Byron is a natural Track newcomer eyes Australian title
ROSEWOOD track cyclist Byron Davies wants to be national champion.
The 19-year-old converted from road cycling just three months ago and already has the country’s number one ranking in his sights.
Last month, he represented Queensland at the Oceania Championships at Invercargill’s state-of-the-art SIT Zero Fees Velodrome.
It was an elite competition, with at least 24 current and ex-world champs counted around the facility, and the St Edmund’s College product recorded remarkable results in his maiden international event.
In his first time ever racing the one kilometre time trial, he shocked rivals and team officials to clinch sixth place.
His scintillating time of 1.03.068 meant he finished the first Queenslander and second Australian. He also set a new state record for the “kilo”, which is akin to track and field’s 400m because it requires riders to sprint the whole distance and push through the pain barrier as their bodies are overcome with lactic acid.
Having never trained for the gruelling event, Davies learned much about racing, taking off from the starting gate, pacing himself and dealing with pressure.
“It was a big step,” he said.
“I had never raced at a track and going straight to international was good experience. It was tough and the result was encouraging, so I’m really happy.”
Having never seen an untried and untested athlete perform so well, Australian coaches were impressed. Recognising his potential, they appear keen to nurture the QAS Training Access Scholarship holder into an Olympic threat.
Davies initially had no idea that he had broken the Queensland record.
The achievement motivates him to push forward in the sport. The incredible time placed him only a second behind the top-ranked Aussie. That is how much time he will need to shave off his personal best mark if he is to wear the national crown at the Australian Championships in March.
He believes that goal is achievable given he has plenty of improving left to do, particularly in jumping out of the starting gate.
“I want to try to be national champion,” he said. “It is definitely doable.”