Bendigo cycling ace and BSSC Alumni, Glenn O’Shea, is targeting Olympic gold after confirming his place in Australia’s men’s track team for Rio.
The 27 year-old is part of a six-member men’s endurance squad announced early Tuesday afternoon.
O’Shea will be competing at his second Olympics. He won silver as part of the men’s 4000 metre men’s pursuit team at London in 2012.
The multiple world track champion is currently overseas, but told the Bendigo Advertiser last month he was hopeful of gaining selection, after he won a bronze in the omnium at the world track championships earlier this year.
O’Shea was even more assured of his chances if picked.
“I think if I go I am a good medal chance – I think I can win a gold medal,” he said.
Joining O’Shea in Brazil will be his 2012 silver medal winning teammates Michael Hepburn and Jack Bobridge, Alex Edmondson, and Games debutantes Callum Scotson and Sam Welsford.
South Australian Scotson last month won the Bendigo and District Cycling Club’s Merv Dean Memorial three-day tour.
The trio of O’Shea, Scotson and Welsford are all trained in South Australia by former Bendigo-based cyclist Tim Decker.
O’Shea, a two-time Bendigo International Madison winner in 2008-09, will focus on the individual omnium in Rio, an event in which he has twice won world championship gold.
Among the first to offer congratulations on Tuesday was the Bendigo and District Cycling Club.
President Justin Leske said O’Shea had been a wonderful supporter of the club and its events.
“Obviously it’s a bit hard when you are away a lot, but when Glenn is here he is always supportive,” he said.
“He’s won a few (Bendigo) Sports Star of the Year awards and with that (prizemoney) he has donated money back into junior cycling and the club has used it to buy some track bikes for our development program.
“Obviously he was just here riding in our club tour, so he still comes back.
“There’s even been years recently when he’s come back and ridden in our club madison that we have after our international Madison, so he’s never forgotten where he started.”
Leske believed the Australia team’s medal prospects, including those of the former Bendigo cyclist, were strong.
(Kieran Iles – Bendigo Advertiser)