The flat surrounds of Echuca-Moama do not immediately jump out as the ideal training ground for mountain cycling, but try telling Patrick Eddy that.
The rising star ventured to the Junior Mountain Climb National Championships at Mt Buffalo at the weekend, picking up three bronze medals across the two days.
Eddy raced in the under 15 men’s individual time trial as well as the road race, and was also judged third in the general classification (Alp de Buffalo) at the end of the weekend. He was beaten by the same two boys from Queensland in each of his events.
After coming off a successful track season, Eddy said it was good to kick off the road season with some strong results.
‘‘It was a lot of fun, I was really happy with my result,’’ he said.
‘‘I was hoping to get top five, so to get any medal was pretty awesome especially in the road race.
‘‘I chased down the guy in front of me right at the end of the race and just pipped him towards the end to get the bronze so that was good.’’
Eddy said he preferred time trial racing, but was at a loss to explain why he was so good on the mountains when he trains almost exclusively on the local flat roads.
‘‘I get better results in the time trials so I probably like those a bit more,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s hard to train for hills around here, but I actually think I ride better on the hills than flats which is a bit weird.
‘‘Maybe it’s because I’m pretty light weight so the hills aren’t as bad.
‘‘We go to Euroa and Bright to train on hills, so that training is a lot tougher. You use different muscles when you climb, position yourself differently on the bike so it puts a fair strain on your body.
‘‘My back gets pretty sore sometimes, but it’s all worth it after the weekend.’’
The weekend was the start of the road racing season, with Eddy’s next challenge the Victorian Country Road Championships at Harcourt in a fortnight.
Three other riders from the twin towns also competed over the weekend, with Patrick’s older brother Samual finishing 29th overall in the under 17 men’s class, Chase Costello-Manning (26th in under 17 men’s) and Edie Hayley (13th in under 17 women’s).