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Echuca cyclists win gold and bronze

District riders brought home a gold and bronze in the Victorian Junior Track Championships.

LUKE MCMANUS December 12, 2013 4:04am

The pursuit team of Joel Priestly, Sam Lowndes and Lachlan McKenzie. Photo submitted


Future stars of Echuca-Moama Cycling Club put pedal to the metal at the Victorian Junior Track Championships in Melbourne last month, taking home a gold and bronze medal.

Joel Priestly, Lachlan McKenzie and Sam Lowndes prevailed in the J11 (under 11) team pursuit final, finishing six seconds ahead of Blackburn after the four-lap race, inside Thornbury’s Darebin International Sports Centre velodrome.

It was a dominant display from the trio which ultimately inspired Joel and Lachlan to regroup for the J11 team sprint, winning a closely contested bronze medal final by 1.24 seconds after the two-lap, 500m event.

The narrow victory was bittersweet however, stealing a spot on the podium away from Echuca-Moama teammates Sam and Hannah Thompson.

Preston took out the gold while Brunswick claimed the silver medal.

Team co-ordinator Gary Priestly said while he was disappointed for Sam and Hannah to not claim a medal as well, the performance and sportsmanship shown from both pairs was gratifying.

‘‘It was such a close final, well fought out and they can be all commended on the way they rode,’’ he said.

‘‘You could hardly separate the two teams. In qualifying there was just 0.43 seconds between them and just over a second separating us and second-placed Brunswick.

‘‘It was too bad they both couldn’t pick up a medal, but that’s track cycling.’’

The club’s two medals could have easily been more due to narrow defeats in the boys J13 and girls J17 team sprints.

Echuca-Moama duo William Mackenzie and Patrick Eddy missed out on a medal in the J13 team sprint, crossing the line 0.12 seconds behind Brunswick in the bronze medal final.

It was similar heartbreak for the J17 pairing of Charlotte Thompson and Edie Haley, pipped at the post (0.53 seconds) by Brunswick Purple.

While unlucky not to walk away with more medals, Priestly said the championship was a successful campaign for the junior squad, given the quality of opposition.

A total of 11 Echuca-Moama cyclists across the four age groups took part in the November 30 meet, a number which Priestly expects to increase by next year’s event due to growing interest in junior cycling at the club.

Further information can be found via the club’s website at www.echucamoamacyclingclub.com or phone treasurer Gary Priestly on 0419310616.

Luke McManus

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