How national title loss can help Kerby's gold medal pursuit

CYCLING: The loss of his national individual pursuit championship could be the key to unlocking a gold medal-winning performance at Jordan Kerby's debut Commonwealth Games.

Australian teammate Sam Welsford beat Kerby by 3.92 seconds to win the national title in February.

While it might not have felt it at the time, Kerby, who rode the third-fastest individual pursuit time in history at the 2017 World Track Championships in Hong Kong, said that result could serve as motivation when qualifying starts Friday.

"It relieves a little bit of pressure, but it gave me a kick in the butt to remind me how much I wanted it," a determined Kerby said.

"It made me hungry for this one on Friday, there will be no shortage on that."

Both Kerby and Welsford, 22, are set to compete in the both the individual and team pursuits at the Anna Meares Velodrome this week.

Kerby shocked the world last April when he recorded the third-fastest IP time, a blistering 4min 12.172secs, just 1.5 seconds off Jack Bobridge's 2011 world record, on his way to an unlikely world championship.

He has spent the past eight months training with the Australian Cycling Team in Adelaide for the team pursuit, with an eye on the Tokyo Olympics, but gold medals at the Oceania Track Championships in both the team and individual pursuit in November has the 25-year-old primed for a place on the podium.

"I'm in a good place and training has been really good," he said.

"It hasn't been specific for the IP, but we're still putting a lot of good work in so I think I can be in a good spot for a podium.

"It was not great to be beaten (at nationals) but you can't win them all.

"Sam is probably the most talented track rider of our generation so to be beaten by him, there's no real major defeat of mine as he's a good friend of mine."

Thursday's team pursuit qualifier is the third cycling event on the Commonwealth Games program.



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