Proserpine cyclist David Nicholas.
Proserpine cyclist David Nicholas. contributed

Cyclist hoping to take home the gold at the Paralympics

ELITE Proserpine cyclist David Nicholas claimed a gold medal at the London Paralympics and he's hoping for a podium in Brazil.

Nicholas is competing in five events. On the track he will race in the 3000m individual pursuit, the 1000m time trial and the mixed sprint before tackling the bitumen for the road race and the time trial.

His first event is the pursuit on Friday afternoon, Brazil time.

Nicholas spoke to the Daily Mercury's Chris Lees in Rio de Janeiro.

How are you feeling about being in Rio?

I'm excited to be here, the atmosphere in the village is great and I can't wait for the racing to start.

How's the body and the mind?

I know you had serious problems with pneumonia not that long ago.

Mind and body are great, I'm stronger then ever, I've been working hard in the gym and on the bike to get my new body back into shape.

What are your preparations now with so little time left?

Getting myself ready for my race days, by tapering (and) making sure I am well rested but also some training with hard efforts to make sure I am ready for the huge effort that I will have to do on race day.

Do you feel any expectations after your amazing result in London? Yes and no. Of course I would like to medal again, but the competition is tough and I will just do my best and see what happens.

What result will you be happy with?

Across all my events I will be happy with a podium. But at the end of the day if I do my best performance I will be happy.

How do you transfer skills from track to road?

There is only really one major difference on the track bike, you are on a fixed gear bike so you've only got one gear for that event, so selecting the right gear is important.

And what are the major differences?

You have to be a bit more muscular for the pursuit on the track and that extra body weight can hurt you on the road if the course is hilly. But its the same for everyone, and I'm lucky that I can perform well in both as long as the hills aren't too steep.

What are your impressions of Rio so far?

I haven't really had a good look around yet, but the village and velodrome are awesome, and the road courses have nice new bitumen, so I'm happy.

How is it being part of a talented cycling team?

It is great to be a part of such a successful team, spirits are always high and that gives you extra motivation.

We are a close knit group and everyone gets on really well.

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