Liam Edwards has had a rollercoaster year.
From being on the verge of national selection to suffering a pair of injury setbacks, the budding cycling star has experienced it all this year.
But after a strong showing at last week’s Tour of Tasmania, Edwards, 18, hopes the ride is only up from here.
‘‘It was a pretty good experience, there were a lot of good teams and it was a really strong field,’’ he said.
‘‘In May, I fractured my jaw and in August at the state titles I strained my right hamstring, so there’s been lots of highs and lows in not making the Australian team, but also having some good results.’’
In just his second race at the National Road Series level, Edwards performed outstandingly to finish 24th in the general classification standings out of an initial field of 102 riders.
‘‘Going into Tassie I was probably at 70 per cent fitness I guess, but being a five-day tour I kind of worked into it,’’ he said.
‘‘I didn’t want to peak with nationals in only eight weeks, but to finish 24th overall I was really happy.’’
Edwards even made his way into the top 10 on one of the five stages, sprinting to eighth on the final day.
With his stature in the sport on the rise, Edwards thanked a couple of local influences for helping him back into the bike seat after his most recent injury, including Sean Reidy and The Performance Project team.
‘‘He (Reidy) has helped me out so much,’’ he said.
‘‘Just after I did my hamstring I did a lot of stuff with Reidy and Fix Muscle Performance, they helped me get back on the bike and also with my posture and performance and stuff.’’
With high school studies completed, Edwards is taking a gap year next year to focus almost completely on his cycling and is again aiming to crack into the national scene.
But if that does not eventuate, Edwards still hopes to snare a spot on the Australian circuit to help catapult his career further.
‘‘It’s going to be a big 2018, I’m really giving cycling the full crack and hopefully I can make the Australian team,’’ he said.
‘‘But I’m still just taking it as it comes.’’