Eddie Willis says he is starting to get used to the national champion tag.
Just over three years after taking up the sport, the Tamworth teenager won the under-15 boys Cross-Country Short Course (XCC) event at the National Championships held in Bright, Victoria earlier this month.
In a strong performance overall, Willis just missed out on the double, finishing second in the Cross-Country Olympic (XCO) race.
That had been Willis' main focus but he - by his own admission - didn't put together his best long course race. Strength wise he said he felt good, but tactically he probably didn't race as well, and mentally he wasn't in as good a frame of mind as he was for the short course.
"Before the long course I what was sort of worrying me was how many other competitors are there going to be, how well am I going to go? But after racing the long course, I knew who there was so mentally I felt more comfortable," he said.
"I was ready to go out and beat them all."
The race was 15 minutes, plus two laps and turned into a battle between Willis and his nemesis from the long course the previous day - Harry Doye. Jumping virtually straight to the front, by the end of the first lap the pair had put probably three seconds on the field, Willis said.
"He sat on the front for me the whole time," he said.
"Everyone was telling him don't sit on the front, don't sit on the front let the other person do some work and he just did not pull over. So I was happy to sit there and then with two laps to go I came round him, and put a big effort in just to try and hold him off for the last lap."
The 14-year-old spoke of feeling a bit of disbelief when he crossed the finish line, arms raised in the air.
"Once I crossed the line I was like did that really just happen?," he said.
"It was a shock but really good (feeling)."
It was the culmination of probably four-five months of really hard work - a lot of short, sharp two, five or 10 minute intervals, "just trying to get that burst".
Willis said he would have been at the track five days a week. Quite a competitive swimmer before, as he put it, he "found a bike and jumped on it and forgot about swimming", he also integrated in a couple of swimming sessions.
In Year 8 at Oxley High, it was his second year racing at the nationals. Finishing sixth and seventh, Willis said his performance motivated him to knuckle down and try and get on the podium this year.
Unfortunately now all he can really do is train with the coronavirus crisis meaning there is no racing for the foreseeable future.
But Willis isn't too perturbed.
"I just like riding a bike, I don't need to race," he said.
"I can just go out and train, have some fun now."
He is looking forward to the virtual racing the Tamworth Mountain Bikers is trialling.
It will bring a bit of a different dynamic. It is you against the clock.
"That's probably going to be the biggest difference," Willis said.
"There's going to be no one around you, there's going to be no one to chase it's just going to be you're chasing you're own time which you can't see physically."
Club-mates Justin Roberts, Steve Roberts and Nick Chisholm also competed in Bright.
Steve Roberts in his first race in the under-23s division and with not a lot of preparation behind him,just missed the podium in the short course finishing fifth and was ninth in the long course.
Younger brother Justin, racing in the under-17s, was 23rd in the short course and 26th in the long course, while Nick Chisholm, after battling illness in the lead-up, raced bravely in the downhill to come in 27th in the junior men.