A TRIO of Echuca-Moama cyclists took on the nation’s best at the weekend’s Road Nationals in Ballarat.
Leading the way was Samual Eddy, the youngster producing a stellar ride in the under 19 time trial to finish 13th overall.
Eddy finished the 21.6km time trial course in 31:33, just on two minutes back from winner Luke Plapp who finished in 29:32.
Echuca-Moama Cycling Club’s Chase Costello-Manning also competed in the event, finishing in 38th position, 5:28 behind the winner.
EMCC teammate Kayden Jeffreys, in the under 23 class, ran 40th in the time trial, but didn’t complete the 92.8km road race.
The under 19 duo rode together in the closing stages of Saturday’s 69.6km road race, Eddy finishing 17th with Costello-Manning right behind him in 18th.
Eddy, just 16 years old, was pleased with his time trial performance.
‘‘The course was well suited to me. I had a goal of top 10 and would’ve been ecstatic with a top five,’’ he said.
‘‘I had mechanical trouble with a seat issue from the three-kilometre mark for the rest of the race.
‘‘I lost anywhere between 20 and 40 seconds, but was still happy with 13th, just outside the top 10 and the second-placed bottom-age rider.’’
The road race, around the tough Mount Buninyong circuit, was a similarly strong showing from Eddy.
‘‘I was involved in an early crash, a five-man pile-up in the first 500m and I later found out I’d hurt my back,’’ he said. ‘‘With three laps to go me and Zach Johnson of Tasmania attempted to bridge across the leaders who went on to win the race, but we were quickly chased down.
‘‘After four kilometres on the next lap I lost contact with the main peloton on Mount Buninyong and worked with Chase to minimise our losses over the last two laps to secure first and second bottom-age riders.’’
With another two years to come at the under 19 level, Eddy said the weekend left him in a strong position to attack the rest of the season.
‘‘I’m pretty happy with my results but I know I’ve got more to give,’’ he said.
‘‘The Nationals have given me a good building block for the season ahead, I got to rub shoulders in the peloton with guys who have raced at the World Championships and guys who are already well-known figures around the National Road Series.
‘‘It was a really good to get that experience so early in the long road season.’’