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Gympie cy­clist claims first in­ter­na­tional race stage win

The Gympie Times - - SPORT - Rowan Schindler rowan.schindler@gympi­etimes.com

GYMPIE’S cy­cling phe­nom­e­non Kaden Groves has taken out his first in­ter­na­tional stage win at the Tour of Fuzhou in China last week.

It is the 18-year-old’s first vic­tory in a Union Cy­cliste In­ter­na­tionale event and he out paced the first two stage win­ners, Latvia’s Maris Bog­danovics and Ukrainian Mykhaylo Kononenko.

Groves races for St-Ge­orge con­ti­nen­tal under Brett Dut­ton, an Olympic medal­list and well known face in in­ter­na­tional cy­cling cir­cles.

“Af­ter yes­ter­day, I was su­per keen to have an­other sprint stage,” Groves told Cy­clingnews af­ter his win.

“I had to be in the right po­si­tion. I can’t thank my team­mates enough for get­ting me there.

“When I saw yes­ter­day’s win­ner in the green jer­sey and the yel­low jer­sey from Kolss, I knew they were the wheels to fol­low.

“I got out at about 200 me­tres to go, which is what I like to do.”

Groves swapped the mo­tor­bike for the road bike just over two years ago and is the cur­rent Aus­tralian under-19 road rac­ing cham­pion. He is known for be­ing a mus­cu­lar, pow­er­ful cy­clist.

“It comes from track cy­cling and the gym,” he said.

“On the track I ride the team pur­suit for the Queens­land team with (in­di­vid­ual world cham­pion) Jor­dan Kirby.

“I like to think that I have a fu­ture in both track and road cy­cling but at the mo­ment, I’m re­ally en­joy­ing the road. I aim at tak­ing part in big­ger races.”

Bog­danovics told Cy­clingnews of his loss to the “amaz­ing ex­plo­siv­ity of the young Aus­tralian”, and noted his own un­der­es­ti­ma­tion of a head­wind.

“He came out of my wheel very fast,” the Lat­vian noted.

“I lost by half of a wheel. I didn’t ex­pect the head­wind but sec­ond is not a bad re­sult.”

Groves’ performance saw him punch above his age, but the teenager has his feet firmly on the ground af­ter be­ing out­paced over­all with a fi­nal po­si­tion of 41st out of 112, 8:56sec be­hind first place.

The Tour of Fuzhou was won over­all by fel­low Aus­tralian 21-year-old Jai Hind­ley with a time of 14:18:33.

PHOTO: MAL KEEBLE

RIS­ING STAR: Gympie’s Kaden Groves claimed first in­ter­na­tional stage win at the Tour of Fuzhou in China last week.

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