Two years ago, the then 13-year-old aspiring cyclist Amarni Gates saved up to buy his first bike – after seeing his father and friends cycle in Monaco. Now, Armani is celebrating after storming to victory as a young cyclist, becoming the Queensland State Champion.
This up and coming champion athlete, who trains alongside his Coach and Dad Nick Gates – a former Tour de France cyclist – is hoping to take the cycling world by storm when he competes in the Australian Championships later this year.
Amarni said: “This year was my first year of racing and coming from Thailand nobody knew who I was. Everyone just thought I was this other dude and then I got gold – it’s pretty cool.
“Before the race, I was pretty nervous because it was my first State Open. I had looked at the course before as I drove around it with my Dad. It sort of suited me because it was a lot hillier so that was good because I have experience on the hills near Naithon Beach.
“I always saw myself winning it so as soon as we got started everything just went well. I came back to the lead group in the last 3km and then I sprinted and won.
“That was my first proper win. It was pretty awesome. I was almost close to crying. I hugged my Dad straight away and then obviously I spoke to my Mum and she was crying and then I received all the support from Thanyapura, which was awesome.”
Amarni trains around five to six times a week at Thanyapura – doing a mix of intensive cycling sessions and gym sessions. He goes out on rides with the rest of the Academy and said the steep hills and weather here helped him win the State Championships.
He added: “Normally throughout the school year, I would train five to six times a week depending on what sort of period of the season I am in. In the buildup I was training five times a week, maybe four intense and then gym as well. I work on my legs and core and found going to gym helps a lot.
“The steep climbs – like Naithon – helped me a lot. Those steep hills are very good for training but the heat also helped. It was 19-20 degrees in Queensland and it makes it so much easier going to that after training in the heat.”
In addition to his training sessions, the young athlete keeps a diary to document his training and nutrition every day.
Amarni commented: “I have a diary where I write my training in each day. I just say how I feel and what I was thinking during training and races.
“Two weeks ago I had a race in Australia and I did quite well so I looked at that and what I did in the week building up to it and I just copied that exact thing this time as well.
“All those mistakes I made really paid off because I did everything perfect in Queensland State Champion event.”
BOOKINGS & INQUIRIES
Thanyapura Phuket Thailand
Telephone: +66 (0)76 336 000