LOCAL cyclist Chris Powell, 18, has great expectations for the Wagga Cycle Classic on Saturday.
The state road medalist and two-time state track medalist will start in the third bunch from scratch.
“I’m hoping I can get in a small break-away and be the first one across the line,” he said.
His plans are ambitious, considering he’s pitted against current scratch world champion Chris Law and 2010 Australian Supersport champion Troy Herfoss.
Fellow Wagga cyclist Sophie McKay said Powell could be pleasantly surprised.
“One of the best things about the Wagga Cycle Classic is that it’s a handicap, and that opens it up to everyone, whether you’ve only done a couple of races or if you’ve raced literally for Australia,” McKay said.
This year’s course change has instilled Powell with confidence.
“I think I have a better chance of winning the road race, I fancy myself a bit more of a climber rather than a sprinter because of my slight build,” he said.
In his early teens following a series of injuries on the football field, Powell decided to choose a sport more suited to his body type.
“I got a bit sick of playing football, everyone else grew and I didn’t,” he laughed.
Cycling has been just as dangerous, but more rewarding for Powell.
“I’ve had quite a few quite good stacks,” Powell said.
Powell has a mental hurdle to overcome as he readies himself for the criterium event on Sunday.
The race takes place at the Victory Memorial Gardens in Wagga where he experienced his most recent serious crash at a national criterium event in 2013.
“This Sunday will be me trying to get over that crash again, I hope I can have a good race and not let the nerve get to me again,” Powell said.
His training regime has been disrupted due to sickness and a minor injury.
However he’s on the mend, and after tracing out the course last Sunday he’s optimistic about his chances at the Wagga Classic.
“It felt pretty good so hopefully I can carry that form into the race this weekend,” he said.
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