After his good results in Port and club champs, Josh was ready and keen. The first stage was a fast and furious 12km road race. All 12 U13s came in together for a fast bunch sprint, and Josh impressed us all by winning by half a bike length. Much to his surprise he was then presented with the leader's yellow jersey - and you couldn't wipe the smile off his face.
In the criterium, Josh decided he wanted to win in style and launched a big attack on the 5th lap. The others were having none of it though, and he was reeled in by the end of the lap. One of the Sydney boys proved a better tactician, jumping clear of the bunch just before the final corner. Josh chased hard, and managed a safe 2nd place to hold his yellow jersey
By the start of the road race the rain was falling steadily and it was very cold. Josh's revised plan was to burst out the blocks and ride it like a time trial - that way he would stay warm and stay out of trouble. It almost worked, as the rest of the bunch were taken by surprise, but they managed to reel him in before the turnaround where disaster struck. He went into the turn too fast and fell heavily. By the time he got to his feet, the bunch had taken off and one of the marshals was telling him they would drive him back in the car. No way! He jumped on his bike (with bent shifter), and took off again in hot pursuit. He quickly caught the bunch and again rode to the front and stayed there finishing 3rd in another bunch sprint.
Feeling pretty confident that he had retained the jersey, disaster struck again. The marshals were directing cars to turn right at the next intersection, and thinking he had to turn as well, Josh tangled handlebars with another rider and hit the tarmac again! This one really hurt as he was going pretty fast, and the bike was looking pretty mangled.
15 minutes later though, with the wounds all treated, and the confirmation that he had indeed won by 5 points, the smile was back on his face. He got to keep his yellow jersey, and won $80, so he definitely wants to come back next year.
Guy was keen to race, but with his lack of experience wasn't planning to take any risks. Starting on the back of the pack in the opening road race meant he soon lost touch with the lead riders, but managed to stay with the chase group and finished in a respectable 8th place.
The criterium started very fast, and before long there was a lead group of 5 riders with everyone else strung out riding solo. At this point Guy was second last. Rather than give up, he put his head down and time trialled as hard as he could, almost lapping at the same speed as the leaders. By the bell lap he had picked up all of the chasers bar one, but then it all went pear shaped. One of the commissaries called out for the chase group to stay left (to give the leaders a clear track), and Guy thought they were telling him to get off the track - so that's what he did! So all his hard work went out the window.
Like Josh, he decided the best way to battle the cold in the final road race was to go hard, so he moved to the front and started doing turns with the leaders. Much to his surprise, he found it actually was easier than rubber-banding off the back, so instead of being dropped on the first hill, this time he managed to stay in the lead group until about 1km from the finish. At that point someone put in a big attack and he couldn't close the gap, but still finished not far behind in 6th. He was very happy with this result and is now starting to feel a bit more confident.