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Castles shows class to bag silver

Gifted Bunbartha track cyclist Jay Castles has even greater things to look forward to in the wake of his silver medal in the state under-19 keirin event on Saturday.

MARC MCGOWAN December 18, 2012 4:10am

Gifted Bunbartha track cyclist Jay Castles has even greater things to look forward to in the wake of his silver medal in the state under-19 keirin event on Saturday.

The keirin is the same discipline Castles, 16, won the Oceania under-19 crown in two weeks ago in South Australia.

Castles won his heat to qualify for the final and took his trademark position in the final behind the motorbike pacer before Colac’s Zac Shaw shot to the front with one-and-a-half laps to go.

The Shepparton Cycling Club member initially let Shaw go then launched a finishing burst that brought him almost alongside his rival rider in the final straight.

Shaw is the reigning under-19 world 1km time trial champion and bronze medallist in the sprint and also holds the team sprint world record along with Jacob Schmidt and Emerson Harwood.

‘‘I’m really happy. I don’t think I could have done much better with Zac there,’’ Castles said.

‘‘I got about halfway around him and then couldn’t do anything else.

‘‘I was just happy I came so close to passing him. I didn’t think I’d even start coming around him, but I did.’’

Castles can still compete in the under-19 age group next year, whereas Shaw will progress to elite men at that stage.

A third Victorian, John Cochrane, finished third, ahead of ACT rising star Tom Clarke, who beat Castles in the sprint at the previous weekend’s Victorian Track Championships.

Castles will represent Victoria at the national championships next month and said the next six weeks before that would be some of the toughest training he has done.

‘‘I have six weeks until nationals, so the training will be pretty full on,’’ he said.

‘‘It will just be more of what we’re doing now, but longer sessions and, hopefully, that pays off.’’

The Wanganui Park Secondary College student has finished school for the year and said the extra sleep would aid his recovery between training sessions.

Castles thanked his support team.

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