World turning for Cole
EVEN though he doesn't get to ride on an Olympic standard track very often, Lismore cyclist Brendan Cole is getting wheely good at going around in circles.
The 17-year-old is starting to fulfil some of his enormous potential after winning a silver medal in the team sprint at the Australian Elite, Under-19 and Para-cycling Track Championships in Adelaide last weekend.
The Trinity College student also managed to turn in personal best performances in the 200m fly and 1km time trial which is better known as the 'kilo'.
They are terrific results considering the nearest Olympic standard venue to practice on is in Sydney and the nearest velodrome with a reasonable 'bank' is in Brisbane.
Cole has to content himself with training sessions on a flat track at Casino, which is nothing more than a strip of tar around a cricket pitch.
There is also the occasional visit to another facility down the highway at Coffs Harbour.`
“It's hard because there is not really a track form me to train on around here, apart from Casino,” he said.
“If I want to do events it does get a bit annoying because you have to go to Sydney all the time, if it is a big event, or Brisbane.”
Even though Cole's first love is road racing, where he's come second in the State time trial and won the State hill climb, he's probably better suited to the track.
“Some people prefer the road or track, but I like them both,” he said. “At the moment, with the track, you can do it for awhile, and then heaps of track riders swap to the road.”
At about 188cm and 90kg, Cole is a growing boy, and he's only going to get bigger.
He's a member of the Northern Rivers Cycling Club and was first identified for the sport as a 13-year-old by the North Coast Academy of Sport.
“My dad rode a bit and he got me a BMX when I was younger,” Cole said.
“My grandparents were also into the church and they had these cycling camps that went for a week long and I went to them two years straight.
“After that, I rode occasionally and then I started riding for the academy.”
Cole will complete his HSC this year and has to juggle his study and training commitments which can include between 400km to 600km per week on the road.
While his friends may be busy playing Xbox or watching television, Cole is more likely to go for a ride after school.
“I'll ride most days after school, but if I have something on I'll go in the morning and then I do as much as I can on the weekends,” he said.
“If its daylight savings, I'll do between 60km and 100km, but if it is not daylight savings, I can only do about 40km.”
“But it is worth it, it doesn't feel that hard.”