Cody Scott received a finisher’s medal just like the other Piccolofondo riders following Saturday’s race.
Yet he still pumped his fist as he crossed the finish line first during the kids ride put on by Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan.
Scott, 12, who rides for Team Devo, coached by former Olympic cyclist Alison Sydor, admitted he wanted to be the first to finish his 10-13 age group ride.
“It was fast,” said Scott of North Vancouver, who placed seventh in the 55-km Cortofondo Sunday. “Lots of corners. I was feeling a little nervous.”
Lucas Oeggerli, nine, of Jasper, Alta., was the first to cross in his age group and enjoyed the ride.
“I liked it better the second time,” said Oeggerli. “I was happy I won.”
Sydor, who paced the lead bikes on each ride, is happy to the improvement the riders make.
“It’s really exciting to see that some of these kids started with the kids’ races and are going to be riding the Cortofondo on Sunday with parents,” she said Saturday. “It’s neat to see the progression.”
The talent is getting better in the Piccolofondo as Sydor has noticed the kids ramp things up.
“The kids at the front are fast,” she said. “I’m in my big chain ring, gliding with these kids. It’s real racing.”
The main thing Sydor wanted to see were the kids finish with smiles on their faces.
“That’s what we saw today,” she said. “The most important thing is we just see a group of really active kids that are falling in love with the sport.”
Jodi Merckx, who organized the ride with KISU, said the Piccolofondo was great as they had more than 300 kids, the same as last year.
“Every year it fills up,” she said. “Parents think this is great. The kids get to do something. They feel like they are included.”
When asked if it could be any better, Merckx said, “I think we’re nailing it all around the whole weekend.”
“We are always open to suggestions,” she said.