Gooseberry Hill speed demon James Derrick (15) set on national titles

James Derrick recently competed in the 2018 WA State Junior Track Cycling Championships and now has a place on the State Team. Photo: David Baylis
James Derrick recently competed in the 2018 WA State Junior Track Cycling Championships and now has a place on the State Team. Photo: David Baylis

GOOSEBERRY Hill cyclist James Derrick (15) is preparing to compete on the national stage after taking home a swag of medals at the WA State Junior Track Cycling Championships at the Midvale SpeedDome earlier this month.

The Guildford Grammar student won gold in U/17 Men’s Points Race, U/17 Men’s Scratch Race, U/17 Men’s 2000m Individual Pursuit and silver in the U/17 Men’s 500m Time Trial.

Derrick said his performance had earned him a spot in the state team to compete in the National Track Cycling Championships in Melbourne next month.

“I headed into the state championships looking to place in three events so winning three gold medals as well as breaking the state record for the individual pursuit was a welcome surprise,” he said.

Derrick said he hoped he would taper his training sessions as the national championships approached in a bid to shake his fatigue.

“My goal at nationals is to medal in either the points race or scratch race,” he said.

“I also hope to medal in the individual pursuit and ride at least a sub 2:19.

“You never know what form others will bring to nationals, but looking at recent nationals times, a one second improvement will put me into the 2:18s and greatly improve my chance of a podium finish.”

Derrick said after the nationals he would compete in the 2018 Australian Road National Championships.

“In the long term I am looking to represent Australia at junior track worlds and then hopefully senior worlds,” he said.

“After that I’ll be looking into making the jump to pro road cycling.”Derrick said the Hills provided the perfect training ground for reaching the pinnacle of his sport.

“If I need a long, solid 140km day, all I need to do is head out my front door and I am literally on a hill,” he said.

“It is a great advantage and has arguably shaped my style as a rider.

“I see myself on the road as a climber more than anything else and I am almost certain this can be attributed to my location and its subsequent training opportunities.

“One of the best bits of advice I have ever been given was to “learn to love hills”.

“Races are hardly ever flat so climbing is always an important ability to have as cyclist.”The National Track Cycling Championships are in Melbourne from February 20 to 24.

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