Triple world champion Alex Edmondson has heaped praise on Tasmanian cycling and revealed the role Shamus Liptrot continues to play in his glittering career.
South Australia’s 23-year-old Commonwealth Games champion and Rio Olympic silver medallist said he couldn’t have been more impressed with the Launceston Cycling Classic after finishing second at his first attempt on Sunday.
“I’d only ever heard good things about it and there are not many races in Australia with this kind of set up,” said Edmondson, who broke away with eventual winner Ryan Cavanagh in the elite men’s race.
“With that sort of reputation where you only hear good things I was happy to come down.
“I love the event because it is not just about the elites, they have juniors and riders of all grades. It really is a cycling festival.
“I just wish we had something like this in Adelaide. We have the Tour Down Under but that’s a completely different dynamic.”
Along with his older sister, Annette, Edmondson has been a Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals regular, winning wheelraces in Latrobe and Devonport and making the podium at Launceston.
He said the memory of fellow South Australian Liptrot, who died in 2011, aged 19, four years after sustaining head injuries in a horrific accident at the Devonport Carnival, continues to inspire him.
“It’s so that every day he’s still there with me. It still gives me goosebumps thinking about it all,” said Edmondson, who still wears a Stay Strong Shamus wristband.
“He was two years older than me but was just the nicest guy you could meet.
“I always wanted to win Devonport because I told him I would win there one day.
“It meant so much to me when I did.”