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Castles races way to bronze at championships

Bunbartha cycling prodigy Jay Castles earned himself a couple of days rest with another state medal at the Victorian Track Championships in Melbourne on Sunday.

MARC MCGOWAN December 11, 2012 4:20am

Jay Castles was on the podium again at the Victorian Track Championships on Sunday.


Bunbartha cycling prodigy Jay Castles earned himself a couple of days rest with another state medal at the Victorian Track Championships in Melbourne on Sunday.

Castles, 16, was back competing just a week after his breakthrough Oceania keirin title in South Australia.

This time the Shepparton Cycling Club member contested the sprint against a bumper under-19 men’s field.

Castles set a new personal-best time of 11.1sec — bettering his previous slickest effort of 11.18 — in qualifying before the ACT’s Tom Clarke knocked him out in the semi-finals.

Colac 17-year-old Zac Shaw, this year’s junior world champion in the 1km time trial, ultimately beat Clarke in the final to win the Victorian title.

Castles claimed the bronze medal with consecutive heat wins against Bendigo’s Braeden Dean.

‘‘I’m really happy. I did some of the best races I’ve ever done against Tom and came close to beating him a couple of times,’’ Castles said.

‘‘We nearly crashed in the second heat, but we didn’t protest because it was both our fault.

‘‘My main goal was to get in the state team and I’ve done that.’’

Castles said the atmosphere at Victorian Track Championships failed to match the Oceania Track Championships.

‘‘There was hardly anyone there compared to the Oceanias and it didn’t feel like a state championships — it was really relaxed,’’ he said.

‘‘I had come from this really big high at the Oceanias with heaps of people, then came back and there were 12 people entered for the sprint.

‘‘It was a bit (hard at first), but after the first qualifying and heat it was all right.’’

Castles said a sub-11sec time in the sprint was possible in the near future.

‘‘I will be going up a gear soon, so I’m hoping to go under 11 then, but when you go up a gear you need to be able to push it and keep your old speed, so I’ll have to get used to it,’’ he said.

‘‘I’ll have a few days off the bike now, because I’m pretty tired from the Oceanias and states.’’

Castles will contest the keirin on Saturday when the Victorian Track Championships continues.

He thanked his sponsors, including Scott Peoples Foundation, for their support.

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