What a year it's been for Toowoomba Cycling Club's own pro-cyclist and eight times Australian Time Trial Champion, Nathan O'Neill! A year of highs and lows!
We saw Nathan back in Toowoomba in January this year when he returned home to Australia from his base in the US to defend his National Time Trial title. It's history now, of course, but the high of winning his eighth National title - breaking the course record and beating his nearest rival by more than a minute on the way - was quickly followed by not just one, but two, really low points.
After the Nationals and just days before he was scheduled to return to the States at the end of January, Nathan was hit by a car on one of the infamous Toowoomba roundabouts. What was thought, at first, to be nothing more than a few abrasions and bruising turned out, in fact, to be a fractured pelvis which was not diagnosed until weeks later and which put paid to his Tour of California aspirations.
Less than two months later and Nathan was involved in another accident; this time even more serious. A car Nathan was travelling in was involved in a collision with another vehicle and left the road, rolling over several times. Although he was lucky to escape with relatively minor injuries (if you consider 60 stitches to be minor), he was unable to ride the Redlands Classic and undoubtedly the accident had a significant impact on his preparation for the Tour de Georgia in April.
By May, however, it seemed that Nathan had put the bad luck and the lows behind him and since then he's had a fantastic season. He had an emphatic win in the Tour of Gila Time Trial, set a new course record and took the overall title! He followed that up with domination in the Mout Hood Time Trial and took overall victory in that race for the second successive year. Later in June he also won the Nature Valley Grand Prix Time Trial and in July he won the opening time trial stage of the Tour de Toona, putting himself in the leader's jersey and his Health Net-Maxxis team in control. A week later the team took the final overall race win with another Aussie, Karl Menzies.
Nathan continued his blistering form into August when just on two weeks ago he won the time trial stage and the overall title in the Tour of Elk Grove. Job well done! Fantastic!
Nathan - we salute you!
Here's a link to Nathan's website so you can keep up to date with what's next on his agenda! http://www.nathanoneill.com/index.html