Echuca’s Eddy brothers enjoy success

By Andrew Johnston

Cycling has always been a family affair for the Eddys.

But never quite to this level of dominance.

Competing at the Cycling Australia Road National Championships in Ballarat on Saturday, the former Echuca pair of Patrick and Sam Eddy produced a piece of history in finishing first and second in the under-19 road race.

On the 104km race around Mount Buninyong, Patrick — the younger of the two at 16 — took the race home in 2 hours, 48 minutes and 28 seconds, with 17-year-old Sam finishing 94 seconds later.

The finish was intense for the elder Eddy, with three racers locked in a sprint, all coming across the line in the same time.

Eddy would have the slightest of edges on Alastair Mackellar in third place, with Dylan Hopkins just missing the podium.

It was the first of two successful events for the brothers, who backed it up with their performances in Monday’s time trial.

Patrick would win the 21.6km event in 29:54.04, with Sam finishing in fifth in 30:37.22.

Both brothers were only too happy to revel in each other’s success.

‘‘It was pretty incredible,’’ Patrick said after the race.

‘‘This is the kind of thing that you dream of, but think surely can’t happen, then to turn around and see Sam cross the line after I’d won was really special.’’

Both brothers held to a plan, with Patrick breaking away from the lead group with a few laps remaining, while Sam held the group.

‘‘I knew I had them on the sprint,’’ Sam said.

‘‘I thought if I stuck to the right line I could bring it home. To have Pat up on the podium ahead of me was really special.

‘‘At one stage across the top I thought the rest of the group might take Pat, but we were able to hold them out which was important.’’

Patrick couldn’t have been happier after the time trial.

‘‘I knew I had good form coming into the event,’’ he said.

‘‘But to come here as a bottom-ager and claim two gold is a bit much. I was really looking for one podium for the event, so I’m really happy with my performance in the event.’’

But he again held the highest of praise for his brother.

“I really wanted him to win today,” Patrick said.

“There’s no chance I’d be here today if it wasn’t for him. He wakes me up every morning to go training and we motivate each other. Sam will be wanting to get me back and then I’ll want to get back at him after that.

“I think that’s where our success comes from.’’

The brothers’ attentions will now turn to the Oceania Road Championships in Tasmania in March.