A fantastic experience was had by three of our junior members competing at the National Junior Road Championships in Bendigo (along with over 200 others) over the past three days. Austin was representing the club as a member of the State Team whilst Tom and Oliver entered as individuals. The new kits had arrived in time for the boys to don them for the big event and they certainly looked a treat.
Friday was the Time Trials at Huntly- a slight tail wind out and a head wind on the return. Tom rode strongly with yet another PB average over 35kmh to place 40th, Ollie maintained his solid form averaging around 36kmh to place 31st, whilst Austin blew the field apart and wasn’t headed till the last few riders to place 5th.
Saturday was the Road Races at Eaglehawk around a 6.1km circuit. With a bunch of around 60 riders in the JM15 and with 5 laps of the circuit to complete the pace was on from the start. After averaging over 39kmh for the first lap the riders were splitting. Ollie was pushing hard to stay with the front bunch while Tom had settled into the second bunch not far behind. Ollie continued to hold his own to finish 25th. Unfortunately Tom was involved in a crash and was red flagged before finishing.
In the U17 Men Austin was appointed captain of the Vic Team. He led them strongly throughout. After a solid 42kmh first lap the pace settled to a more comfortable 40kmh for the next 9 laps. With a team member in the breakaway he held the chasing bunch at bay and sat up at the end to cross the line in 59th position.
Sunday saw the Criteriums being held around a 800m circuit in East Bendigo. With a foggy start to the morning the circuit was looking a little treacherous but luckily the sun broke through and the road was nearly dry by the start.
The 15 Boys were spit into two heats with the top 15 to the final. Tom and Ollie was first up in heat one. A cracking pace of over 42.5 kmh for the first lap saw Tom losing contact (along with many others) and Ollie just holding on. Ollie continued to maintain contact with the lead bunch and even managed a turn at the front. On the final lap he moved up well through the bunch to come 7th, qualifying for the final.
The 17 Men were split into three heats, with Austin riding in the 3rd. The heat was soon split all over with Austin’s lead bunch of 5 setting a hectic pace. He easily qualified for the final rolling across the line.
After a 2 hour rest Ollie lined up for the Final. The pace was a little easier at the start this time and Ollie was happy to hang at the end of the bunch. Mid race a rapid fire lap at 43.6 kmh tested the group with a couple falling off and two breaking away – they wouldn’t be caught. On the final lap Ollie again moved up to finish 13th (2nd Victorian across the line). A fine effort.
In the U17 final Austin did his team job and dropped back with a lap to go. Crossed the finish line but was recorded as a dnf. His team member came 2nd, so a good job done.
A great weekend for all. The experience has left the kids buzzing and keen to strive for more. Again thanks to Tony Smith for his support and advice over the weekend.