After previously competing in the under 23 category, Mudgee-born cyclist Ayden Toovey tackled the elite men category for the first time as he competed in three events through the Ballarat Road Nationals.
“There are a lot of good riders in the under 23s but they’re all up and coming,” Toovey said.
“In the elites, a lot of them are already established professionals who are on the paid circuit and do it for a living.”
The 22-year-old participated in the road race, criterium and time trial throughout the five day event, clocking a road race time that was 3 minutes 39 seconds slower than Australian Olympian Alex Edmondson who won the event.
“It’s a pretty demanding course,” he said.
“There were Tour De France competitors on the circuit so it made for a challenging day.
“I hung in there until the last lap but ran out of legs.”
The main race was 185km and took Toovey just under 5 hours to complete.
Out of 150-odd starting riders, less than 50 finished which speaks to the grueling nature of the ride.
Ayden is part of the Bennelong Swisswellness cycling team which has members from Melbourne and Tasmania – to name a few locations.
It’s his first year with the team and he’s got a full plate of cycling around the corner including a potential trip across the ditch to the New Zealand Cycle Classic.
“The team will get announced soon so I’ve got to sit tight and see if I’ve made the selection criteria for that.”