READY: Sam Welsford
READY: Sam Welsford CHRISTIAN ESCOBAR MORA

Olympic experience bolsters Welsford hopes

CYCLING:The pressures of performing in front of a home crowd at the Commonwealth Games will be enormous but Sam Welsford is hopeful his previous international experiences will bolster his mental fortitude when it comes to those decisive moments on the track.

The ACA-Ride Sunshine Coast team member is set to compete in both the individual and team pursuits at the Anna Meares Velodrome this week.

"I think every competition brings its own new experiences and nerves I guess,” Welsford said.

"(But) we are competing in front of a home crowd so we're going to have that pressure of racing in our own backyard.”

However, having already achieved plenty of success at the world championships, and with a silver medal at the Rio Olympics to his name, Welsford believes he has the strength to remain focused.

"I think I can look back at Rio and use those emotions and feelings and sensations to calm myself down in those final (medal) moments,” he said.

Welsford is also buoyed by fine form after achieving plenty of top results of late.

He won a national individual pursuit championship in February and raced to victory alongside Kelland O'Brien at a prominent madison event in Bendigo in March.

Although currently based in Adelaide, the 22-year-old decided to pedal in Sunshine Coast colours recently after joining the Australian Cycling Academy which is based at USC.

"I think they have a really good culture as in what they're planning to do at the Gold Coast (Games) and what they're trying to bring to the Sunshine Coast and show off that the riding up there is really nice,” he said.

"Also the staff are really looking after the well-being of the athletes so that's what appealed to me a lot instead of some team that just uses you and spits you out.”



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