Liam Edwards’ hopes of gaining Australian under-19 cycling selection will go on the line in Geelong this weekend.
The Shepparton Cycling Club rising star is in good form of late, but knows tomorrow is the time he must shine in order to put his name forward as a true contender.
‘‘This is probably the biggest race of the season for me. I probably have to get in the top three or four to be a chance for national selection,’’ Edwards said.
‘‘If I’m going to get noticed, it probably has to be this one, so there’s a lot riding on this race.’’
After winning gold in the 80km under-19 Victorian Country Championship, Edwards has placed 13th and second in consecutive open men’s A-grade events.
Edwards, 17, will relish the return to his own age group in a 113km road race tomorrow before tackling the criterium event on Sunday.
‘‘It’s definitely different racing against men and then back in my own age group,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m feeling pretty good and I think my form’s been pretty good, so hopefully I can stay up thereabouts.’’
With the profile of the road race more hilly than flat, an area Edwards excels in, the young star hopes luck will be on his side.
‘‘I’ll have to be aggressive and try to stay at the front and hopefully luck will go my way,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s a hard course really, we’ll be climbing all day, so it will only be a small bunch at the finish.
‘‘So hopefully I’m in that front group so I can try to go for the win, but we’ll see how we go.’’
An individual time trial will be on today, but with Edwards also juggling Year 12 commitments he will have to give that classification a miss.
‘‘I’ve got exams (today), so I can’t go down early,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s probably not my best event anyway, so it isn’t too bad.’’
The road race begins at 12.30pm tomorrow, while the criterium, which Edwards described as ‘‘like a track race on road bikes’’, will be contested from 9.30am on Sunday.