Lachlan Dickson – or Lachie to his mates – heads into the New Zealand winter as U19 national champion. It comes as just reward after a season that’s rocked and rolled its way through a number of highs and lows. We got to catch up with him to reflect on a terrific win and look ahead to what the future has to bring.
For Dickson, victory in the U19 men’s road race at the Age Group Road National Championships in Pleasant Point came at the end of a summer campaign that had been interrupted in a manner not dissimilar to World Tour compatriot George Bennett. Bennett’s side stitch issue has been well documented and known as a source of continual irritation and a similar problem seems to have bothered Dickson. But that didn’t stop him from taking the win against a very strong U19 field.
“I’m pretty stoked aye, it’s been a while since I’ve won a big road race so it’s always nice to pull off a win like this. The season has been very up and down, having been suffering from the stitch, which has made my training and racing very unpredictable not knowing if I’m going to get it or not. It’s something I’m working on fixing and hopefully won’t effect me in the future,” Dickson told RoadCycling.
U19 racing has a reputation for its dynamic and aggressive nature, which makes it a great spectacle to watch. This year’s race was unpredictable, just as aggressive, but ultimately came down to a bunch finish; although not for lack of trying from Lachie’s part. “I knew the climb 5km from the finish really suited me. I tried throughout the race up the climb but I found nothing stuck going over it each lap,” Lachie explained. “My ideal situation I hoped would happen was a reduced bunch sprint which happened to be the case. I was very surprised as with the U19 racing at nationals especially, it’s often won from a well timed attack in the race, and with people often struggling to corporate to chase it back, it often works out.”
In the end Dickson executed his sprint brilliantly to take the U19 national title in style from Kiaan Watts and Ewart Bower.
While Dickson is now the reigning U19 road champion his attention heading into August will be on the UCI Junior Track World Championships. Dickson is at the point in his career where he is able to enjoy life on both tar and track, but he is leaning more towards the boards this year. “The track is a great program to be in with Cycling NZ providing great opportunities. I made the decision to focus this year on track so to get a title on the road was a huge bonus. Having the ability to do both road and track is really good and they complement each other really well so doing both is epic.”
Beyond Track Worlds the future is looking good with Dickson under the guidance of Brad Tilby and Scott Fairbairn at Team Skoda Fruzio, and aided by coach Hayden Roulston. Lachie is not letting any pressure to look beyond U19 racing get to him and will look to continue juggling codes as long as he can for the time being. “I’m lucky to have Brad and Scott from Team Skoda Fruzio and my coach Hayden Roulston guiding me in doing the right things for 2020. For now I want to focus on finishing my U19 racing on a high before deciding what’s to come in the future. I love being on the road and the track so finding balance between the two will be something I hope to do.”
The UCI Junior Track World Championships takes place from 14th-18th August.
To find out more about Hayden Roulston and the team at Roulston Coaching click here.