LAUNCESTON teenager Hamish Youl lived up to his pre-carnivals pledge ``to be competitive'' by claiming victory in Australia's richest wheelrace.
The 16-year-old has only been riding for just over a year and was contesting just his second carnivals series, but 12 months after winning the 1000-metre handicap at Devonport Oval he claimed the venue's biggest prize of $6500.
``I'm over the moon,'' said Youl, who clocked 3:19.28.
``I've never been to something so big and this is my first major break.
``I've never raced against guys of this calibre but they are truly inspirational.
``This is so exciting to think about and hopefully it's the start of something big.''
Youl was a student at Launceston Church Grammar School when he applied to join the Tasmanian Institute of Sport's national talent identification development squad.
Initially rejected, he tried again, was picked up under coach Ron Bryan and his cycling career took off.
Riding off 270 metres in the 3000m race with the support of fellow Tasmanian front markers Andrew Loft and Mitchell Hoare, Youl was up against a formidable field including world champion scratchmen Jack Bobridge and Franco Marvulli.
But despite some organised riding from the back markers, Bobridge's charge fell just short, the South Australian finishing second with West Australian Patrick Jones third.
Youl hails from rich sporting stock.
His mother Audrey (Moore) made the 1984 Olympic swimming team plus two Commonwealth Games, winning the bronze medal in the 100m backstroke in 1982, father Andrew was a leading Tasmanian tennis player, uncle Simon won the junior doubles at the French, US and Wimbledon championships and grandfather John was a motor racing champion and founder of Symmons Plains circuit.