Gympie cyclist wins international race stage
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 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 a 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.”
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Groves swapped the motorbike for the road bike just over two years ago and is currently the Australian under-19 road racing champion and is known for being a muscular, powerful cyclist.
"It comes from track cycling and the gym,” he explained to Cyclingnews.
"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.