Nicholas Smith hits his straps during the C2 race in Zonnebeke. Photo: Luc Van Der MeirenCYCLOCROSS
BUNDANOON teenager Nicholas Smith has impressed on the world cyclocross stage.
Smith, 17, recently represented Australia in the 2015 Cyclocross World Championships in Europe.
After a solid six months of training, Smith and the majority of the team headed over to Europe to begin their races.
The Aussie team’s first challenge was a C2 (category two) race in Zonnebeke, Belgium.
The C2 race was used as a warm-up event for the championships.
Smith rode well to take 14th place. The team then returned to Brussels for training throughout the week.
The next task was another course practise for the world cup in Hoogerhiede, The Netherlands.
After this race, participants undertook a 15-hour drive to Tabor, Czech Republic.
Once there, the team took the opportunity to regularly practise the course.
First up at the championship were the juniors, including Smith.
Ninety riders took part, with 19 countries represented.
The Australians started from the back of the grid.
All of the Aussie team members put together impressive riders, with Smith finishing 60th overall.
Union Cyclist International (UCI) rules meant competitors must stay within 80 per cent of race time behind the leader.
If someone fell more than 80 per cent behind, they were eliminated from competition.
Smith reached the final lap, otherwise known as the “lead lap”.
The Highlander became the first Australian male to finish a world championship cyclocross race on the lap leap.
Smith said he was pleased with his result.
“I felt very happy with my ride (under the circumstances),” Smith said.
“I left nothing out there and had a blast.”
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