Junior Dillon Geary turned what his parents suspected might be a phase into a gold medal at the SA National Track Championships, which is taking place at the Bellville Velodrome in Cape Town this week.
Geary, who was sponsored half a bicycle by his unconvinced parents when he started out as an 11-year-old, said his objective going into the champs was merely to be “competitive” and that the gold medal in the points race came totally unexpected.
His strategy, he explained, was to start fast in search of banker points and it worked when he grabbed some as early as the second sprint.
As the race developed, he went off the front with a small group and then on his own after establishing a small gap to his fellow escapees after an intermediate sprint.
His effort paid off when he lapped the main bunch eight laps later to help himself to 20 valuable points.
During the last few laps, his focus was to police all the moves with an eye on keeping the race together until the final sprint, which carried double points. His plan worked when he won the gallop to the line to seal victory.
The 16-year-old explained that his ambition had always been to be a serious contender among his peers and that he had to work hard on his physique to be more competitive.
Having shed some excess weight, the CyclingBox rider found that he could be part of the racing rather than just trying to hold on.
“I always have small goals that I work towards to reach my main goals,” he said, with selection for the Junior Track Cycling World Championships top-of-mind.