CYCLING in Wagga in celebrating one of the city's greatest moments in the sport with two young riders sharing the podium in Australia's biggest race.
Cam Scott continued his successful switch to road racing with victory in the Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic on Saturday.
It a huge day for Wagga cycling, Tolland Cycling Club member Myles Stewart rode the race of his life to grab third place.
The Melbourne to Warrnambool is the second oldest one-day race in the world and the longest event in the Southern Hemisphere.
Scott, who started out in Wagga before moving to Sydney, was rapt to have claimed his first 'Warny'.
"It's pretty cool actually, being the longest and one of the oldest races in the world," Scott said.
"There's a bit of hype about it. It's a funny one, it's one of those races where you don't know what's going to happen. Tactically, so much can change from start to finish. But it still feels weird to say I've won the Warny, it's really good."
Stewart, who was back in work at Wagga on Monday, was still coming to terms with his result.
"It's awesome. I can't believe it still," Stewart said.
"It's one of the biggest and longest races in the world, basically, so it's pretty cool.
"It's unreal. I'm still over the moon about it."
Wagga cycling legend Barry O'Hagan likened the Melbourne to Warrnambool as cycling's version of the Melbourne Cup.
"It's the pinnacle of road racing in Australia," O'Hagan said.
"To have two Wagga riders on the podium is a huge result."
Scott and Stewart headed into the iconic race in good form on the back of a number of podium finishes in the Tour de Gippsland.
That provided Stewart with the confidence required to ride the race of his life on Saturday.
"Coming into it, in the Tour de Gippsland, I'd finished third in stage two and third in stage three so I knew I had some form leading into it," he said.
"So I had the form and the confidence to be up there, it was just going to be how the race panned out. Coming into the finish I was feeling awesome. I felt really good all day."
Stewart, 22, hopes the result can help catapult him to the next level.
"It's my biggest result. It gets my name out there and builds a lot of confidence to keep getting these results and build to the next level again," he said.
It is the same for Scott, 24, who heads to Europe in April where he hopes to continue his ascent in the world of road racing.
It was only December 2020 when his career was in doubt after suffering a fractured pelvis in a horrific race fall.
"My team goes to Europe in April and we'll do a big block of racing there. Hopefully I can carry some form and results into that," Scott said.
"Hopefully that can open up a few more opportunities with some bigger European teams and I can make a bit more of a career out of it."
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Scott was glad to do the city of Wagga proud, alongside Stewart.
"It was really cool to see Myles up on the podium," he said.
"The last three races he's been up alongside me on the podium but it was good to see another Wagga local up there.
"For me (Wagga is) where everything started. From my first day starting on a bike to my first state titles in under nines. All the club members, to the coach, Bob Robertson, made my time great."
Stewart said celebrating his achievement alongside Scott made the moment more special.
"I've known Cam since I basically started racing. It was awesome to get on the podium with someone I know, especally after what he's been through lately," he said.
Stewart's next assignment will be next month's Tolland Open.
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