Confidence carries rider

James Derrick, of Gooseberry Hill.        d449283
James Derrick, of Gooseberry Hill.        d449283

The 13-year-old competed in the under-15 men’s division and won four gold medals, a silver and a bronze.

He will now compete in the national championships in Launceston between February 24 and 27.

Derrick said his form was good and the competition strong at the Midvale event.

“After trying cycling as a fun way to exercise, I never expected it to turn into what it is for me today,” he said.

“I later found out my great uncle was the Australian road champion in the 1960s and also focused on track cycling as well.”

Derrick hopes to get a scholarship to the WA Institute of Sport.

The young athlete trains each day except Thursday. On weekends he rides up to 60km on the road under the watchful eye of Shaun Hodges, who runs the development squad in WA.

The Guildford Grammar student aims to finish in the top half of the field at the nationals in Tasmania.

“Comparatively speaking my times recently are a match for some of the states,” he said.

Derrick said Victoria and New South Wales were dominating the competition at the moment.

“Hopefully with a bit more hard training guided by the State team coaches, I will be able to push my chances up even further,” he said.

Meanwhile it’s back to the track for Derrick. He trains Mondays, Tuesday he does a wattbike session, track again on Wednesdays and Fridays involve State track cycling sessions.