The ups & downs from Dookie
The Shepparton Junior Tour was held on the weekend of 16th and 17th June in the delightful township of Dookie. Seven Brunswick juniors braved the wintery conditions to compete with over 150 other kids, a number who had travelled from NSW and South Australia for this two-day/three-stage tour on the rolling course used last year for the National Junior Road Championships.
In the JG13′s Sarah Gigante suited up and managed to stand on every step of the podium with a 3rd in the first road race, second in the time trial and then managing to win the last road stage! Sarah finished second overall, just 10-points out of first place. Great result!
In the JW15′s Ruby and Emily were representing the club in a competitive field of 13 girls. Ruby, racing in her first Junior Tour of the year, after missing Ararat through illness, started things with a hard fought win – even managing to stop and put her chain back on over the closing kilometres before taking a solo win. Emily made it a Brunswick 1-2 winning the sprint for second. In the ITT, Ruby was in a class of her own, wining over the 8km course by over a minute! Emily rode strongly for third to be sitting second to Ruby on GC after the first day. The final day’s road race was marred with incident. Ruby lost her chain again, then when she was fixing it, was run into by the JW17 field with the medics not letting her continue and finish. Emily also suffered bad luck being held up behind bunches giving some of the other girls a chance to get back on. Emily finished fourth in the sprint, which saw her drop to third overall. Despite a DNF on the last stage, Ruby finished second overall, just 5-points out of the win!
In the JM15′s, Ryan and Riley raced in the A-grade bunch. Some 17 boys started the first 24km out-and-back road race and despite repeated efforts by some of the stronger boys, the bunch stayed together for a 17-up kick. Coming off a sprint victory at the Metro’s Riley fancied his chances but just has was about the hit the front with 160m to go, his chain slipped off and he rolled across the line last! The upside being, Ryan ended up taking a strong sprint victory. The afternoon ITT, Ryan managed to hold his GC position with a great ride for 5th, with Riley succumbing to the tail end of his cold struggling to finish out of the points. Day two and the boys were ready to back up for a much tougher road race – two laps of the Dookie circuit, in reverse! After a first lap that averaged almost 36kmph, the elastic started to stretch on the longest hill of the second lap, still with some 15km to go. Ryan got away in a group of six, with Riley caught in no man’s land trying to chase back on with another boy. The six were setting a searing pace down the back of the course – rolling turns at 45kmph! When they hit a short but nasty hill, the six became four and unfortunately Ryan was one of the two out the back. The four leaders ended up passing a the JM17A group on their way to fighting out the finish. Ryan finished in the second group to take 7th, with the 20-points enough to secure him the third step on the podium. Riley finished in the third group but had down too much of the work to have anything left for the sprint for 9th.
Onto the JM17B’s and Liam Hood is continuing his come back and fast approaching the sort of form that saw him represent Victoria as an under-15 rider. His field sprinting was first class with clever positioning and dynamite execution giving him bookend wins in the two road races and his fitness level is continuing to improve meaning his 4th place in the ITT saw him take the overall GC win for JM17B. Welcome back Liam and congrats on a great result.
James Pane flies the flag for Brunswick in the blue ribband JM17A category. On a course that didn’t suit (not long or selective enough) James rode really well to finish the two road races in 5th and 8th in bunch sprints. Not a renown time trailer, James managed 11th (which will become 9th on the Junior Aggregate when the interstaters are removed) to take 8th on GC (moving up to sixth on for the Aggregate).
So all in all a pretty good effort with stage wins, overalls and podiums aplenty. Next stop Eildon on the second week of July. Before that, a number of the juniors will head to Canberra to contest arguably the strongest Junior Tour in the nation.