Date: Wednesday, 25 October 2017

It has been an interesting year for Southland cyclist Hamish Beadle.

The 19-year-old has been based in the US state of Georgia riding professionally for Team Novo Nordisk.

The team features a large number of riders with type 1 diabetes.  

"It has been awesome riding with the team's mission to inspire, educate and empower people affected by diabetes across the globe, it's been pretty special really," he said.

"It has just been a good year of learning and being able to see what being in a professional team is like and what it takes, it is just all the little things as well really." 

"It was definitely an eye opener to what it takes to become a pro and even just racing locally like I was."

It has been a life changing time for Beadle who has not only been adjusting from track to road racing and the step up to the senior ranks, but also life away from home.

"I have pretty much been in a flatting situation living with the team-mates and kind of just learning the ropes in that respect. It has been pretty cool though," he said.

"I was doing the whole track sprinting thing and I made the switch at the start of last year, so it has been a pretty big jump, not only going from junior ranks to senior, but also in a completely different discipline so it has pretty much been a year of suffering and trying to develop as a person and an athlete."

Riding professionally in the United States has been an amazing opportunity for Beadle.

"Living the dream really, kind of as a kid when you are six or seven, getting paid to ride bikes, so here I am doing it," he said.

He competed in his first UCI event at the Joe Martin Stage Race in Arkansas featuring teams like United Healthcare and Team Raleigh, among several other races during the season with fields of up to 160 riders.

"That was one of the hardest races I have ever done," he said.

"This year I was riding with Greg Henderson and he was kind of a role model growing up, so being able to ride and race alongside him and everyone else was a real crazy experience."

"Experiencing it really, getting to ride in those big tours, we did one towards the end of the year called North Star, it was so awesome."

The teenager will link up with the Business South team in the 2017 Tour of Southland, after riding for the Talbot Forest Cheese team last year.

The Business South team includes other Invercargill riders Travis Kane and Blake Tait-Jones, along with Queenstown's Gavin Mason, Dunedin's William Milburn and Callum Gordon from Gisborne.

He has been preparing himself for the Tour by riding on the roads used as part of the 2017 Tour of Southland, which starts on Sunday.

"We have got a good few guys in the team, so hopefully we will be able to pull something out of the bag," he said.

"I managed to finish it last year, pretty far down really, my goal was just to finish it last year, I wasn't very fit, this year I am a lot fitter actually."

"So just a kind of workhorse in the bunch, if it comes down to a bunch kick in the end we will see what happens."

Article courtesy Stuff, photo courtesy Team Novo Nordisk

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