Michael Storer has been turning heads since his 3rd in the Junior Worlds time trial, but even in that, his debut in the elite ranks has been impressive. In his first outing in the Tour of Bright he was 8th overall against some quality climbers, then backed it up with a series of impressive results in the Under 23 nationals; 6th in the Time Trial and 5th in the Road Race. Perhaps the biggest surprise he saved for his debut against World Tour opposition, as he looked comfortable riding in front group on the final laps, finishing in the group behind solo winner Peter Kennaugh in 19th position.
He was awarded the young rider?s jersey as the top placed Under 23 rider, a significant feat given that he?s just 18 at the moment. After the race, Storer spoke to Peloton Caf? about how he physically coped with the race.
?I wouldn?t say it was easy, but I found it very manageable. I was able to go with the best guys on the climbs, I wasn?t sure what I?d be able to do coming into today. So I just took it as it came. I knew that a good Under 23 should be competitive at this level, I was confident that I could do it so I just backed myself and went for it.?
The fresh faced Storer looked at ease on the bike, but slightly lost in the hustle of the post-race media zone, and team director of the Jayco Australian National Team and World Tour Academy sports director James Victor confirmed that there was still a very long way to go for the Perth-born Storer to make it in the cycling world. Victor first praised the new star?s eyecatching ride.
?An exceptional ride from an 18 year old as a first year Under 23. He?s got super physiology, can time trial on his day, he was third in the junior worlds time trial two years ago. He?s got a bright future ahead of him with his physiology, it?s now about learning how to race in big pelotons with a lot more watts on the pedals. Getting physically stronger, but mentally ticking boxes as well. He?s doing everything right so far, keeping his eyes wide open, learning as much as he can. He?s certainly physically talented, but once he gets to Europe it?s a totally different ball game.?
Storer will have plenty of time to deliver on that potential, and will hopefully give lots of excitement to cycling fans around Australia and the world as they watch his progression from junior prodigy to potential star of the sport. For now Storer?s ambitions are very much process-orientated, with the focus on the next steps that will take him to that top level.
?In the short time I?ve got the Herald Sun Tour, then I?m looking to race in the Under 23s in Europe and hopefully I can get some results there.?
Storer will line up next for the KordaMenthe Real Estate Australian National Team in the Herald Sun Tour from the 3rd-7th of February.
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