TAMWORTH cycling prodigy Sam Spokes has the professional teams keeping a keen eye on him after another win in Europe.
He was already attracting interest from a top manager and one of the biggest French teams before he won a Belgium Classic race at Zillebeke last week and now he is likely to be even more sought after.
169 riders started the race which took in plenty of tough hills before finishing on a circuit around the town.
Spokes was part of the peloton for much of the race as it chased two lead groups.
He chose his moment to break away and chase the leaders and soon caught the second group of 10 and surged ahead in pursuit of the lead group of nine.
Once he had caught them, the second group also bridged the gap and the 20-strong pack stuck together until the race moved into the town circuit.
Spokes again decided to attack on a climb and built a lead of 35 seconds but still had nearly 20kms to ride.
The chasers cut that back to just 10 seconds before Spokes again moved clear on the same hill during the second lap of the circuit and reasserted a 35-second lead.
The pack chased hard but he held on to win by 15 seconds.
His next race is on August 21 in France, the GP des Marbriers, and he is also hoping to gain selection in an Australian team for the upcoming race.
Spokes has been in talks with a top manager, who manages 15 of the world’s elite riders, and has also caught the eye of two leading European teams.
Another Tamworthian, Mitch Carrington, is also midway through a three- month stint of racing in Belgium and France.
With up to four races each week, Carrington has now adapted to the European racing style and looks set to carry some good form for the remainder of his time in Belgium.
Locally, the Tamworth club is also doing well.
Tamworth was well represented at the Mark Dwyer Memorial 90km handicap race at Mudgee.
Scott Thompson’s 12th place finish in a time of 2 hours 22 minutes was the best of the Tamworth riders.
In the scratch race D grade event, Tamworth finished with a quinella as Darren Traill and Thompson finished one-two in the 40km race.
Joel Bartlett, Mick Sherwood and Ray Griffin rode in B grade, with Griffin the best placed in 16th in 2 hours 12 minutes.
That followed on from the Inverell Junior Two Day Tour where Tori Saunders won the women’s under 15 event.
She took out three of the four stages, the sprinters’ jersey and king of the mountains jersey to build on her NSW and national titles in both track and road events.
Meanwhile, club racing at Loomberah saw the club’s latest rising star Lewis Chapman dishing out the pain to a small field of riders. Chapman’s form is continuing to improve, as his recent sixth place in the NSW Country Road Championships proves.