Date: Wednesday, 01 March 2017

New Zealand under-19 cyclist Sam Miller is looking forward to testing himself at the 2017 Oceania Road Championships in Canberra.

The Southland rider is attending the event as part of a 12-strong New Zealand under-19 squad.

He previously enjoyed a taste of the Oceania Road Cycling Championships in the under-17 event, along with the experience of the Oceania Track Cycling Championships, which have given him an idea of what to expect.

Southland rider Sam Miller on his way to finishing second in the Yunca Junior Tour of Southland.

"When I went over to the Oceania Track Champs it was like completely different racing to over here, a lot more aggressive and faster, so I am expecting a similar thing for the road," he said.

For Miller, the Oceania Champs includes a 25km time trial on Thursday March 9, followed by a 120km road race on Saturday March 11.

"It is a one off event, the race will be quite long, just two one off races and you get medals at the end of it," he said.

While the 18-year-old picked up gold medals in the team sprint and team pursuit, along with a bronze medal in the points race at the 2017 NZ Track Cycling Championships in Invercargill, he prefers hitting the road.

"I find it more interesting biking around different places and up hills as opposed to around a velodrome.," he said.

"I do quite like the speed of the velodrome though I guess." 

The architect puts his selection down to some promising performances over the last 18 months.

"They have a Calder Stewart series and we had a development team in that for the last few rounds of last year and I got a couple of good placings there because it was up against elite riders, I placed quite well in comparison to them I guess," he said.

The Invercargill-based rider has plenty of goals in his second year as an under-19 rider.

"For track I am aiming for Junior Worlds this year, but that is up to selectors now," he said.

"For the road it is to keep participating in these tours, and eventually towards the end of under-19, get picked for pro teams overseas or here and hopefully opportunities will come."

He is also looking forward to his first chance to ride in the Tour of Southland, after finishing on the podium in last year's Yunca Junior Tour of Southland.

"I haven't been old enough, I am excited because I get to ride it this year," he said.

Photo and article courtesy Stuff

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