An added bonus for winners of the junior races at the Launceston Cycling Festival was getting to receive their medals from two Olympians.
South Australia’s multiple track world champion Alex Edmondson and Hobart’s Scott Bowden, who contested both road cycling and mountain biking in Rio de Janeiro, not only presented the awards but staged a question and answer session with all the juniors.
“It’s awesome to see them here encouraging young riders to come through,” said Exeter’s Catelyn Turner, who won the under-17 girls’ race for the second year running.
“We got to interview them and find out what it’s like to be an elite cyclist which is what I really want to be.”
The 15-year-old led home Amy Wright, of Launceston, and Meg Lamplugh, of Mersey Valley.
“It was a tough course but I enjoyed climbing the hill. It’s a really important race for me so great to win.”
With all junior races contested over 15 minutes plus two laps, Burnie’s Lachlan Spurr headed a North-West podium in the under-17 boys from Jack Menzies, of Mersey Valley, and Burnie’s Dalton Stretton.
Hamish McKenzie won the under-15 boys from his Launceston City Cycling Club teammates Samuel McKee and Ethan Hubbard.
“That was really hard, but I’ve been practising on the hills,” said the 13-year-old St Pat’s student.
“There was a really good crowd, much more than last year.”
Leith’s Eugenie O’Rourke won the girls’ race from Launceston duo Zoe Wright and Naomi Clark.
The perils of the course again dominated proceedings in the masters races.
A year after crashing on the peanut roundabout with victory in sight, multi-sport specialist Mark Padgett lasted the extra 50 metres to claim the win.
“That’s redemption for last year when I dumped myself on the final corner,” said the 39-year-old Launceston College teacher who led home Launceston under-19 Henley James-Smith and Hobart veteran Jim Avens.
“Coming up the hill that last time I thought it would be so embarrassing if I did it two years in a row so it was good to get there.”
However, the peanut allergy struck again in the B-grade race as Heath Bracey and Scott Murchison both fell on the final corner allowing Launceston’s Colin Locke to take the win from Mike Walsh and Nelson Clark.
Australian teammates at this year’s mountain bike world championships, Cam Ivory and Tristan Ward used their climbing experience to reach the final of the inaugural uphill Lawrence Street head-to-head duel.
Ivory completed a successful week by adding the title to his victory in the prologue of the Tour of Tasmania just across the CBD.