At 16 years of age, Cameron Rogers has already mapped out his future. And given his pedigree it should come as no surprise.
It would have been a surprise had he set his sights on being anything but a professional cyclist. Cameron’s father, Peter, is a former professional cyclist, while his mother, Raeleigh, is a former champion triathlete. Additionally, his uncle, Michael, is a three-time cycling world champion, with another uncle, Deane, a one-time junior cycling world champion.
“I don’t feel any pressure to be a cyclist,” says Cameron. “I just love it. I’m enjoying it more than ever.”
The cyclist he idolises and most wants to emulate will come as a shock to no-one.
“Uncle Michael was a full-on professional,” says Cameron. “He was the best of the best. I want to do that when I’m older. I want to have that skill, strength and ability.”
It’s a fair mountain to climb for Cameron. Michael won the World Time Trial Championships three times – in 2003, 2004 and 2005 – won two individual stages at the Giro d’Italia and one individual stage at the Tour de France.
Not that Cameron is dismissive of the roles played by Peter and Deane in his cycling education.
“Deane and dad have both had an enormous influence, but dad knows that I want to be like uncle Michael.”
If recent results are anything to go by, Cameron has already demonstrated he is on the right path.
In the past two months he has won gold in the 2021 Federation University Road National Championships junior men criterium in Ballarat. At the Anna Meares Velodrome in Brisbane, competing in the 2021 Elite and Under 19 Track Championships, Cameron won gold in the under-19 points race, and the under-19 omnium points race, and came third in the under-19s individual pursuit.
It’s worth emphasising the under-19 category because of Cameron’s age of just 16.
“I’m the youngest in the under-19s,” he says. “And I’m racing against 18-year-olds.”
Still at school in year 11 at Canberra College, Cameron trains one to four hours each day under the coaching of the legendary Glenn Doney, who has helped guide the careers of Michael Matthews, Nathan Hart, Bec Wiasak and Caroline Buchanan.
At the moment Cameron can’t get enough cycling.
“I’m still young so I’m doing all the cycling disciplines,” he says. “The first time I rode I was four years old and it was a mountain bike. I am keen to cycle-cross because it uses different muscles and is a mix between road and mountain biking.”
He spends plenty of time at Narrabundah Velodrome, honing his skills in track cycling. And the significance of the site is not lost on him.
“I’m riding on the same track used by my dad and his brothers, which is cool,” says Cameron.
In the long-term future, Cameron is keen to turn professional.
“I want to become a professional as quickly as possible,” he says. “Although it’s tough to know when that might happen.”
The plan is to spend time with Michael, who now lives in Switzerland, learning as much as he can off his famous uncle. However, for the time being he is in good hands as he navigates a career into the professional cycling ranks.
The Rogers cycling tradition is clearly on track to continue.