Annie Yeo's not your average eight-year-old.
Softly spoken but fiercely competitive, Yeo completed a clean sweep of the under 9s girls' division at the NSW State Cycling Championships last weekend.
"I felt really proud," Yeo said.
Her efforts headed the Orange Cycle Club's impressive medal haul at Wantabadgery, outside Wagga Wagga.
The club's finest juniors competed in the road race and individual time trial, while the under 15s and under 17s classes added the team time trial to their list of races in 2020.
In the 30 kilometre under 15s boys' road race, Xavier Bland and Cam Crump took field of 30 riders on a course with a final climb known by the locals as "The Widow Maker".
As expected, the race exploded at the base of the climb, with a solo rider off the front. Bland crested with the chase group, closely followed by Crump.
The escapee was quickly reeled in and a select group charged at the line at speeds in excess of 60km/h.
I thought I was going to get around third or fourth, but very happy to get a first. It's my first in a while.Xavier Bland on his road race win
In a hotly contested sprint finish Bland got his nose in front by half a wheel to take gold with Crump finishing 18th, less than a minute behind.
It was a gold medal Bland wasn't banking on.
"I thought I was going to get around third or fourth, but very happy to get a first. It's my first in a while," he added.
In the under 17s boys', Luke Tuckwell claimed silver in the 14km time trial and backed up the following day with fellow Orange rider, Ben Anderson, both of whom ride for the Rawland Development Team, for two laps of the under 15s course.
Tuckwell lit up the race with an attack on the first climb of The Widow Maker, resulting a select group at the front of the race. Anderson rode smart and kept his nose out of the wind and had the legs at the end to collect silver in another sprint finish, with Tuckwell just a few meters behind.
Anderson's silver is particularly significant given he is a first year of under 17s and is a year younger than many of the other riders.
Of the other OCC riders, Billy Yeo (under 11s) and Lachlan Crump (under 13s) also flew the Orange flag with Patrick Crump (under 17s) failing to heal in time after a crash two weeks earlier.
"It was a great carnival, with all the kids riding really well," Orange Cycle Club Secretary, Mitchell Bland, said.
With the National Championships, originally scheduled for November 21 and 22 cancelled because of COVID-19, attention now switches to the velodrome and criterium track where Orange Cycle Club are hosting weekly racing on Tuesday and Thursday nights.
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