Jack's born to ride his bike
Tewantin two-wheeled wonder Jack Jude skipped to the chase – not long after he began to walk, he was riding his bike.
And at the ripe old age of two, Jack had made his trainer wheels redundant.
Little wonder then that 10 years on the newly crowned U13 Queensland cross country mountain bike champion has told new sponsor, Sunshine Bicycle Works, that “I have Olympic dreams”.
Jack is on track to slipstream along on a dream ride first started by 2007 Tour de France runner-up Cadel Evans.
Evans is a former Aussie mountain bike champion who rode cross-country at the Sydney Olympics.
Jack is off that elite pace right now ... but good judges think he has that certain something that is already setting him apart.
He has ridden through the BMX jumps stage and was issued with his mountain bike racing licence in January, lining up for the Coast’s Bushrangers.
Despite just turning 12, commitment and Jack are a tandem act and he loves nothing better than a rugged 40km ride with his dad, Chris.
After class at Tewantin State School, rather than kick a footy or go to the local skate park, he will head off into the scrub with his trusty mobile phone to keep in contact with home.
Jack was a second away from winning his inaugural mountain bike series – despite entering just four of the five Sunshine Series races.
“We weren’t aware of the first race at the time and he won the second, third and fourth races, coming in second in the fifth by just over a second,” his mum, Jane, said.
Last weekend Jack lined up for the state cross-country titles – lapping contestants in the “fun” Saturday long-distance, six-hour ride.
Then he won the Sunday event by 33 seconds.
“Everyone out there was saying where did this kid come from,” Jane said.
Jack is likely to contest next year’s nationals in the under-15 division where his times are already competitive. By that time he should have had his first taste of road racing with the Sunshine Coast Cycling Club.
Should his star continue to rise Jane may well think back again to that first two-year-old treadle.
“He started with trainer wheels and was going so fast we took one off ... and then the other and they just stayed off,” she said.
Jane said Jack always had a look of quiet resolve when on a bike.
“On the weekend – he had a look on his face just before he raced that no one was going to beat him,” she said.