Peel region cycling prodigy Conor Leahy has set his sights on becoming an Olympic athlete.
Fresh off a victory at the Oceania Track Cycling Championships – one of the highest successes of his young career – the 19-year-old is packing his bags for a move to Adelaide, where he will train under the guidance of Cycling Australia with his sights set on either the 2020 or 2024 Olympic Games.
Leahy was outstanding representing the nation at the Oceania event, taking home the gold in the four-kilometre individual pursuit for elite men with a personal best time of 4.18.85, a marked improvement on his campaign at the same event a year ago where he finished in third place.
The Mandurah Catholic College student also picked up bronze in the Madison race with partner Godfrey Slattery (Victoria).
Prior to his national and international success, Leahy first got on the bike at the age of 14 at the Peel Districts Cycling Club, where he has raced for the past five years.
The Secret Harbour cyclist didn’t waste much time making a name for himself with several selections to the WA state team before being accepted into the West Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS).
Now his focus is firmly fixed on becoming one of the country’s premier cyclists, after being one of just four men’s endurance riders in the country accepted to train under Cycling Australia at their Adelaide base.
Leahy said he was eager to take his cycling to new heights, and was relishing the opportunity to train with some of the sport’s best.
“It’s a different level (in Adelaide), so I’m excited to just soak up what I can,” he said.
“Obviously moving interstate is a bit of a nervous process but really I’m just keen to demonstrate what I can do and hopefully make the team.
“From there it’s just all about bringing medals home to Australia.”
Matt Richardson and Conor Leahy will head to Adelaide shortly and join the @CyclingAus Podium Potential Academy. We got the gang together for a celebratory morning tea to wish them well! Best of luck lads and remember there’ll always be a warm welcome back home when you visit!👍 pic.twitter.com/B6bIkUAGBW— WAIS (@InsideWAIS) October 31, 2018
The Olympics have been on Leahy’s radar since he made his first state team, and with his goal now edging closer to becoming a reality the young star is simply hoping to put his best foot forward.
“Right now it’s just about training and putting in the hard work to make sure you’re impressing the right people,” he said.
“There’s a really friendly competition among all the riders that sort of pushes everyone to meet new heights, so you know if you slack off they’ll catch you up.
“Just to be training in the elite programs is exciting in itself.”
Leahy will touch down in Adelaide over the coming weeks, where he will begin his pursuit of Olympic selection.