It’s not easy for young Australian riders to break through in Europe, but Canberra rider Oscar Chamberlain did more than just break through in 2023, he shot to the very top.
It was a season racing with the AG2R Citroën U19 team that started with a national time trial title in Ballarat and finished with the rider stepping onto the podium to claim the rainbow jersey of the under 19 world time trial champion.
There were also plenty of successes in between, with the 18 year taking a trip to the podium at every single one of the European tours he lined up for, including first place on a stage and in the overall at the Watersley Junior Challenge. Then there were the one day races, which included a second place at Paris Roubaix juniors behind teammate, Matys Grisel.
The long list of consistently strong results put Chamberlain right among the very top of the 2023 junior rankings and there can be no disagreement over the fact that it was a spectacular final season in the junior field for the rider. Now Chamberlain looks ahead to a 2024 with the Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale development team, where he hopes to build a strong foundation as he steps up into a new racing realm.
Before heading to Europe and joining his teammates at the Continental level development squad – which slots in between Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale’s junior and WorldTour teams – the rider will be lining up in Ballarat, Australia to see if he claim the green and gold stripes once again even as he launches into U23 competition. Chamberlain will line up at the U23 men’s time trial on Thursday January 4 and in the U23 men’s road race on Saturday January 6 as the lone representative at the race of the Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale development team.
Cyclingnews spoke to Chamberlain in the regional Victorian centre – before the official launch of the Australian Road National Championships late in 2023 – as he took stock of the year and looked ahead to the next step in what is shaping up as a supremely promising cycling career.
Cyclingnews: Tell us about your path into cycling. When did you start riding and when did you start racing?
Oscar Chamberlain: I’ve been riding pretty much my whole life. I got a bike, a Spider-Man bike, when I was a real little guy. I started racing in, I think, under nines. My parents both ride a bike, so I started because of them. They just took me on rides on the weekends and then it grew from then. I started racing the crits in Canberra and once I started getting…