Riley powers to victory in junior club championship
MANY teenagers could learn a valuable lesson off Hervey Bay's Riley Justins.
The 14-year-old cyclist, in just his second road race, surged to victory in Maryborough on Saturday to be crowned Fraser Coast Cycling Club's first junior club champion in almost three decades.
His rapid rise is all the more remarkable given he used to spend his Saturday afternoons glued to the television and an XBOX controller in his hand.
"I played it so much ... every day when I got home from school and when I got up in morning before school, I was always on it," Justins said, explaining his video game addiction.
"It was having an impact on my marks at school and my life.
"Four months ago I threw it (XBOX) in the bin, literally.
"A month later I asked my parents for a bike."
Coincidentally, Justins won the 15km junior club championship race ahead of good friend Jordan King, who urged him to try his hand at cycling.
The Xavier Catholic College student showed devastating speed in the sprint to the finish line as he blazed away from the 15-strong group.
"I came over the top of the hill waiting for a shadow to come past, but I never saw one," Justins said.
"I just kept going and couldn't believe it when I got over the finish line.
"It felt great, especially because it was only my second race and just happened to be the junior championship."
While we don't know if Justins' maiden win on Saturday is a sign of what's to come, the affable teenager had a message for other couch potatoes considering trying a sport.
"Just give it a go," he said.
"You never know how good you could be unless you try."
Fraser Coast Cycling Club president Scott Gilmour said Justins was a shining example of the bright talent coming through the club's ranks.
"All the juniors did very well," he said.
"We've got some powerful kids here and they showed some of their potential."
Results from Fraser Coast Cycling Club junior club championship
Under-15: 1st Riley Justins, 2nd Jordan King, 3rd Tom Hodge.
Under-12: 1st Emily King, 2nd Meg Hodge.
Under-10: 1st Harry King.