Mitchell Wright shines at cycling world championships

Wright sets out as the 12th starter of the 78 entries in the Individual Time Trial at the UCI Road World Championships. He finished 17th.
Wright sets out as the 12th starter of the 78 entries in the Individual Time Trial at the UCI Road World Championships. He finished 17th.

Illawarra Academy of Sport 2017 Cyclist of the Year and 2014 IAS Illawarra Mercury Tobin Family Award Winner, Mitchell Wright, has represented Australia with distinction, competing in both the Individual Time Trial and the Road Race at the 2017 UCI Road World Championships.

Wright competes in the Individual Time Trial. Backing up in the 1.33.8km road race, Wright pushed himself both physically and mentally.

Wright competes in the Individual Time Trial. Backing up in the 1.33.8km road race, Wright pushed himself both physically and mentally.

Wright, making his Cycling Australia National Team debut fresh from his 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games representation in July, has been riding a wave of success that has seen him racing against the world’s best riders.

Setting out as the 12th starter of the 78 entries in the Individual Time Trial, Wright set an average speed of 43km/h, completing the course in 28:50:21 to set the fastest time and sit in the “Hot Seat”, while he waited for the remaining 66 riders to chase him down.

As 12th rider in the Individual Time Trial, Wright set the fastest time and sat in the “Hot Seat”, waiting for the remaining 66 riders to chase him down.

As 12th rider in the Individual Time Trial, Wright set the fastest time and sat in the “Hot Seat”, waiting for the remaining 66 riders to chase him down.

Wright had produced a ride that had him mixing it with the older riders, remaining in the top three for 18 more riders before he eventually finished 17th.

Backing up four days later in the 133.8km Road Race, Wright pushed himself both physically and mentally in pretty tough conditions, where only 130 riders finished from the 190 starters representing 63 countries.

Wright finished the race battered, bruised and disappointed, however demonstrated his determination and drive for success after disappointingly being taken down in two separate crashes.

Most upsetting was the second incident, which occurred in the final 500m where he had fought all race to get a good position in the final peloton.

It was at this point when Wright showed the world just how tough he is by getting back on the bike to finish the race in 3:13:30, 2:42 behind the leader to finish 52nd.

When described what it was like to compete at Worlds.

“The pain has been a whole new level, going deep and having a few unfortunate events,” Wright said.

“The racing was both mentally and physically hard, especially today with two crashes.

“One was in the final 500m with just 20 guys left.

“Still I loved every minute and I'm proud of what I've achieved this season.

“Even with not being overly pleased with the result today and not feeling the best, I still had enough to be at the pointy end when it mattered.” Wright said.

The 17-year-old Wollongong resident, who is a first year Under 19 rider, has a very bright future and is still eligible to compete in the Junior Men’s Category again next year.

The Illawarra Academy of Sport Cycling Program is designed to support the developmental needs of the region’s young talented cyclists by providing industry leading high performance sport development programs.