COLAC cyclist Zac Shaw will ride alongside world championship winning teammates at national track championships tomorrow.
Shaw, 16, will ride in the Victorian under-19 team pursuit, individual pursuit and team sprint when he starts in the Australian National Track Championships in Adelaide.
Melbourne pair Jack Cummings and Alex Morgan, who won gold in the team pursuit at junior world championships late last year, headline the talented Victorian line-up.
Cycling Victoria general manager Kipp Kaufmann said the under-19 team had the potential to dominate the national championships.
“There are certainly a number of good riders from Victoria that are going to be at the championships,” he said.
“The under-19 men have a very strong line-up which includes two junior world champions.
“So we are very strong in the under-19 men and the Victorian team itself is led by Shane Perkins who is a world champion as well.”
Kaufmann said Shaw, who won a national title in last year’s under-17 team pursuit, had the ability to achieve success in the under-19 age group.
“It is no mean feat that he qualified for the team pursuit against two world champions and two of the best in the world in that particular event,” he said.
“It is a big step but he’s certainly been improving throughout the year and working with the team.
“With him and Evan Hull leading the pursuit, the team is certainly in good stead to take out that particular championship.”
Victoria will compete against the best riders in Australia and Kaufmann said the national championships were always a hotly contested event.
“The beauty of Australian cycling is there’s good strength everywhere,” he said.
“New South Wales has always been strong, especially some of their sprinters are always quite strong – South Australia with their riders are also quite good.
“Victoria has an award-winning team and are expected to be up there to take out quite a few of the championships.”
Rider trains hard for regional test
COLAC cyclist Nick Kennedy hopes intense training will pay off during a regional track championship.
Kennedy, 38, will contest South West track championships alongside Colac Cycling Club teammate Darren Allan at Hamilton’s Wal Smith Velodrome.
The experienced rider achieved a podium finish at a Geelong criterium race and placed third at Camperdown’s 16-kilometre Saul Pasque Memorial earlier this month.
Kennedy will contest sprint and pursuit races at Hamilton but his main focus was the open scratch race.
“Basically I’d love to place in the 16-kilometre scratch race,” he said
“There are good riders there so I just have to see how I go.
“I’ve definitely been improving but I’m aiming for a place finish in that race.”
Kennedy, who has had an extended break from track racing, said his preparation had included races around the Colac district.
“I haven’t raced track for quite some time but I raced when I was a junior for Hamilton,” he said.
“I’ve been racing track all season up around Horsham, Bendigo, Warrnambool and Shepparton in preparation.
“Hopefully that training pays off.”
Allan said the pair would represent Colac for the championship club shield.
“Over the events there is an overall club shield as well and it’s something Colac seems to just
miss out on every year,” he said.
“Obviously the stronger your club is the more chance you have of winning.
“Nick Kennedy is going really well and we’re hoping he will bring home a couple of medals.”
Kennedy said the championships were an enjoyable experience.
“There is support racing which is definitely for enjoyment and not just the intensive competition for the titles,” he said.
“People are there to catch up and have fun as well.”