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David Edwards (Australia) smiles despite missing out on the world title
Queenslander struggles to comprehend his result
Queensland university student David Edwards claimed the bronze medal in the junior men's time trial at the 2011 UCI Road World Championships in Denmark to bring the Australian medal tally to four after four events.
The 18-year-old from the small town of Atherton, in tropical north Queensland, clocked a time of 35:28.47 for the 27.8 kilometre course to finish 20 seconds off the pace of Danish winner Mads Wurtz Schmidt.
"I can't really process what's going through my head right now, it's very full on," said Edwards. "I always hoped and dreamed of doing well and now I have a bronze medal it's definitely not hit me and probably won't for a couple of days - third in the world is huge."
New Zealand's James Oram had been the early leader with his time of 35:11.79 and endured a two hour wait in the hot seat before the Dane came home four seconds faster to snatch the win and put him into second place. Edwards was the last of the medalists to ride and was second fastest at the first check point but was unable to match the speed of his rivals.
The teenager, who is a first year psychology student at Griffith University, says the performances by his Australian team mates on day one when Jessica Allen won the junior women's time trial and Luke Durbridge the under 23 men's crown, was certainly a great motivation.
"It was huge," said Edwards. "I was very nervous already and then it was two from two (yesterday) which was fantastic for Australia but a bit of pressure as well.
"I just went out there and did my job and I'm pretty happy with it," he said.
It is Edwards second year with the junior development program and he came to Europe last year to gain experience and this year to prepare for the world championships.
"It's been great," he explained. "Last year I got pretty smashed in the races but I needed that and this year I was able to come back and be competitive. I won a race in Italy a month ago and that was great preparation, this year's been a good trip."
His team mate Calvin Watson also posted a solid performance to finish 12th in a time of 36:05.73.
Junior men's road coach Dave Sanders was thrilled with the performances of both riders.
"Honestly a top 10 or top five and I would have been really happy so to get a medal is extraordinary and I couldn't ask for any more," he said who agrees the pressure was increased by the medal results of day one. "The standard was set very high and we know our boys are world class but you have to nail it on the day so really pleased with the boys' efforts.
"This was a dead flat course but quite technical so I was a little concerned Dave might not have the power to punch out of the corners but technically he nailed it and it was a really good ride."
Before he moved to Brisbane this year to study Edwards had predominantly trained alone in Atherton.
"When I first met David I asked him 'who do you train with?' and he said 'no-one really'," explained Sanders. "So I asked 'who do you race with?' and he said 'I don't 'and I said 'what do you mean you don't, don't you go to Cairns to race?' and he said 'well I did but after a couple of kilometres I'm on my own anyway (in front) so I might as well stay home and train'.
"He's done a great job on his own and the people who look after him have done a great job to get him to this level," said Sanders. "I'm very proud of him, he's a great kid."
Edwards was kitted out with a radio for his ride so coach Nick Formosa could relay time checks and information to him from the following car but he lost reception midway through the first of two laps.
"It was the first time I used a radio so that was a different experience but (once I lost reception) in my head I was just saying 'keep going'. I was thinking about all the people back home in my little town of Atherton watching me and supporting me that was pretty great motivation."