Australian Cycling Academy member Kelland O'Brien is gearing up to debut at the Commonwealth Games.
Australian Cycling Academy member Kelland O'Brien is gearing up to debut at the Commonwealth Games. ALEX HOFFORD

Young gun wary of competition on the velodrome

CYCLING: At just 19, Kelland O'Brien already has some global accolades to his name but there's no chance he'll be complacent at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

The talented track rider from the Sunshine Coast-based Australian Cycling Academy, was part of Australia's world championship-winning team pursuit squad at Hong Kong last year, when he also snared third place in the individual pursuit.

He's in line to again be part of Australia's 4000m team pursuit squad at the Gold Coast.

"I suppose you carry some confidence, with knowing that we are capable of producing some good results," he said.

"But of course leading into big competitions like this there's never any guarantees of wins or anything so right now it's just focusing on doing all the little things right and just tyring to get there in the best shape that we can."

He'll also set to compete in the 4000m individual pursuit and the 40km points race but it's the team event he is zeroed in on.

"At the moment there's no guarantees for any certain event but obviously the team pursuit in the number one priority and the main focus," he said.

O'Brien linked with the ACA, a relatively new outfit on the continental cycling scene, late last year after they launched.

"Last year I spent sort of four months in Europe and was awesome but this year I wanted to stay a bit closer to home and that was something that they could offer me... but still getting to race overseas.

"And just knowing who was running the team, I know those guys are really awesome and really motivated so that was definitely one of the big draw cards is Ben Kersten and Matt Wilson for sure."

O'Brien hasn't been able to spend much time on the Sunshine Coast yet but he's looking forward to doing so.

His campaign is set to start on Thursday.


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