History repeats itself
IT WAS only fitting when Wyrallah cyclist Brendan Cole won the Jacaranda Criterium at Grafton for a second time.
Not only is he fresh from three of international races in China, but it was also the first major event he won nine years ago.
Cole was the youngest to win the event and was only 16 at the time.
He led from the front before lapping half his opponents before almost doing it a second time on his way to victory at the weekend.
"It was definitely one I wanted again after winning there so long ago," Cole said.
"It was tough work with how hot it was in 40 degrees with hot winds."
Cole always had plenty of ability on the bike and started riding competitively as a 13-year-old.
It has been a whirlwind year with Cole only getting back on the bike in December last year.
He joined the McDonald's team a month later and won a string of races.
The team went to China where Cole got his first taste of international competition after some impressive results throughout Queensland.
He had a top 10 finish in one of the races where the field featured 140 riders from around the world.
He was pushed into a barrier late in another race and still managed to finish in the top 20.
"The first race probably didn't suit me that well but the next two were a lot flatter," Cole said.
"The racing is a lot different over there, it's fast and everyone brings their best.
"We went in not knowing what to expect but I was pretty happy with how it all turned out."
Cole competed against some other tough opposition on his way to finishing eighth in the Subaru Australian Open Criterium at Noosa.
He will compete in a three-hour event at Byron Bay this weekend and plans to ride back to Wyrallah afterwards.
Training will continue with the national titles at Ballarat in January.
Cole is sponsored by Harris Cycles in Lismore and What Watt Bike at Modanville, a specialist road racing bicycle shop.