Just seconds off the world title
MARYBOROUGH'S Jay McCarthy is already the best road race cyclist in Australia and Queensland in his under19 age group.
The 17-year-old was just three seconds away from being crowned the best in the world in Italy.
A member of the Fraser Coast Cycling Club, McCarthy won a silver medal while representing Australia in the UCI Junior Road World Championships in Offida.
Frenchman Olivier Le Gac held off the fast-finishing former Aldridge State High School student to win the 128km race in a time of 3:32:05.
The silver medal went some way in helping McCarthy overcome his disappointment from what happened in the time trial race a couple of days earlier.
He had looked certain to finish the event on the podium before disaster struck.
McCarthy literally crashed out of contention after hitting an official event motorbike which had stopped in the middle of a corner in front of him leaving him nowhere to go.
Although the world titles didn't always go to plan, McCarthy, who is based in Brisbane to allow him to train with the Queensland Academy of Sport, has enjoyed plenty of success in his Italian stint.
Before racing in Offida, McCarthy had cleaned up in the under-19 division of the Tour of Bergamo, winning the overall title as well as the King of the Mountain and sprint champion's jerseys.
While he missed out on winning a world title in Italy, McCarthy will soon have another crack at achieving it.
He'll represent Australia in the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore next week.
Not surprisingly, McCarthy said he's feeling pretty good about life right now.
“Finishing second in the world has a lot to do with that,” he laughed.
“I cannot believe it to be honest and it's still sinking in.
“I keep looking at the medal to make sure I'm not dreaming.”