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Shepparton cyclist wins prestigious event

Shepparton Cycling Club member Indiana Michel has taken out this year's Fred Icke Memorial handicap race at Creswick.

MATTHEW GALEA June 4, 2014 3:39am

Indiana Michel


Indiana Michel may only be 17, but he has already accomplished something most cyclists won’t in their lifetime.

On Saturday, he won the 55th edition of the Fred Icke Memorial handicap race at Creswick at his first attempt.

‘‘Crossing that line was amazing, I was so excited,’’ Michel said.

‘‘Everyone had been talking about it before I’d done it and it’s something everyone wants to win once in their life.

‘‘To get your name on the honour roll is not something everyone gets to achieve and to have done it at 17 is awesome.’’

In what is his first season of road racing, Michel is turning heads.

Finishing in the top five of his past five races, including a win at the Bendigo Mount Alexander classic, Michel is delighted with how he is progressing.

‘‘I didn’t expect to be going as well as I have been, but it’s going pretty well,’’ Michel said.

The Shepparton Cycling Club member is coached by former Olympian and champion cyclist Steve Fairless, and the teenager is keen to keep improving.

At the moment, the pair’s focus is on Michel’s hill racing.

‘‘That’s what I struggle at the most, so Steve and I go out into the hills and just practice,’’ Michel said.

That practice paid off in Creswick and it was in a tight hill-sprint finish Michel took all the glory.

On the last of three laps of the 44km circuit, Michel put himself in prime position with 500m to go, but did not hit the front until there was 40m left.

He won by a cycle’s length, beating Ballarat’s Phil Orr in the process.

‘‘It was a hard, uphill sprint,’’ Michel said.

‘‘In the sprints there’s always a bit of contact because everyone is really close and I’m pretty small as a person.

‘‘All the other blokes were pretty big, but I just had to push through and just go for it.’’

Michel’s attention turns to the five-stage Bendigo Tour this weekend, where he will compete in B-grade.

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