drew said it is also worth mentioning another competitor from Orange who showed real talent.
“Ben Anderson is also from Orange and he did really well. He got to 5th and a 10th. Luke goes up in an age group, but Ben has another year in under 15’s and you can expect him to go for medals and titles. He is a very talented bike rider. There were only two first year riders that were getting into the top ten, so he is looking pretty good,” said Drew.