TAMWORTH’S Tori and Jess Saunders battled wind and rain and the best young cyclists in Australia but came away with some medals for their trouble last weekend.
14-year-old Tori is now the national under 15s time trial champion after winning gold in Canberra on last Friday and she and 13-year-old sister Jess also took bronze in other events.
They both ride in the under 15s age group and found the conditions for the time trial tough, but Tori still came out fastest.
“On the way out it was really difficult because it was windy and cold and raining,” she said.
“There were four seconds between me and second place.”
Jess finished 16th.
In the road race Tori was in the mix again.
This time she had her NSW teammates around her but had to battle hard after an early breakaway.
“It was difficult because we had to do two laps of the same course and there were so many it was hard to get to the front,” Tori said.
“After the first corner the Victorian girls attacked and that formed a break.
“We all came back together but then two more slipped off the front and it was a sprint for third.”
She was too quick in the sprint and grabbed bronze.
Jess was 16th again.
But in the criterium the tables turned as the younger sister stepped up to take bronze.
Tori had bike trouble but still helped slow the pace of the big group, which allowed Jess to hang in till the finish and surge to the line.
It was her first national road medal while Tori added her two to the two bronzes she won last year.
In three weeks the Oxley High students are off to New Zealand for more racing.
That includes a three-day tour and two track meets in and around Invercargill.
Tori made the same trip last year but this is Jess’s first competition across the Tasman.
Upon their return they go straight into the national junior track series, which will take them all around Australia.
Tori will step up to under 17s for that series.
The girls are also good track riders and for now they are happy to tackle both forms of the sport.
“I’m better on the road but I still like to do track because it helps me on the road,” Tori said.