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Castles puts hammer down to win Oceania keirin title

Adelaide Super-Drome became the latest scene on Saturday night for Bunbartha track cyclist Jay Castles to display his extraordinary talent.

MARC MCGOWAN December 4, 2012 4:15am

Bunbartha cyclist Jay Castles can now call himself an Oceania champion.

Adelaide Super-Drome became the latest scene on Saturday night for Bunbartha track cyclist Jay Castles to display his extraordinary talent.

The 16-year-old multiple state champion won the biggest title of his burgeoning career in the under-19 keirin event at the Oceania Track Championships.

Castles said it was good to see some reward for his hard work in training.

‘‘I was stoked when I found out I was in the final, because that was my goal and anything else was a bonus,’’ Castles said.

‘‘It’s not usually (my best event), but I’ve ridden some really good keirins before and a lot of it was luck.

‘‘I nearly got disqualified in the first heat because they thought we were (illegally) using team work, but it’s a lottery with keirins.’’

Castles incredibly failed to qualify from his heat and had removed his racing wheels before learning every rider had a second chance in a repechage.

The Wanganui Park Secondary College student won his repechage against three New Zealand opponents before booking one of the six spots in the final with a third placing in his semi-final.

Castles took matters into his own hands in the final.

He positioned himself behind the motorbike pacer and maintained that spot, despite separate attacks from New Zealand riders.

‘‘My coach Hilton (Clarke) said to only get the bike (position) if I thought I could go two-and-a-half (laps) out,’’ he said.

‘‘I didn’t think I could, but I got the bike, anyway, and someone tried to come around us when the bike pulled off with two-and-a-half laps to go, but I kicked with them and held my position.

‘‘Then they rang the bell with one lap to go and I kicked as hard as I could and held (runner-up Jeremy Presbury) on my hip.

‘‘He was about halfway around me going into the last turn, but I kicked again and brought him back beside me and had the shorter run to the straight and ended up getting there.’’

Castles also ranked 12th in the men’s under-19 sprint, eighth in the 1km time trial and fourth with the all-Victorian team in the team sprint.

His attention turns to this weekend’s Victorian Open Track Championships and he has designs on a sprint-keirin double.

The keirin won’t be until the following weekend.

Castles thanked his father Jim and grandfather Charlie, who drives him to Melbourne for training twice a week, and his coaches Hilton Clarke and Carl Brewer.

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