Strong JC team at NSW Metropolitan Championships

_dsc0007The Junior Metropolitan Championships were held on Saturday in what was recorded as a warm 26.1 degree day with only light winds early and picking up a little later in the day.

The Whittakers and Mahons were missed while the dads were recuperating, and a few regulars had other commitments. Despite this, JC members made up 25% of the overall entries with members representing ATTA-NSW, LACC and Peloton Sports in a camp that comprised 54sqm of marquees strung together on the fence-line.

As usual the championship consisted of three events, the Individual Time Trial, Scratch Race and Derby with points from each event going towards the overall championship.

The day started with the participation events. Indigo and all her peers proved that young riders can be competitive while still having fun with smiles all around. Participation events don’t allow for the publication of results to avoid being referred to as “races” but it was clear to everyone that Indigo was participating as fast as she could!

ATTA riders, Axel Jurd and Emma Blume kicked off the championship as they started the ITT on opposite sides of the track. Axel took a few seconds off recent training times and is ever so close to getting the lap in under a minute. Emma showed massive potential to move into the top five in her first championship event.

Hudson proved his potential with a demonstration of raw power to take bronze in the time trial. He had to be the unluckiest kid of the day with Murphy watching him closely in all three events. In the ITT, he was only 0.02 seconds behind silver. With 150m to go in the final lap of the scratch race, he clearly had more power to unleash but due to some unfavourable positioning he just didn’t have a clear run to safely get through the traffic. A touch of wheels in the derby denied him a spot on the podium and valuable overall points. His overall point-score had him on equal third points with two other riders, but with the count-back weighted on the ITT, he essentially missed out on a bronze championship medal by just 0.02 seconds. -Keep an eye on this kid next year.

The older Pappas girls both raced well to take third in every event and end up with an overall Bronze medal each. Alex’s time trial was a little over a second away from the overall winner. Sophie was down on recent training times but not too far behind the winner. Both girls raced tactically to ensure a spot in the derby final.

Both Victoria and Georgia achieved PBs in the ITT and managed to take fourth and fifth overall. It was great to watch Jono and Georgia on opposite sides of the track racing at the same time in the ITT. It was impossible to tell who hit the line first. Georgia’s effort to make it into her first derby final did not go unnoticed.

Zac managed a PB in the ITT and rode well in the scratch race with Tom S and the rest of the JM15 team. Both riders have been very quietly building on their performance.

Julia showed that her improvement at last Thursday night’s training wasn’t a one off. She managed to take seven seconds off her PB in the time trial, but it wasn’t enough against the older more experienced kids.

Grace pulled off consistent results with a PB in the ITT and taking fourth in each event, behind the older kids. Lauren also moved into a field of older kids but in her case, many of her competitors have already hit a big growth spurt.

Aliyah’s confidence is starting to show in her performance. She managed a PB and to take fourth overall.

Last but certainly not least, I have to make a special mention for the new guys to track. Indigo, Hudson, Emma, Kyle, Tom O and Max. All six riders started less than two months ago without ever having ridden a track bike. The three youngest have slotted right in without any surprises. We all know they are all strong riders with lots of potential.

Kyle, Tom and Max are also strong riders, but these three have entered into a sport where many of their competitors have seven to ten years experience. Hanging onto the back of the bunch for as long as you can is normally the goal at this level and its often difficult to achieve. -These guys didn’t just finish with the bunch, they made the bunch work. It was great to overhear riders from other clubs say “I can’t believe they’ve been riding for only six weeks”. All three riders finished with respectable ITT times, with Tom O managing to take bronze in JM15.

Congratulations to all riders. You have done JC very proud.

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About Stelio Pappas

Commuter, bike enthusiast, racer

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