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Teen cyclist chases his pro-rider dreams

Flagstaff Team

Going for it… Lewis Bower hopes to catch the eye of professional cycling teams in Europe

Seventeen-year-old Westlake Boys High cyclist Lewis Bower has headed to Europe to chase his dream of riding professionally.

Lewis left for Belgium late last month for three months of racing for the Lead Out Cycling Academy team. The final-year student from Devonport will continue his studies while in Europe.

Already training 15 hours a week, he is aiming for some road-racing results to catch the eye of the professional racing teams.

Even a place in the lower ranks of professional cycling would provide him with a bike and accommodation, and the frequent racing unavailable at home.

“In New Zealand, you can play rugby every weekend, but with cycling there’s maybe one race on every month.”

He plans to race at the Junior World Road Racing Championships in Australia in September.

He has been race riding since Year 7 at school. He also played football, but has focused on cycling since the start of last year.

In November 2021, Lewis was named male Young Sportsman of the Year by College Sport Auckland.

His first national title was in the U19 Criterium at the New Zealand National Championships in November 2020.

Before he left for Europe, Lewis raced once again in the national championships, winning the U19 time trial and coming fifth in the road race.

Lewis enjoys the travel involved in his chosen sport.

“With cycling you’re always finding new roads and exploring new parts of New Zealand. It’s also another way to travel the world,” he says.

He’s also got a taste for the speed of racing. “I just love the thrill of going fast.

Lewis received a $3000 grant as part of the North Harbour Club and Charitable Trust AIMES awards for young achievers, which has funded his flights. He is being billeted with a host family, but needs to pay insurance, entry fees and living costs.

He hopes a local business may offer sponsorship.

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