Riding to the nationals
LEONGATHA’S Tom McFarlane is making himself a regular in the elite junior cycling scene.
He will gain even more experience against some of the best junior riders in the country, starting tomorrow (Wednesday) at the Cycling Australia Junior Track National Championships.
The 14 year old will be competing in the Under 17 division, racing at great speeds around the Adelaide Superdome.
Tom is not new to track racing at this level, however competing in the under 15 division at the titles last year.
The young gun has two rides lined up for the competition.
“I will hopefully find success in the team sprint,” he said.
“I hope to be in the top 10 or eight in that, which would be great.”
Riders for Saturday’s events, a Keirin and Scratch Race, are decided on Friday and Tom is hoping to pick up a spot in one or both.
“They just see who is going the best for the week,” he said.
“It would be good if I could get to have a ride in the scratch.”
Being bottom age in his division this meet is not so much about winning but about experience.
Tom has also made the move up to bigger gear with the jump in age groups.
He said he is settling into the gear alright but it is a bit of a change.
“It’s a bigger step up this year because they have increased the gear for the whole age group as well,” Tom said.
“I guess it makes it a bit of an even playing field, with everyone on the new gear though.”
In the lead up to the nationals Tom has raced at state level carnivals in Bendigo, Shepparton and Wangaratta as well as the State Titles.
The young rider didn’t perform at his best in the titles, claiming a fourth in the sprint, although he thinks this helped secure his spot on the team for the nationals.
“I’m not really a sprinter but because of that they took me as a sprinter.”
“I want to do a bit better at the nationals than I did at states.”
Tom’s father David will be joining him as part of the Victorian team’s mechanic group.
As an ex-cycling star himself David will be able to give Tom first hand advice track side as well as helping with the workings of the bike.
Tom is a member of the Leongatha Cycling Club and participates in many local events.
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